CITY-DT, City, Toronto
|CITY-DT||2011||57.1 (44)||CITY||Rogers Communications Inc.|
|CITY-TV||2007||57||IND||Rogers Communications Inc.|
|CITY-TV||1978||79||IND||Channel Seventy-Nine Ltd./CHUM Ltd.|
|CITY-TV||1975||79||IND||Channel Seventy-Nine Ltd./Multiple Access Ltd.|
|CITY-TV||1972||79||IND||Channel Seventy-Nine Ltd.|
CIII-DT, Global, Toronto
|CIII-DT||2016||41.1||Global||Corus Entertainment Inc.|
|CIII-DT||2011||41.1 (41)||Global||Global Television Network|
|CIII-TV||1990||41||Global||Global Television Network|
|CIII-TV||1988||41||Global||Global Ventures Western|
CITY-TV was licensed November 25 to a company represented by Phyllis Switzer (Channel Seventy-Nine Limited). The applicant proposed a programming service that was uniquely different from, and complementary to, services provided by existing stations. The station would broadcast daily from 4 p.m. to midnight and then repeat that programming the following day between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. CITY-TV would broadcast on UHF channel 79 with an effective radiated power of 31,000 watts video and 3,100 watts audio (directional) with antenna height of 403 feet.
The company was made up of 36 investors in all with the main players being Phyllis Switzer, Moses Znaimer, Jerry J. Grafstein, and Edgar A. Cowan. CITY-TV was the dream of Phyllis Switzer and she held the title of Vice President. Moses Znaimer was President. Switzer had been in news and was a cable tv pioneer; Znaimer was known as a tv interviewer; Grafstein was a broadcast lawyer; and Cowan was a film producer and PA expert.
Channel 79 signed on the air on September 28, operating with 31,000 watts video and 3,100 watts audio. Studios were in the former Electric Circus Nightclub at 99 Queen Street East and the transmitter and 403 foot tower were located at Yonge and Eglinton.
Of all the UHF channels available for use in Toronto – why channel 79 – at the very top of the dial? The U. S. was planning to allocate the top portion of the UHF band for CB radio use. The owners of CITY wanted to prevent the loss of these valuable channels in Canada.
Canada’s first commercial UHF station – CITY-TV – was low powered, low cost and focused on Toronto only. The CRTC in awarding the license instructed the cable companies to carry the CITY signal on Cable channel 7. Most cable companies moved Buffalo’s WKBW-TV from Cable 7 to Cable 12 to make room for CITY, but Metro Cable TV opted to place CITY on Cable 12 and leave WKBW on Cable 7.
Brian Linehan was a program host.
On July 25, Channel Seventy-Nine Ltd. was authorized to move CITY’s transmitter and antenna to the new CN Tower once construction was completed. In addtion to increasing antenna height, CITY would also operate with higher power. Other stations that would operate from the new tower, received their approval in December of 1973.
CITY was in debt and the Bronfman family’s Multiple Access Ltd. (owner of Montreal’s CFCF Radio and TV) purchased a 45% interest in the station. Together Znaimer, Switzer, Grafstein and Cowan still held 25%.
At CITY’s licence renewal hearing, Moses Znaimer told the CRTC that Buffalo TV stations were being very aggressive in their battle for Toronto accounts. He said the Buffalo broadcasters were selling commercial time, during peak selling periods at a slashed price of $30, as opposed to the standard cost of $60 to $65 per rating point. He said the Buffalo outlets were charging as little as $8 per rating point during the past summer. Znaimer said shortly after Canada announced changes to the federal tax laws, the Buffalo stations started slashing their prices. He said CITY took in up to $4 million per year in revenue but had not reached any break-even financial status, as of yet. Total deficits for five years had been worked out to $2,900,000.
On May 24, testing began from the brand new CN Tower, 301 Front Street West. CITY-TV began broadcasting officially from the tower when it signed on the air for the day, May 31. At this time, effective radiated power increased to 208,000 watts video and 28,000 watts audio. Antenna height was 1,627 feet.
CITY had its licence renewed by the CRTC and was advised to retain its local orientation despite the wider coverage resulting from its move to the CN Tower. CITY was expected to take early and significant steps to provide a genuine alternative with Toronto-oriented material in prime time. The station was also to exercise greater care in its choice of U.S. programs, particularly those containing violent elements.
Mutiiple Access Ltd. of Montreal announced plans to acquire 45% of Channel Seventy-nine Ltd. Multiple Access was the owner of the CFCF radio and television stations in Montreal.
On February 22, Multiple Access Ltd. was permitted to acquire more shares of Channel Seventy-Nine Ltd. as part of a financing arrangement. The sale would give CITY-TV the stability and backing required to meet its objectives. MA however, was to give priority to its relationship with the CTV network (it owned CFCF-TV Montreal), and was to inform the CRTC as to how it would separate the two organizations.
An agreement was reached August 21 where CHUM would acquire 89.1% of Channel SeventyNine Ltd. CHUM would then sell 21.9% to the CITY founders group and certain employees, reducing the company’s interest to 67.2%. The deal required CRTC approval. Baton Broadcasting agreed to purchase 54.6% control of Multiple Access Ltd. (CFCF-AM-TV, CFQR-FM Montreal and 45% of CITY-TV Toronto). It was most unlikely the CRTC would permit Baton, owner of CFTO-TV in Toronto, to have an interest in a second TV station in the market, so CHUM stepped in and announced plans to buy MA’s shares in CITY. The proposals posed added concentration of ownership problems for the CRTC, as both companies already had extensive broadcast holdings. The commission may be forced to establish a definite policy on limiting such holdings.
Gord Martineau (news anchor) joined Citytv on September 19. Colin Vaughn (reporter) and Glen Cole joined the station.
On May 8, a transfer of shares in Channel SeventyNine Ltd. was approved by the CRTC. 153,000 common shares would be transferred from Moses Znaimer, Phyllis Switzer, Jerry S. Grafstein and Edgar A. Cowan (the “Founders Group”) to Multiple Access Ltd. This would be followed by a transfer of effective control of Channel SeventyNine to CHUM Ltd. The CRTC would decide on the transer to CHUM at a later date. The final distribution of common shares for CITY would be: CHUM Ltd. 67.2% Founders Group 28.2%, Employee group (James West, Fred Klinkhammer) 4.6%. Observers speculated that the CRTC would require CHUM to dispose of CKVR-TV (Barrie) in order to buy CITY. It was rumoured that CHAY-FM (Barrie) would place a bid for CKVR-TV.
On July 26, the CRTC approved the transfer of effective control of Channel SeventyNine Ltd. as follows: (1) the conversion of 200 non-voting special shares held by a number of shareholders to common shares, at a rate of 2,500 common shares for each special share. The result: to increase the number of outstanding common shares to 500,000. (2) Transfer 2% of the common shares from Edgar A. Cowan to CHUM Ltd. (3) Transfer 54% from Multiple Access Ltd. to CHUM Ltd. (4) Transfer 33% from a number of minority shareholders to CHUM Ltd. (5) The subsequent transfer of 22% from CHUM Ltd. to the “Founders Group” and Fred Klinkhammer & James West (“The Employee Group”). The Founders Group: Moses Znaimer 201,833, Jerry S. Grafstein 171,025, Phyllis Switzer 121,422, Edgar A. Cowan 50,000. The Employees Group: Fred Klinkhammer 25,000, James West 25,000. Total: 594,280. (6) Enter shareholder voting agreement between CHUM and the Founder and Employee groups. Resultant ownership: Founders Group – Znaimer 291,709, Grafstein 229,781, Switzer 192,419, Cowan 50,000. Employee Group – Klinkhammer 29,000, West 95,835.
The CRTC noted that the former arrangement with Multiple Access produced interesting programming connections between CITY-TV and Montreal’s CFCF-TV. Unfortunately Multiple Access was unwilling to continue to finance CITY while only holding 45.50% of the equity shares and not having control. Multiple Access advised the Founders to find a new partner. Under the new arrangement, CHUM Ltd. would acquire 67.2% and hold by way of pledge an additional 22%. It would have effective control, but would to an extent, share control with the Founders. The Founders group would be responsible for programming and CHUM would be responsible for sales and financing. Programming would be returned to the original “local” concept. Plans included retention of the present 90-minute City Pulse (Mon-Fri) program, the addition of 30-minutes news (Mon-Fri) between 7:30-10:30 p.m., stereo simulcasts with CHUM-FM of Canadian concerts, and use of a colour mobile unit. CHUM would also develop a $1.75 million production centre in Toronto to be used by CITY, CKVR and CHUM-AM-FM. The CRTC stated it was satisfied that clear and significant benefits would result, both for the Toronto audience and the broadcasting system generally. For the record, CHUM already owned 1050 CHUM and 104.5 CHUM-FM in Toronto. Also, the CRTC denied the transfer of the CFCF stations from Multiple Access to Baton Broadcasting.
Dini Petty was co-anchoring the news with Gord Martineau. Dave Reynolds did sports. Dan Rath, Denice Jenovi, Brian Hill (weather) and Beverly Gunn-Monroe (sports) were also at the station. Glen Cole was assignment editor.
In a review of television licences from the Toronto region, the CRTC made some favourable comments on production undertaken since CITY-TV was purchased by CHUM Ltd. Other than that, it’s a wait and see attitude at Toronto’s downtown, big town, hometown TV station…
Jeanie Beker, J.D. Roberts and Mark Dailey joined City from CHUM-AM.
Ivan Fecan left CITY-TV as news director to become program director at CBLT. He was replaced at CITY by Robert Hoyt. News anchor Gord Martineau left for Global. Dini Petty was a news anchor at this time.
Jay Nelson joined City at the end of the year to do weather. He had been the long-time morning man at co-owned 1050 CHUM.
Moses Znaimer and the other founders sold their interest in CITY to CHUM Limited. CHUM now owned 100% of CITY-TV. Those who owned CITY shares exchanged them for CHUM Limited shares. The operating team would go on as in the past.
At CanPro ’81, CITY-TV took four top honours for Dini Petty’s “Having A Baby”, a music simulcast, “Reggae T.O.”, and on air promotion.
News anchors included Gord Martineau and Dini Petty. Jim Tatti did sports. Jay Nelson was one of the weather people. Reporters included Barbara Laskin, Glen Cole (assignment editor), Colin Vaughan, Brian Hill, Jo Jo Chintoh, and John Saunders. J.D. Roberts handled entertainment.
Ron Reid was in the engineering department.
Dennis Fitzgerald became vice president and general manager of CITY-TV. He had worked in the past for All-Canada, CTV and Goodlife magazine.
The CRTC issued short-term licence renewals to TV stations in the Toronto area, again complaining that the stations had failed to develop quality Canadian programs, particularly drama, musicals and children’s shows. CBLT, CFTO, CITY, CHCH and CKVR were renewed for two years and 9 months while Global was only renewed for one year. CHUM Ltd. said it recently spent over $2 million upgrading radio and TV facilities in Toronto.
CITY’s 10th anniversary celebrations included the creation of scholarships at all radio/TV arts colleges in Toronto.
Jeff Ansell (joined from CHUM-FM) and Bill Cameron were news anchors. In addition to Jim Tatti, Peter Gross (sports director) and John Saunders were doing sports. Brian Hill was the weatherman. Dick Smyth (CHUM) and Stephen Lewis did commentaries. Reporters included Anne Mroczkowski, Peter Silverman, Kevin Evans, Mark Dailey, Tarrelyn Joe, and Lorne Honickman. Jeanie Beker was now doing entertainment reports along with J.D. Roberts. Brian Linehan was a program host. Jay Nelson left CITY for CKFM-FM.
Jeff Ansell joined CITY’s newsroom from CHUM-FM.
CITY announced it would produce three 30-minute TV dramas, based on scripts submitted to the station in a contest called “Toronto Trilogy”. The series would be tied in with the Toronto’s sesquicentennial celebrations.
On May 18, CITY-TV was authorized to move from channel 79 to channel 57. It would be allowed to simulcast on both channels during July to minimize inconvenience to viewers during the transition period when the change was to take place. The channel change request originated with the Department of Communications, to clear channel 79 for the land mobile communications service.
In July, CITY switched from channel 79 to channel 57. Power remained 280,000 watts video. President Moses Znaimer estimated technical costs alone at $600,000 for the channel change. There would be additional costs such as the change of identity (from channel 79 to 57) and change of corporate name (Channel Seventy Nine Ltd.). He said that when CITY was licensed in 1972, lower UHF channels were available but the Department of Communications urged the station to apply for channel 79, specifically to protect channels 70-83 from a land-mobile takeover which was already taking shape in the U.S. Znaimer added there was no benefit to CITY-TV in this move, noting companies like Bell Telephone who wanted to get into cellular radio would be the likely beneficiaries. The station made an appeal for fairness to the DOC, suggesting the Department and/or future users of channel 79 share the expenses of CITY’s move to channel 57.
CITY applied to the CRTC to expand its viewing area to western Ontario. If approved, four transmitters would be built at a cost of $2.5 million. The transmitters would be located at Woodstock (channel 31 with effective radiated power of 8,831 watts), Brantford (channel 34, 4,379 watts), St. Thomas (channel 64 with 4,973 watts) and Stratford (channel 44 with 8,832 watts). A further plan for channel 60 in Ottawa was shelved. GM Dennis Fitzgerald said CITY, licensed to be a distinctly local service for Toronto, had been successful in other areas when carried on cable. Despite the expanded coverage area, CITY would not change its programming. Engineering director Ron Reid said CITY opted for four low-power transmitters instead of a single high power facility, for reasons of economy and reliability.
Greg Mudry, formerly of All-Canada TV, became general sales manager at CITY-TV. He replaced Dennis Watson who was appointed to head the marketing division of CHUM Group Television.
Jay Switzer was appointed program manager of CITY-TV.
Anchors: Gord Martineau, Dini Petty, Anne Mroczkowski, J.D. Roberts, Mark Dailey, Jeff Ansell. Weather: Brian Hill. Sports: Jim McKenny, Debbie Van Kiekebelt. Entertainment: John Burgess (joined), Jeanne Beker, J.D. Roberts. For the record, Mroczkowski joined the station in 1978 as a writer. She moved up to reporter, then anchor. Stephen Lewis (commentator) left to become Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations.
John Majhor, who had left CHUM-AM to host a video rock show on CFMT-TV, returned to the CHUM organization. He was now doing a late night weekend rock video show on City-tv.
On March 13, CHUM Limited (formerly Channel SeventyNine Limited) had its application for rebroadcast transmitters at Brantford, Stratford, Woodstock and St. Thomas denied.
Christopher Ward was now the host of the weekend video show “City Limits” and John Majhor was now hosting the daily “Toronto Rocks” afternoon show.
Debbie Van Kiekebelt was still at the station. John Burgess was now doing entertainment for CITY.
Anne Mroczkowski was news co-anchor at City.
Joan Paley left CITY as promotions manager to become PR manager for the Metro Toronto Convention & Visitors Association.
Weatherman Brian Hill left for KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh.
Deborah Burgess (step-daughter of Charles Templeton) left CITY to live in Las Vegas.
David Onley (ex-CKO-FM) was now doing weather on CITY.
CITY went to all-night movies after the all-night videos were moved to MuchMusic.
CITY now had two weather cameras on the CN Tower. Directed by remote control, the cameras gave live views of the skies and incoming weather.
John Burgess was an entertainment reporter.
Gord Haines left CITY news for First Choice television. Stephen Hurlbut was promoted to replace Haines as director of news programming. Marcia Martin (Andrea’s sister) became director of news operations, in addition to being head of production.
CHUM Ltd. applied for a rebroadcaster of CITY at Woodstock, operating on channel 31 with effective radiated power of 70,600 watts. The station would cover much of south-western Ontario, including London and Kitchener. The CRTC later corrected the power for the transmitter from 70,600 watts to 706,000 watts.
CITY signed an agreement with Pan Canadian Film Distributors for rapid release of feature films before they play on pay-TV or the networks.
CITY exercised its option to withdraw from the Nielsen ratings after the first year of a three year agreement.
Greg Mudry was general manager.
Anchors – Gord Martineau, Anne Mroczkowski, Dini Petty, Thalia Assuras. Weather – Brian Hill (left for KDKA-TV Pittsburgh), David Onley (joined from CKO-FM). Sports – Jim McKenny, Russ Salzberg, Peter Gross. Hosts – Brian Linehan, Dini Petty. Reporters – Mark Dailey, Glen Cole, Jeff Ansell. Entertainment – Jeanne Beker.
On March 13, CITY was given approval to add a transmitter at Woodstock, operating on channel 31 with effective radiated power of 706,000 watts. CITY was unable to secure the land for the transmitter site it originally wanted. It then looked at the Bower Hill site near Woodstock and ruled it out. In the end, CITY secured property adjacent to Sweaburg, 4 kilometres from the originally proposed site. Antenna height would be 925 feet or 282 metres. CKCO-TV, the CBC and CFPL-TV/CKNX-TV opposed the application. The CBC and CFPL/CKNX asked for deferment to work out details on disaffiliation from the CBC. A preliminary target date of the fall of 1987 was been proposed for London and Wingham to become independent stations.
CITY-TV-1 Woodstock signed on the air September 1 as scheduled.
CITY introduced a two-hour (7:00-9:00) morning show, CityPulse Today. The show made use of CITY’s 17 mobile units and ‘Live Eye’ microwave hook-up for on the spot coverage of news and traffic. CityPulse Tonight at 10:00 p.m. was shortened to a half hour. City personnel include Moses Znaimer as execuitve producer; Stephen Hurlbut, director of news programming; Clint Nickerson, producer.
Michelle Gibson was a reporter at CITY.
Ann Rohmer replaced Debbie Van Kiekebelt as sports anchor. Debbie took the summer off to look after her baby.
Former CITY entertainment reporter Kathy Kastner, became a mother.
Nancy Smith left as CITY’s director of corporate communications to become vp of communications at Global.
City Pulse at 10 was cut from 60 to 30 minutes.
Anne Rohmer joined to do sports while Debbie Van Kiekebelt (sports) left. John Burgess was doing entertainment reports. Peter Gross (sports) left.
Reporters included- Glen Cole (AE), Thalia Assuras, Terrilyn Joe, Colin Vaughan, Mary Garofallo, Jo Jo Chintoh, Lorne Honickman, Mark Dailey, David Onley, Jeff Ansell, Greg Rist
CITY president Moses Znaimer was honored by the Canadian Film & Television Association for his development of MuchMusic and MuiquePlus.
Christine Yankou succeeded Nancy Smith as communications director for CITY and MuchMusic.
Libby Znaimer joined CITY as Ottawa correspondent. She had been with Global news.
Jim Birchall left the business. He had been CITY’s news assignment editor.
CITY weekend anchor Terrilyn Joe left for CTV’s Canada AM.
Studios and offices moved to from 99 Queen Street East to 299 Queen Street West, bounded by Richmond and John Streets. Known as the CHUMCity Building, the facility was opened in late April. CITY bought the building in 1984 and started renovations in October of 1985. Total space was 160,000 square feet – 95,000 of that space was assigned for use by City/MuchMusic. There were five floors and a basement and some of the space was leased to other companies. Moses Znaimer said the new facility would be among the most advanced TV production centres in the world. It would be the first television facility in the world without a conventional TV studio. Virtually any area of the building could be transformed into a set within minutes. About 70% of the space in the building was “wired” and camera ready. The building was constructed in 1914 and was originally owned by the Methodist Church, and was the head office of the Methodist Book Room. It was later known as the Ryerson Press, named in honour of Egerton Ryerson, a Methodist Minister. It then became known as the Ryerson Press Building.
The building was constructed in 1914 and was originally owned by the Methodist Church, and was the head office of the Methodist Book Room. It was later known as the Ryerson Press, named in honour of Egerton Ryerson, a Methodist Minister. It then became known as the Ryerson Press Building.
Senior reporter and producer Jeff Ansell left City to open Public Eye Network, a communications consulting business.
Anchors – Thalia Assuras, Terrilyn Joe, Gord Martineau, Anne Mroczkowski, Dini Petty, J. D. Roberts, Laura Di Batista. Sports – Jim McKenny, Russ Salzberg, Anne Rohmer. Weather – Greg Rist, David Onley. Entertainment – Jeanne Beker, John Burgess, Lance Chilton, Mary Garofallo. Hosts – Brian Linehan, Dini Petty. Reporters – Peter Silverman, Colin Vaughan, Libby Znaimer, Greg Rist, Judy Haladay, Mark Daily, Glen Cole (AE), Lorne Honickman, Jeff Ansell, Jo Jo Chintoh. Notes – Terrilyn Joe left for CTV. Dini Petty moves from the anchor desk to concentrate on hosting duties. Libby Znaimer joined from Global.
The first newscast from 299 Queen Street West aired at 6:00 p.m. on May 4.
With the move of Dick Smyth from CHUM-AM to CFTR-AM, his television commentaries moved from CITY to CFMT.
J.D. Roberts became weekend anchorman and general reporter at City. He had been with MuchMusic.
Dini Petty left the 6 p.m. news to prepare for a new show in the autumn.
Jeff Ansell left CITY news to form Public Eye Network Inc.
Brona Brown was public relations and publicity manager at CITY.
Dennis Fitz-Gerald was vice president and general manager of CITY.
Jay Switzer was promoted to the newly created position of station manager. He would continue his responsibilities for program acquisition, scheduling and syndication, adding responsibility for budget formation/supervision, as well as integration of programming into the station’s promotion, advertising and public relations plans.
CITY installed a new transmitter on the CN Tower.
Thalia Assuras left for Global TV. Mary Garofalo was anchoring some newscasts. Suneel Joshi was now in the sports department. He had been at TSN. Reporters included, Judy Haladay, Colin Vaughan, Peter Silverman, and Libby Znaimer. Russ Salzberg (sports) left for WWOR-TV in New York.
Jay Switzer was promoted to the newly-created position of station manager for CITY. He had been in charge of program, acquisition and sales at CITY/MuchMusic.
Judy Haladay was CITY’s medical reporter.
Sportscaster Russ Salzberg left CITY for WWOR-TV NY/NJ.
After giving up his “City Lights” program, Brian Linehan decided to go into partnership with Jeanne Beker in a new venture they call “MT – Movie Television”.
Thalia Assuras left CITY for Global.
Phyllis Switzer, co-founder of CITY, died of cancer at age 57. She was writing newsletters for the CRTC in the 1970s when she got the idea for starting an UHF television station in Toronto. Phyllis worked as an executive vice-president at the station for more than ten years before moving on to First Choice TV and then CTV (Calgary Winter Olympics).
Anchors – Laura Di Batista, Mary Garofalo, Lorne Honickman, Gord Martineau, Anne Mroczkowski, J. D. Roberts. Sports – Lisa Gray, Suneel Joshi, Anne Rohmer, John Whaley, Greg Mandziuk. Weather – Harold Hosein, David Onley, Greg Rist. Hosts – Steve Anthony, Jeanne Beker, Steve Brinder, Marilyn Denis, Judy Haladay, Brian Linehan, David Onley, Dini Petty, Greg Rist, Anne Rohmer, John Whalley, Terry David Mulligan. Entertainment – Lance Chilton, Monika Deol. Reporters – Steve Brinder, Ben Chin, Judy Haladay, Lorne Honickman, Greg Mandziuk, Teresa Roncon, Peter Silverman, Ingrid Walter, Colin Vaughan, Libby Znaimer, Domonic Sciullo, George Lagogianes. Notes – Mary Garofalo left for WPIX-TV New York. J.D. Roberts left for Miami in April. Ann Rohmer moved from sports to program host. Greg Mandziuk moved to sports. Greg Rist became a program host. Marilyn Denis joined CITY while still working the morning show at CHUM-FM. Brian Linehan left. Dini Petty left for CTV. Ingrid Walter joined from the CBC. Harold Hosein joined and Onley became a program host. Terry David Mulligan joined.
Breakfast Television debuted on Sept. 9.
Dennis FitzGerald retired in September as vice president and general manager of CITY-TV. He had also been VP/GM of MuchMusic since it launched in 1984. Taking over was Ron Waters (Allan’s son), VP/GM of CKVR-TV Barrie and station manager of MuchMusic. Promoted to VP was Jay Switzer, manager of CITY and PD of both CITY and MuchMusic.
Chief assignment editor Glen Cole passed away November 14 at age 54. He played a key role in the shaping of CITY’s news style during his 13 years with the station.
Suneel Joshi (sports) left for CFTO.
Chief Assignment Editor Glen Cole died November 25 at age 54. John Thornton becomes Assignment Editor.
Journalist and author Warner Troyer died September 15. He was 59. Having worked for the CBC and CTV, he signed CITY-TV on the air and then worked for Global.
Anchors – Laura Di Batista, Gord Martineau, Anne Mroczkowski, Mark Dailey. Sports – John Gallagher, Jim McKenny, Greg Mandziuk, John Whaley. Weather – Harold Hosein. Entertainment – John Burgess, Monika Deol, Lance Chilton, Teresa Roncon. Hosts – David Onley, Jeanne Beker, Monika Deol, Denise Donlon, Ziggy Lorenc, Jana Lynne White, Steve Anthony, Steve Brinder, Ann Rohmer. Reporters – Lorne Honickman, Bob Hunter, Greg Rist, John Thornton (AE), Ben Chin, Anita Kartalija, Avi Lewis, Teresa Roncon, Julie Rosenberg, Peter Silverman, Libby Znaimer, Lorne Honickman, Colin Vaughan, Judy Haladay, Bob Hunter, Jojo Chintoh, Brona Brown.
John Martin resigned as director of music programming for CITY/MuchMusic. He was replaced by Denise Donlon, host of CITY’s The New Music. Martin, a CBC producer before joining CITY in 1979, created The New Music and helped launch MuchMusic/Musique Plus.
General sales manager Greg Mudry was moved by CHUM to Atlantic Television System where he would serve as vice president and general manager.
Mark Rubinstein became vice president and general manager of CITY-TV / MuchMusic and Jay Switzer was named vice president of programming for CHUM Group Television.
Anchors – Ben Chin, Mark Daily, Laura Di Batista, Gord Martineau, Anne Mroczkowski. Sports – John Gallagher, Jim McKenny, Greg Mandziuk, John Whaley. Weather – Harold Hosein. Entertainment – Lance Chilton, Monika Deol, Teresa Roncon, John Burgess. Hosts – Jeanne Beker, David Onley, Ziggy Lorenc, Steve Brinder, Marilyn Denis, Ann Rohmer, John Whaley, Steve Anthony, Monika Deol. Reporters – Ben Chin, Judy Haladay, Avi Lewis, Dan Petrovsik, Peter Silverman, Colin Vaughan, Peter Silverman, Bob Hunter, Jojo Chintoh, Libby Znaimer (Business).
Former CITY personality Jay Nelson (Frank Coxe) died February 18. He was 57.
On January 23, the CRTC approved the application to amend the licence for CITY-TV by adding to the licence the following condition of licence: In addition to the 12 minutes of advertising material permitted by subsection 11(1) of the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987, the licensee may broadcast more than 12 minutes of advertising material in any clock hour in a broadcast day, in order to broadcast infomercials as defined in Public Notice CRTC 1994-139 and in accordance with the criteria contained in that public notice, as amended.
On March 24, the CRTC renewed until August 31, 2002, the licence of CITY-TV Toronto and CITY-TV-2 Woodstock. The Commission expected the licensee to adhere to the commitment made in its renewal application to broadcast a minimum weekly average of 13 hours 36 minutes of original local news throughout the licence term. Further, the Commission noted the very large number of successful programs of other types produced by the licensee, which reflected the community, such as “Breakfast Television” and “Lunch Television”. With respect to the exhibition of Canadian feature films, the Commission noted the licensee’s continued commitment to broadcast an annual minimum of 100 hours of such features during “prime evening hours”. An intervention was submitted to the renewal application by the Coalition for the Safety of Our Daughters, expressing several concerns, including an allegation that CITY-TV scheduled unedited programs containing graphic scenes of violence at 9:00 p.m. In response to this concern, the licensee assured the Commission that this was not the case, and stated that it had changed the scheduling of certain films to 11 p.m. in light of the concerns of viewers and the general public. The Commission was satisfied with the licensee’s response to the concerns raised in this instance, and reminded the licensee that as CITY-TV distributed a great deal of contemporary dramatic programming, it should continue to respond in a responsible fashion to concerns raised by viewers.
CITY-TV and CKVR-TV began carrying NBA Toronto Raptors basketball games.
CITY became more international through a joint venture to adapt some of its programs for Finland’s MTV 3, and MuchMusic, the U.S. version of which will be seen on Cablevision SA of Mexico.
On August 28, CITY was given approval to add a transmitter at Ottawa, operating on channel 65. This transmitter (CITY-TV-3) went into operation in December.
On March 7, CITY was authorized to decrease effective radiated power for CITY-TV-3 Ottawa from 1,000,000 watts to 500,000 watts maximum (100,000 watts to 50,000 watts average). The transmitter would be relocated to a developed Rogers-owned site used by CFMT-TV-2, located east of Manotick at Herbert Corners. Antenna height would increase from 161.7 metres to 215.4 metres.
Anchors – Gord Martineau, Mark Dailey, Laura Di Batista, Anne Mroszkowski, Kevin Frankish, Pam Seatle. Sports – Jim McKenny, John Gallagher, John Whaley. Weather – Harold Hosein, Jennifer Peck. Entertainment – Lance Chilton, Glen Baxter, Claudia Difolco, Traci MelchorReporters – Ben Chin, Bob Hunter, David Onley, Colin Vaughan, Laura Di Batista, John Thornton (AE), Kevin Frankish, Emilio Carpino, Avi Lewis, Peter Silverman. Hosts – David Onley, Kevin Frankish, Jeanne Beker, Marilyn Denis, Howard Glassman, Ziggy Lorenc, Terry David Mulligan, Laurie Pike, Ann Rohmer, John Whaley.
After announcing that CITY would air the Howard Stern program from New York, CHUM Ltd. announced in the summer that it now would not carry the “shock jock’s” program on the station.
John Gallagher returned to CITY from TSN. He would do weekend sports on CITY and a new talk show on CablePulse 24.
Mary Powers was appointed Vice President of Communications and Promotions.
CHUM Limited instituted a new management structure meant to facilitate senior executive level succession planning. Jim and Ron Waters, directors of the company, were each appointed executive vice presidents of the company. They would serve with their father, Allan Waters, on the newly formed Executive Management Committee. Jim would continue on as president of CHUM Group Radio. Jay Switzer, former senior v.p. and general manager of CHUMCity and senior v.p. of programming for CHUM Television, was appointed president of CHUM Television, succeeding Ron Waters.
Colin Vaughn (68) passed away January 1, his son Adam, later joined the station from CBLT. Avery Haines joined from CTV NewsNet.
Reporter Monita Rajpal moved to CNN International in Atlanta.
Ann Rohmer left “Breakfast Television” after 12 years. She would remain with the company though – becoming principle news anchor for CP24.
Anchors – Wilson Lee, Laura DiBattista, Gord Martineau, Anne Mroczkowski, Avery Haines, Mark Dailey. Sports – Jim McKenny, Kathryn Humphreys, John Gallagher. Weather – Harold Hosein. Reporters / Hosts / Others – Audra Brown, Bryan Carey, Jojo Chintoh, Dwight Drummond, Peter Gross, Cynthia Mulligan, David Onley, Dominic Sciullo, Lorne Honickman, Peter Silverman, Adam Vaughan, Liz West, Libby Znaimer, Bob Hunter, Roger Peterson, Glen Baxter. Tiffany Burns, Bill Mantas, Tonya Rouse, Juliette Powell, George Lagogianes, Kevin Frankish, Ann Rohmer, Jennifer Valentyne.
After nearly 49 years in charge of CHUM Limited., Chairman, President and founder, Allan Waters stepped down, December 5, and former Senior V.P. and General Manager Jay Switzer became President and C.E.O.
On January 9, 2003, CITY was granted a transitional digital TV licence. This was the first such application to come before the CRTC. The applicant proposed that the station simulcast the current analog programming service of CITY-TV, with the exception of up to 14 hours per week of programming that would not be duplicated on the analog service. The digital undertaking would operate from the CN Tower on channel 53C with an average effective radiated power of 600 watts (980 watts maximum), with an effective antenna height above average terrain of 515 metres. This new service went into operation on February 28, 2003.
CITY-TV launched an HD simulcast of its analog station.
On April 23, CITY-DT was given permission to increase average effective radiated power from 600 to 1,300 watts.
CITY-DT was authorized on November 3 to reduce average effective radiated power from 1,300 to 1,200 watts. Industry Canada advised CHUM that the maximum ERP approved earlier by the CRTC exceeded maximum equivalent parameters for a Class C UHF DTV station. As a result, the ERP had to be reduced
In October 2005, AllanWaters stepped down as a director of CHUM after over 50 years with the company. He became an honorary director.
Allan Waters, the founder of CHUM Limited passed away at the age of 84, on December 3rd.
In March, CHUM Ltd announced that as of September 6th, several of CITY-TV’s news programs would begin broadcasting in High Definition (HD)
On July 12 it was announced that Bell Globemedia would pay C$1.7 billion for CHUM Ltd., in a deal that would see the company become part of the BCE-owned media conglomerate, subject to CRTC approval. On August 31, the two companies announced that BGM had been successful in its offer to acquire approximately 6.7 million common shares and approximately 19.2 million non-voting Class B shares of CHUM. The shares were to be placed in the hands of an independent trustee pursuant to a voting trust agreement approved by the CRTC.
In October, CITY-TV installed a new HD control room.
On November 22, the CRTC approved the transfer of effective control of CHUM Limited from Mr. Allan Waters to his estate, following his death in December 2005. The approval represented the preliminary step to enable the transfer of CHUM’s shares to a trust, which received approval on July 12. This transfer was not related to the pending sale of CHUM to Bell Globemedia. Prior to his death, Mr. Waters was the sole shareholder of Allan Waters Ltd., which in turn, owned approximately 87% of CHUM’s voting shares. The executors of the estate were James Allan Waters, Ronald Allan Waters, Sheryl Bourne and Robert Sutherland.
On December 12th, it was announced that Bell Globemedia would henceforth be known as CTVglobemedia.
A CRTC hearing on the CTVglobemedia application to acquire the assets of CHUM Limited was held on April 30th 2007. On June 8 the CRTC approved the acquisition of CHUM Ltd. by CTVglobemedia, on condition that CTV sell off its five City-TV stations, CITY-TV Toronto, CHMI-TV Portage La Prairie/Winnipeg, CKEM-TV Edmonton, CKAL-TV Calgary and CKVU-TV Vancouver. Rogers Communications announced on June 25th that a deal had been reached for them to buy these stations from CTV, subject to CRTC approval. Among the CHUM assets acquired by CTVglobemedia in the deal were seven television stations, 21 specialty channels and some 33 radio stations.
Early on the morning of December 2nd, Ted Rogers, founder and former Chief Executive of Rogers Communications, owners of CITY-TV, died at his home in Toronto, after having suffered from congestive heart failure for some time.
On May 15th, following a hearing that began on April 27th, the CRTC announced a one-year licence renewal, effective September 1st 2009, for the Rogers Citytv stations, including CITY-TV, Toronto, “….to give these broadcasters some flexibility during the current period of economic uncertainty.” Group-based licence renewals would then be addressed in the spring of 2010. The Commission also stated that it recognized the impracticability of imposing any conditions relative to 1-1 ratios between Canadian and non-Canadian programming in the ensuing year, given the programming commitments that were already in place.
The Commission would however continue to explore various regulatory measures “…to ensure that English-language television broadcasters devote an appropriate proportion of their expenditures to Canadian programming.”
CITY-TV, CFMT-TV (Omni.1) and CJMT (Omni.2) moved to a new home at Yonge-Dundas Square. The location was once home to Olympic Spirit, a showcase for sport. CFMT and CJMT relocated from Lakeshore Boulevard West, near Bathurst Street. CITY-TV had been located in the CHUM/CITY Building at 299 Queen Street West (still owned by CTV). The new location featured a street-level studio that lookED on to the square. The technical components for the stations were shared, but CITY and OMNI were distinct.
Jim McKenny was no longer with Citytv Toronto. The former Toronto Maple Leaf had been sports director.
Jim McKenny was no longer with Citytv. The former Toronto Maple Leaf had been the long-time Sports Director.
Maureen Rogers was no longer in place as Vice President/General Manager at Citytv Toronto. Her position, according to Rogers Television CEO Leslie Sole, “was deleted because there is strong group VP presence in Toronto.” The senior person at Citytv was Tina Cortese, Vice President News and Executive Producer. Rogers had moved to Citytv from Canwest Media.
On January 19th, CITY-TV announced that it was “restructuring its operations”, with about 60 staffers being laid off across the country. The 6pm and 11pm newscasts would continue, but would be produced only in Toronto. Breakfast Television would be cut back from four hours to three in those cities where it played. The staff cuts represented approximately 6 per cent of the CITY-TV work-force. In a statement, Leslie Sole, chief executive of CITY’s parent company Rogers Media Television, said the changes “are necessary to align our operations with the economic and regulatory realities of our industry.” Koreen Ott, director of marketing and public relations for Rogers Media Television, said the noon news program, CityNews at 5 and weekend newscasts had all been cancelled. The layoffs were effective immediately. In Toronto, on-air names included veteran CityNews at Six anchor Anne Mroczkowski. Other names included, Lara Di Battista, Pam Seatle, Farah Nasser, Jee-Yun Lee, Marianne Dimain, Merella Fernandez, and Michael Serapio.
CITY-DT-3 in Ottawa began on-air testing on June 12. Regular broadcasting commenced on June 18.
On October 7, the CRTC denied applications by Rogers Broadcasting Limited to reduce the overall minimum level of Canadian programming that must be broadcast by the Citytv and OMNI stations from 60% to 55%.
Keith Pelley, president of Rogers Media, announced the appointment of two senior executives to his senior leadership team. Leslie Sole was promoted to the newly created position of chief content officer and Scott Moore assumed the position of president, broadcasting. Sole would be responsible for the creation and execution of the Rogers Media content strategy. Prior to this, he oversaw the expansion of the Rogers Television division. Moore would oversee Rogers Media television including Citytv, Sportsnet and OMNI and all radio properties and would be responsible for the programming, sales, production, regulatory, engineering and distribution. He joined Rogers from CBC Television.
Dwight Drummond left Citytv after 20 years to co-anchor the supper hour news on CBLT.
Citytv.com launched what it said was the first iPad video application by a Canadian TV broadcaster. Primetime shows could be seen on the ad supported app.
Citytv videographer Bill Atanasoff was in hospital with life-threatening injuries after being hit by a car while working on the scene of a police investigation. A 68-year-old man was arrested. Atanasoff, 58, had been with Citytv since its inception.
The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council said an episode of Trauma shown on Citytv was not so violent nor gory as to qualify it as an “adults only” program or to require viewer advisories when broadcast in a post-9:00 p.m. time slot. A viewer who wanted to be forewarned about grievous bodily harm complained about the lack of viewer advisories.
News anchor Mark Dailey passed away December 6 after a long battle with cancer. He was 57 and had been with the station for 31 years. Mark was also “The Voice” of CITY-TV. He joined CityPulse News in 1979 as assignment editor and producer before taking over as the crime beat reporter and then becoming a news anchor.
Meteorologist Michael Kuss left Citytv for CTV British Columbia, joining the CTV News At Six broadcast team. His first day in Vancouver was January 3.
The CRTC approved an amendment to the licence of CITY-TV-2 Woodstock, to add a post-transition digital television transmitter, operating on channel 31 with an effective radiated power of 12,850 watts average (20,000 watts maximum), directional antenna with 293 metre antenna height, using the existing Rogers tower. Programming would be delivered to the transmitter by fibre optic and microwave.
The deadline for the conversion of analog television to digital in mandatory markets was August 31. CITY-DT-3 Ottawa had already been operational since last year. On August 31, the channel 65 analog transmitter was shut down and the station continued in digital on channel 17 (virtual channel 65.1). CITY-TV-2 London made the transition on August 31 – turning off analog channel 31 and switching on digital channel 31 (31.1). CITY-DT Toronto had been operational for some time and on August 31, the station shut down analog channel 57 and continued operations on digital channel 44. CITY-DT Toronto would operate at reduced power until December 31.
Jon Rees left CITY/OMNI Edmonton as production/marketing coordinator to become marketing manager at Rogers Media Television in Toronto – effective January 17. Maureen Rogers became senior VP, television at Pelmorex May 9. She was GM at Citytv Toronto. Before that, she was VP/GM at Global Toronto. Tom Hayes, a veteran reporter/anchor at CTV Toronto, moved to Citytv Toronto.
Claire Freeland was the new Director, Development and Production at Rogers Media Television in Toronto. She had been Director of Original Programming at Corus Entertainment. Jordan Schwartz was appointed Vice President, Lifestyle and Entertainment Production at Rogers Media Television. His responsibilities included enhancing Citytv’s Breakfast Television in five markets. Most recently, Schwartz was the Senior VP/GM of the Entertainment Group at CTV. Sonia Brum, a publicist at Global Toronto, left her position to begin with Rogers Media Television in Toronto, also in publicity.
Jamie Haggarty, the Rogers Media executive VP of television operations, was no longer with the company.
Renato Zane, vice president and general manager at Citytv/OMNI Vancouver, returned to Toronto for national OMNI Television news and diversity productions. It was in July 2009 that Zane moved from VP news at OMNI Television Toronto to become VP/GM at Citytv Vancouver/OMNI B.C. The Calgary operations of the master control hub for Citytv and OMNI Television in the west would move to Toronto. Those operations had reported to Calgary GM Paula Davies but would now be handled by Virginia Gibberd, VP of Operations in Toronto. Gibberd, responsible for network operations and engineering, also had operational responsibilities for Citytv, OMNI Television, Specialty Television and Sportsnet.
Shannon Hall joined Rogers Media Television Toronto as Senior Publicist. She had been with Bell Media as Publicist, Entertainment Specialties, focusing on E!, Fashion Television & Bravo!
Veteran traffic reporter Russ Holden marked his 45th anniversary at Rogers Communications, earning the distinguished honour as the company’s longest serving employee. Holden began his career with the company in 1967 as part of the 98.1 CHFI production team. Since 1973, Holden has been on-air delivering Toronto’s most up-to-date traffic information, becoming one of the city’s most recognized and beloved media personalities. At this point in time, Holden was seen Mondays to Fridays delivering his trusted traffic information to Greater Toronto audiences on Breakfast Television Toronto, CityNews Channel, and 680News.
Citytv celebrated its 40th anniversary of broadcasting in September.
Veteran news anchor Gord Martineau was honoured by Rogers Media executives for his 35 years of service to the station. He joined City in September of 1977. Before that, Martineau was with CFTO-TV Toronto. Before that, he did a stint at CFCF-TV Montreal.
Citytv launched its Video Mobile App for Android. It featured full-length episodes of fan-favourite prime-time shows.
Effective with the start of the new year, Citytv quietly dropped the ‘TV’ from the end of its brand name – right across the country. The stations were now simply known as City. Rogers, noting that it wasn’t just TV anymore, revamped the on-air imagery, advertising and logos.
Sam Dynes was appointed director of production, in-house productions at Rogers Media in Toronto. She moved from CTV where she had more than three decades of experience managing projects that included the 2010 Olympic opening and closing ceremonies, the launch of MTV Canada and The Comedy Network, and the transformation of Toronto’s historic Masonic Temple into a production facility.
Denis Woollings passed away at 75. He worked as a news anchor in Toronto for many years, primarily at CHUM, CKO, CKEY, and CFTR. Most recently Woolings was a writer for City Toronto. His first job was at CJKL Kirkland Lake.
Gord Martineau stepped down as City News anchor February 29, after 39 years with the station.
John Saunders passed away at age 61 in August. He started out at CKNS Espanola in 1978, moved on to CKNY-TV North Bay and ATV News Moncton before joining CITY-TV as sports anchor in 1980. In 1982 he moved to the U.S. and worked for WMAR-TV in Baltimore and then ESPN (1986) in New York.
City became the first over-the-air broadcaster in Canada to be available on Apple TV. The City Video app to watch programming in HD was launched on September 22.
Israel “Sruki” Switzer (87) passed away on November 16. He was a pioneer in the Canada’s cable TV industry and played a pivotal role in building CITY-TV with his first wife Phyllis Switzer.
Thomas William Harpur died January 2 at the age of 87. He was an author, broadcaster, columnist, theologian and ordained Anglican priest. He hosted his own TV show Harpur’s Heaven and Hell and a variety of radio and TV programs on the topic of religion. He also appeared as a frequent commentator on religious news events on CBC and other Canadian networks. His bestseller Life After Death was turned into a 10-episode TV series hosted by Harpur himself. It aired on VisionTV, CityTV and The Learning Channel.
Denis McGrath (48) passed away in March. He started out at TVOntario and moved on to Citytv. In 1997, McGrath signed on as the first producer for Space, where he also hosted the show’s late-night movie show.
Rogers Media signed deals with Hearst, Graham, Raycom, and Weigel media groups to air Cityline in syndication in the U.S., starting in the fall. The long-running, weekday talk show, hosted by Tracy Moore and covering fashion, home decor, parenting, food and beauty, would be available to more than 10 million American households in Chicago, Kansas City, Jacksonville, and Birmingham, and others.
In the late summer, Russ Holden announced he would retire after a 50-year career with Rogers Media. Russ joined CHFI in 1967 doing a variety of jobs. He later became the traffic reporter for both CHFI and CFTR. More recently, Holden was with City’s Breakfast Television.
Jay Switzer, 61, passed away on January 29. He was the son of Israel and Phyllis Switzer who were both involved in the founding of CITY-TV. Jay started working at the station as a switchboard operator in 1972. He then became floor director for “Fight Night”. Jay left the station to get his MBA from the University of Western Ontario, and then returned to CITY as program manager. He went on to help launch MuchMusic, Bravo!, CP24, Space, and several other specialty channels owned by CHUM Ltd. Switzer was appointed CHUM CEO in 2002.
City TV and OMNI workers, represented by Unifor in Toronto, voted 84% to ratify a new tentative agreement with Rogers Media. The three-year agreement covered 288 media workers, including camera operators, hosts, reporters, editors, production assistants, writers, switchers and other production crew.
All Citytv/OMNI stations moved to a new hub in the Rogers Buildings at Bloor and Jarvis. The Rogers stations that operated at Lakeshore Blvd. (CITY-DT, CJNT-DT, City Saskatchewan, CFMT, CJMT, OLN, OMNI East, ICI) moved also moved to Bloor and Jarvis at the same time.
In June, Kevin Frankish said goodbye to Breakfast Television after 27 years as a co-host. Frankish started his career at CKNY North Bay and spent nine years at CKVR Barrie, before landing at City in 1991.
On October 22nd Dennis Fitzgerald, former Vice-President and General Manager of CITY-TV (1982-1990), died in Victoria BC.
The story continues elsewhere…
Effective September 1st 2019, we will only be adding new material to these station histories in exceptional circumstances. Our intent to chronicle the early days of these radio and television stations has been achieved, and many new sources and technologies, from the CRTC website to Wikipedia, and others, are now regularly providing new information in these areas.