|Branding||CTV Two London (general)
CTV News (local news)
|Channels||Digital: 10 (VHF)
Virtual: 10.1 (PSIP)
|Translators||8 CKNX-TV Wingham|
|First air date||November 28, 1953|
|Call letters' meaning||C Free Press of London|
|Former callsigns||CFPL-TV (1953-2011)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
10 (VHF, 1953-2011)
|Former affiliations||CBC (1953-1988)
|Transmitter power||CFPL-DT: 45 kW
CKNX-TV: 260 kW
|Height||CFPL-DT: 302.1 m
CKNX-TV: 241.7 m
|Website||CTV Two London|
CFPL-DT (branded on-air as CTV Two London) is the CTV Two owned-and-operated television station in London, Ontario, Canada. It broadcasts a high-definition digital signal on VHF channel 10 from a transmitter on Tower Road in South Bruce.
The station serves London, Sarnia and much of southwestern Ontario north of London, including the city of Wingham since its former sister station CKNX-TV ceased operations and became a rebroadcaster of CFPL in 2009.
CFPL was founded by Walter J. Blackburn, who also owned London's major newspaper, the London Free Press, as well as radio station CFPL on both the AM and FM dials. The television station first came on the air on November 28, 1953, with four hours of programming per day. That night there was a major fire in London, on which CFPL's news program was able to report almost immediately during its first news hour.
CFPL was the second privately owned station in Canada (CKSO-TV in Sudbury, now CICI-TV, was the first). Its news program was the first to be scheduled at 6:00 p.m., during "the supper hour", which set the standard for other stations in Canada. In 1973 the station expanded its supper-hour news to a full hour. CFPL also later became one of the first in Canada to broadcast in colour.
CFPL was the CBC's largest private affiliate, but wanted to produce and broadcast more local programming. This caused its relations with CBC to worsen over the years. CBC required affiliates like CFPL to carry a minimum amount of its schedule, and, according to station management, CBC programming was less lucrative by that time. Nonetheless, CFPL was a very successful station, and posted good profits. It finally disaffiliated with CBC and went independent on September 4, 1988. CFPL's slogan following disaffiliation was "The fun is here!", but the slogan did not last. With no CBC programming, such as The National and Hockey Night in Canada to attract viewers, ratings plummeted and so did revenues. By the end of 1989, the station was almost bankrupt, but tried to hang on as an independent station for another few years, even though its programming schedule did not have much beyond news to attract viewership.
In the late 1950s/early 1960s, Ward Cornell anchored sports before moving on to Hockey Night in Canada. Prior to 1972, Hugh Bremner, anchor of Panorama Newsreel, became anchor of the new FYI. A 1/2 hour summer replacement program at 5:30 pm (preceding the news) called "Pie in your FYI", a spoof of "FYI" was played one summer in the 1960s. It began with a CFPL personality being hit in the face with a pie, and featured skits and spoofs of advertising.
From 1972 to 1981, the flagship newscast, FYI was anchored by Jack Burghardt. During the 1980s, FYI was anchored first by Eric Sorensen (1981–1984), then Neil Stevens former weather anchor at CBET Windsor. In January 1985, CFPL hired its first female anchor, Kate Young, who co-anchored FYI with Stevens. Despite female news anchors becoming commonplace across Canada and the United States by the mid-1980s, this was a controversial move, and many London viewers were very upset by there being a female anchor. Young continued to anchor the 6 p.m. newscast for the next 17 years, and she became a well-known and respected face in the London community. Tragically, her co-anchor Stevens was killed in a car crash near Alvinston, Ontario early on July 17, 1987. Al McGregor was appointed as Young's co-anchor in 1988, a post he held for the next 10 years. Throughout the 1980s, the sports anchor was Pete James (now with CJBK radio), and the weather forecaster was Jay Campbell.
In 1992, amid poor ratings and low revenues, the station was sold to Baton Broadcasting. In 1994 the various Baton stations, including CFPL, merged to form first "Ontario Network Television", then renamed Baton Broadcasting System. Baton greatly increased CFPL's news department, hiring dozens of people and rebranding the newscast as News Now. While Baton focused much of energy on news programming, it cut much non-news local programming from many stations, including CFPL. The long-time lifestyles program One O'Clock Live was cancelled in early 1997, for example.
As The New PL
In 1997, Baton sold CFPL and some of its other television stations to CHUM Limited. Under CHUM, CFPL joined the NewNet system and was accordingly rebranded The New PL in September 1998. This was not done without controversy. In April 1998, CHUM fired news co-anchor Al McGregor, which generated harsh criticism of the station's new owners. News director George Clark replaced him as co-anchor for some time, but he left the station in early 2001. In October 2002, Kate Young moved on to a community relations position at the station, and reporter Kathy Mueller replaced her as anchor at 6 p.m. Dan MacLellan joined the station from CKEM-TV (A-Channel Edmonton) at that time, and became her co-anchor.
In February 2005, CHUM announced plans to consolidate the master control departments for CFPL, CKVR, CHRO, CHWI and CKNX at 299 Queen Street West in Toronto, and consolidating the traffic and programming departments at CFPL in London, resulting in the loss of approximately 13 staff members from CFPL. On June 3, 2005, at approximately 10:00 a.m., the London master control signal came to an end, as the new consolidated master control took to air.
As A-Channel London
On August 2, 2005, CFPL was rebranded as A-Channel as part of CHUM Limited's rebranding of the NewNet stations. While Craig Media's A-Channel stations merged into Citytv following CHUM Limited's acquisition of Craig Media in 2004. NewsNow at Noon was cancelled a month earlier.
On April 9, 2007, Omni Television owner Rogers Communications applied to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to purchase all of the A-Channel stations (including CFPL), CKX-TV and several cable channels being put up for sale in the wake of CTVglobemedia's pending acquisition of the CHUM group.
On June 8, 2007, the CRTC announced its approval of CTVglobemedia's purchase of CHUM Limited, but added a condition that CTVglobemedia must sell off CHUM's Citytv stations to another buyer while keeping the A-Channel stations (including CFPL), in effect cancelling the planned sale of A-Channel to Rogers Media.
On June 22, 2007, all of the CHUM Limited channels (with the exception of Citytv) were officially taken over by CTVglobemedia. On July 26, 2007, CTVglobemedia named Richard Gray the head of news for the A-Channel stations and CKX-TV. Gray will report to the CTVgm corporate group, not CTV News, to preserve independent news presentation and management. Gray will now oversee CFPL and the other news departments; CKVR, CHRO, CKNX, CHWI, CIVI-TV and CKX-TV.
As A London
On August 11, 2008, CFPL was rebranded as A as part of CTVglobemedia's rebranding of the A-Channel stations. A rebranding campaign began earlier in June 2008 with newscasts being referred to by the station's employees as A News. Following the closure of sister station, CKNX-TV in Wingham on August 31, 2009, that station became a repeater of CFPL London.
On September 10, 2010, BCE announced plans to re-acquire 100% of CTVglobemedia's broadcasting arm, including CFPL (and the entire A television network). Under the deal, Woodbridge, Torstar, and Teachers' will together receive $1.3 billion in either cash or equity in BCE, while BCE will also assume $1.7 billion in debt (BCE's existing equity interest is $200 million, for a total transaction value of $3.2 billion). Woodbridge will also regain majority control of the Globe and Mail Inc., with Bell retaining a 15% interest. The deal was approved by the CRTC on March 7, 2011.
On April 1, 2011, Bell Canada finalized its purchase of the assets of CTVglobemedia it did not already own, with CFPL (along with the rest of the A television network) officially becoming part of Bell Media.
As CTV Two London
On May 30, 2011, Bell Media announced that the A television stations including CFPL would be rebranded as CTV Two on August 29, 2011. On that date A London became CTV Two London. At the same time, A News London became CTV News London, also the station began carrying programming (excluding newscasts for the time being) in a high definition format.
CFPL-TV broadcasts from a 314 metre/1030 foot tall guyed tower in London. It was built in 1961, and is one of the oldest supertall TV towers in Canada. The current tower replaced the original 500 foot CFPL Television Tower completed in 1953.
The station is also carried on cable television services in Sanilac County, Michigan. It can also be picked up over-the-air in Erie, Pennsylvania. In 2007, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission granted Cogeco approval to carry CFPL-TV on basic cable at its own discretion in Leamington and Windsor, but the company has not added the station to the lineups in those two communities yet.
Programs produced in the past
- Act Fast (1950s–1974)
- Behind the News
- FYI (1960s–1993)
- FYI First Edition (September 19, 1983–1990)
- Inquiry (1977–2008)
- London Scene
- London Tigers Baseball (1989–1993)
- Morning Break (late 1970s–early 1980s)
- One O'Clock Live (1980s-1997)
- New View (1999)
- Panorama Newsreel (1950s)
- Pie in Your FYI
- Reach for the Top
- The Red Green Show (early 1990s)
- The Roy Jewell Farm Show
- Sunshine School
- Take Your Choice (1960-1971)
- This Business of Farming (c. 1974–1998)
- Tomorrow Tonight
- Trivia Company
- UWO Report
Programs produced today
First production date shown in parentheses
- AgVision - Sundays at 1:30 p.m.
- CTV News - daily at 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. (1993)
- CTV News This Week - Sundays at 6:30 p.m.
Anchor Kathy Mueller resigned as of August 19, 2008 after a 13-year career at the station to pursue a new career with the Canadian Red Cross in Indonesia, assisting with relief efforts resulting from the 2004 tsunami disaster. Jay Campbell also retired as A News London weather specialist on October 16, 2009, after a 28-year career at CFPL, and was replaced by 11 p.m. weeknight news weather specialist, Julie Atchision on October 19, 2009. On September 8, 2010, she left the station due to maternity leave and was replaced by Ross Hull, who was the weather specialist for the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. weeknight newscasts until he left to work as a weather specialist for CTV Kitchener.
On December 24, 2011, CFPL's 6 p.m. main news anchor, Dan McLellan was arrested and was subsequently charged with several counts of assaults, and as a result, he resigned from his duties at the station. Tara Overholt subsequenty became the anchor of the 6 pm weekday newscasts.
On July 15, 2012, Melissa Schenk, who was a weather anchor at CFPL stepped down from her position, the station stated that this was so she could devote her time to her personal business. She has been replaced by Cara Campbell, who now serves as the weather anchor for the 6pm & 11pm weekend newscasts.
- Panorama Newsreel (1953–1960s)
- PM (1953–1980s)
- News at Noon (1960s–1980s)
- FYI (1960s–1993)
- CFPL-TV News (1980s–1993)
- NewsNow (1993–2005)
- A-Channel News (2005–2008)
- A News (2008–2011)
- CTV News (2011–present)
- "London's Television is Channel 10" (1972–1975)
- "Channel 10 London, Bringing it Home to You" (1975–1977)
- "London's Very Own" (1977–1980)
- "You Turn Us On, London" (1980–1983)
- "It's on TV-London!" (1983–1986)
- "TV-London is Your Place to Be" (1987–1988)
- "The Fun is Here!" (1988–1990)
- "We're Your 10" (1990–1991)
- "TV-London, Where You Belong" (1991–1992)
- "It's here on Southwestern Ontario's 10 and 8!" (1992–1993)
- "Part of Your Community" (1994–2008)
- "London's News Leader" (2008–present)
- Tara Overholt - weeknights at 6 & 11 p.m.
- Sean Irvine - weekends at 6 and 11 p.m.; general assignment reporter and fill-in anchor weeknights (also seen on CHWI-DT)
- Norman James - chief sports anchor; weeknights at 6 p.m., chief sports editor
- Jan Sims - Lifetime anchor
- Julie Atchison - lead Meteorologist and weather specialist weeknights at 6 & 11 p.m.
- Cara Campbell - weather specialist weekends at 6 & 11 p.m.
- Brent Lale - sports anchor; weekends at 6 and 11 p.m., also videographer
- Marek Sutherland - sports anchor; weeknights at 11 p.m., also videographer
- Bryan Bicknell - general assignment reporter and fill-in anchor weekends
- Gerry Dewan - general assignment reporter
- Scott Miller - Midwestern Ontario reporter, videographer
- Celine Moreau - general assignment reporter
- Daryl Newcombe - city hall reporter
- Nick Paparella - Court/Legal reporter, general assignment reporter
- Cristina Howorun - general assignment reporter
- Lisa Xing - general assignment reporter
CFPL-TV signed on the air in digital format on August 31, 2011, along with the rest of the CTV Two system.
During the analogue shutdown and digital conversion on August 31, 2011, CFPL-DT began broadcasting on its post transition channel number, 10.
- Clark, George (23 August 2008). "London broadcaster has been 'A' station of many names". London Free Press. Retrieved 2008-08-28.[dead link]
- "Bell Globemedia makes $1.7B bid for CHUM". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2006-07-12. Retrieved 2006-07-12.
- "CRTC expected to OK Rogers' $137.5M buy of CTVglobemedia TV channels". Canadian Press via Yahoo! Canada News. 2007-04-09. Retrieved 2007-04-09.[dead link]
- "CRTC tells CTVglobemedia to sell 5 Citytv stations". cbc.ca via Yahoo! Canada News. 2007-06-08. Retrieved 2007-06-08.[dead link]
- Bell Canada (2010-09-10). "Bell to acquire 100% of Canada's No.1 media company CTV". CNW Group. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
- "Torstar completes first stage of CTVglobemedia sale". Toronto Star. 2011-01-04. Retrieved 2011-01-09.
- Bell Media’s /A\ Network to Become “CTV Two” This Fall Bell Media press release, May 30, 2011
- "Canada suffers St Patrick's Day riot in London, Ontario". BBC News. March 18, 2012.
- Benedict, Ben (20 August 2008). "Kathy says goodbye to follow her dream / Local news anchor going to Indonesia to help Red Cross". The Londoner. Retrieved 2008-08-28.
- /A\ London Announces Retirement of Meteorologist Jay Campbell, CTVglobemedia press release, September 17, 2009
- 'A' | NEWS | Jay Campbell says farewell, www.atv.ca, published October 20, 2009
- CTV Cuts London Morning Show, CJMI-FM, 4 March 2009
- Layoffs at CTV's A-Channel holdings, Financial Post, March 3, 2009
- CTV London 6 p.m. News Anchor Facing Multiple Assault Charges AM980 News, retrieved December 30, 2011
- CHWI / CFPL - A-Channel News at 11 Weekend
- CFPL - CTV News at 6 Open 2011
- CTV Two London
- Canadian Communications Foundation - CFPL-TV History
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CFPL-TV
- Query TV Fool's coverage map for CFPL
- London Free Press: PL's Golden Past
- Archives of Ontario: Mirror Mirror... Looking back through the eyes of the CFPL news camera