CJNT-DT, City, Montréal
Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.
2190015 Ontario Inc.
2190015 Ontario Inc.
Canwest Global Communications Inc.
On August 18, CTEQ Télévision Inc. was granted a licence for a multilingual television station at Montréal, operating on channel 62, with an effective radiated video power of 11,000 watts. The new service was intended to replace the special ethnic programming service distributed on cable in Montréal, produced in cooperation with independent ethnic producers operating under the name Télévision ethnique du Québec (TEQ).
CJNT-TV signed on the air on September 8, 1997. In the early going, the station did not begin its broadcast day until 4 p.m.
The station expanded its broadcast day, now signing on at noon each day.
On March 25, CF Television Inc. (owner of CFCF-TV) was given approval to purchase the numbered company that controlled CTEQ Télévision inc.
In April, CTEQ was placed in receivership. Raymond Chabot inc., acting as trustee of CTEQ, in bankruptcy, was given temporary management authority of the station.
On November 29, CanWest Global Communications Corp. was given approval to acquire CJNT-TV from Raymond Chabot inc., trustee of CTEQ Télévision inc., in bankruptcy. CanWest stated CJNT would continue to serve a variety of ethnic groups with programs directed to at least 18 distinct ethnic groups in 15 different languages monthly, and to at least 25 distinct ethnic groups in 25 different languages annually.
On September 8, Global rebranded CJNT as "CH Horizon" (“Canal Horizon”), affiliated with co-owned CHCH-TV Hamilton and CHEK-TV Victoria (both known as “CH”). In addition to the English “CH” programming, CJNT continued to offer multlingual programs.
Global appointed John Kuyk as senior manager of CJNT-TV, under Global Quebec general manager Maureen Rogers. Gilbert Crepeau was operations manager. CJNT-TV also set up an advisory board to be led by Bev Oda, formerly of CTV and the CRTC.
CJNT shortened its on-air name to "CH".
Approval was granted for the transfer of ownership of CanWest MediaWorks Inc. through the transfer of the beneficial ownership of CanWest Global Communications Corp., the parent corporation of CMI, from Mrs. Ruth Asper to David, Gail and Leonard Asper, holding together, through their personal holdings, 88.95% of the voting rights of CGCC.
On September 7, CJNT-TV was rebranded as E! This change was in line with the other CH Network affiliates in Canada, and followed a content-sharing agreement earlier in the year with the U.S.-based E! Networks. Much of the primetime programming was retained, with the balance a mix of celebrity news and lifestyle shows. One of the most significant changes was the renaming of local newscasts to “CJNT News”, returning to identification with the station’s historic call letters.
The early months of the year saw CanWest needing to renegotiate many of its lending agreements in an effort to avoiding having to seek creditor protection, as the Canadian economy weakened, and economies had to be effected.. On February 5th, CanWest said it was exploring the possibility of selling off some its stations, including CJNT.
On April 27th the CRTC began hearings to consider CanWest's applications for various OTA licence renewals, along with similar applications from several other major broadcasting entities.
On May 15th, the CRTC announced a one-year licence renewal, effective September 1st 2009, for all of CanWest's Over-The-Air stations, including CJNT-TV, "....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."
On June 30th, it was announced that Canwest Television Limited had entered into an agreement to sell CHCH-TV Hamilton and CJNT-TV Montreal to an affiliated company of television broadcaster Channel Zero, subject to CRTC approval and to the willingness of CH-TV's employees collective bargaining unit to agree to provide a minimum of one year of labour stability for the new owners. This would involve discussions with the Communications, Energy & Paperworkers Union of Canada. The offer to purchase included commitments to maintain 13.5 hours of local ethnic programming per week in Montreal, and 36.5 hours per week of local programming at CHCH-TV Hamilton.
Channel Zero were the owners of the specialty channels Movieola and Silver Screen Classics.
On July 6th, in renewing CJNT-TV's licence for a further year, September 1st 2009 to August 31st 2010, the CRTC denied Canwest's request for permission to reduce the amount of different ethnic programming the station was expected to carry.
,On August 28th the CRTC approve the acquisition of CJNT-TV, as well as CHCH-TV, by the Channel Zero group, through a numbered company, 2209005 Ontario Inc , and renewed the station's licence through to August 31st 2016. This renewal term was ..."conditional on the licensee presenting itself at a hearing to be held in 2012 to discuss the inclusion of French-language programming in time periods devoted to non-ethnic programming."
In announcing their approval, the Commission noted that the transaction was negative (because the agreed price for the two stations was only $12), and said that in the circumstances there would be no requirement for a tangible benefits package.
The CRTC approved the amendment to the licence for CJNT-TV to add a post-transition digital television transmitter on channel 49 with an effective radiated power of 4,000 watts (non-directional). The existing CTV-owned tower would be used with effective height of 219 metres. Programming would be received by fibre optic.
The deadline for the conversion of analog television to digital in mandatory markets was August 31. CJNT-TV made the transition early. On August 27, analog CJNT-TV channel 62 was shut down and replaced by CJNT-DT channel 49 (virtual channel 62.1).
Brian Kenemy, the one-time General Manager of the former 940 AM/Q92 Montreal and who joined CJNT-TV (Metro 14) in sales just over a year ago, was hired by Rogers (Citytv/ OMNI), also in sales. Rogers expected CRTC approval shortly for the purchase of CJNT.
On December 20, the CRTC approved the application by Rogers Broadcasting Limited for authority to acquire from 2209005 Ontario Inc. the assets of CJNT-DT, an ethnic television programming undertaking in Montréal and for a broadcasting licence to continue the operation of the station. The Commission also approved the conversion of CJNT-DT into an English-language conventional television station.
In the fall, CJNT (Metro 14) began using the brand "Citytv on Metro 14" when Citytv programming was being aired.
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.
Bob Babinski was hired as executive producer/local content manager at City Montreal. He had more than 25 years of TV experience, on and off camera.
CJNT was officially rebranded as City Montreal on February 4. It assumed the full Citytv schedule at this time. The Metro 14 branding was totally gone from the station a few weeks later.
It was announced in June that City Montreal would begin producing two one-hour daily versions of CityNews (6:00 and 11:00 p.m.), beginning in the winter.
In the summer, City Montreal announced it would launch CityNews at Six and CityNews at 11 p.m. as of September 3.