Encouraged by the spectacular 15-year success of its syndicated series FashionTV, CHUM Limited applied for and was awarded a fashion speciality channel license in November 2000. The channel launched in September 2001 as Fashion Television: The Channel. In applying for the licence, CHUM promised that the channel would “become the central Canadian television platform for the exploration of beauty, photography, design and architecture”. The service delivered a large amount of high quality Canadian fashion programming, as well as covering the runways of the world, and further entrenched host Jeannie Beker’s position as a fashion expert and producer of international calibre.
A CRTC hearing on an application by CTVglobemedia to acquire the assets of CHUM Limited was held on April 30th 2007. Among the CHUM assets acquired by CTVglobemedia in the final approved deal were seven television stations, some 33 radio stations, and 21 specialty channels, including Fashion Television.
On Wednesday April 11th 2012 Bell Media, owners of CTV, announced that the Fashion Television series on CTV had ceased production, and no further orirignal episodes would be produced.
Scott Henderson, vice-president of communications, stated: "Production on Fashion Television has been suspended. The company thanks founding producer Jay Levine for his dedication to the series for more than two decades and wishes him well in his future endeavours. The series remains on the air. The iconic Jeanne Beker remains with Bell Media and the company looks forward to an exciting future with her, including the development of new projects. Bell Media remains committed to the fashion genre and will continue to grow Fashion Television Channel to deliver a broader appeal for viewers, advertisers, and distributors."
As if to give emphasis to this intention, on April 16th 2012 Bell Media announced that it had ordered a 60-episode, 30-minute pop culture docu-series Style Bio (working title) for E! and FashionTelevisionChannel from the Gemini Award-nominated, Calgary-based Pyramid Productions. The new series, set to premiere in June, would tell the chronological style stories of the day's hottest stars, from their humble beginnings to their sparkling A-list red carpet looks. The series would begin production in Calgary and Toronto before the end of April.
Written by Pip Wedge - June, 2007