Live Local Breaking
First air date
March 12, 1961
CTV Ottawa or CTV (general) CTV News Ottawa (news)
Digital: 13 (VHF) Virtual: 13.1 (PSIP)
CFRA, CHRO-TV, CFGO, CJMJ-FM, CKKL-FM
CJOH-DT, VHF channel 13, is a CTV owned-and-operated television station located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The station is owned by Bell Media, as part of a twinstick with CTV Two outlet CHRO-TV (channel 5). The two stations share studios – alongside Bell's Ottawa radio properties – located at the Market Media Mall building on 87 George Street in Downtown Ottawa's ByWard Market, and its transmitter on the Ryan Tower at Camp Fortune in Chelsea, Quebec, north of Gatineau. It also operates rebroadcasters on channel 8 from Lancaster, Ontario (serving Cornwall and, indirectly, Montreal), channel 6 from Deseronto (serving Kingston and, indirectly, Watertown, New York) and on channel 47 in Pembroke.
- Regular local programming
- Former local programing
- News operation
- Notable current on air staff
- Notable former on air staff
- Analogue to digital conversion
This station can also be seen on Rogers Cable channel 7 and in high definition on digital channel 518 in Ottawa and Glengarry-Prescott-Russell. Bell TV only carried CJOH's local programming, which consisted mainly of newscasts, on channel 197. This changed on October 18, 2010, when Bell carried the local and Canadian programming as well as simsubs on standard definition channel 229.
CJOH provides CTV network coverage for all of Eastern Ontario, a large segment of Western Quebec and portions of Northern New York in the United States.
Founded by Ernie Bushnell, CJOH signed on for the first time on March 12, 1961. Initially, studio facilities were located at 29 Bayswater Avenue (45.4067°N 75.7204°W / 45.4067; -75.7204) until that September when operations were shifted over several weeks to a $2 million (CA$) complex at 1500 Merivale.
It acquired former Cornwall, Ontario CBC affiliate CJSS-TV as a rebroadcaster in 1963, making CJSS the first television station in Canada to cease operations. The channel 6 transmitter in Deseronto became operational in 1972 to serve the Kingston and Belleville markets. Standard Broadcasting owned the station from 1975 to 1988, when it was sold to Baton Broadcasting. Baton was renamed CTV Inc. in 1998 after gaining control of the CTV network the preceding year. CTV in turn would be purchased by Bell Canada and folded into Bell Globemedia, now Bell Media, in 2001.
CJOH was available on cable in Montreal for most of the 1980s and 1990s, as the Cornwall transmitter's footprint reaches the western Montreal suburbs. In the 1980s and early 1990s, when CTV offered Toronto Blue Jays baseball, the Cornwall repeater had to show alternate programming instead, since the area was considered Montreal Expos territory. This substitute programming often had no commercials, and often had no definite end, as the length of baseball games varied. This was discontinued when the Blue Jays left CTV.
Well-known celebrities who first appeared on CJOH include Rich Little, The Amazing Kreskin, Alanis Morissette, Sandra Oh and Peter Jennings. Jennings started his professional career with the station during its early years, anchoring the local newscasts and hosting a teen dance show, Saturday Date, on Saturdays.
Morissette was briefly part of the cast on a local sketch comedy show, You Can't Do That On Television, aimed at the preteen and teen demographics. Originally conceived as a local and partially live production in 1979, it was derided by parents from its very beginning as a local show on CJOH in 1979 for its ubiquitous bathroom humour and for breaking with the Canadian tradition of kind, gentle, and educational shows for children, as well as for the shock value of certain sketches such as its infamous "green slime". The controversy did not stop it from becoming a huge hit, locally and eventually globally; it became a huge success in the United States for the Nickelodeon cable channel starting in 1982 and was subsequently distributed in many other countries.
From 1990 to 1997, the station was co-owned with Pembroke-based CHRO-TV, which was for the majority of that period a CTV affiliate for the Upper Ottawa Valley. In 1997, as part of a major trade, CHRO was transferred to CHUM Limited, and became a NewNet (later A-Channel and now CTV Two) station primarily serving Ottawa. In 2007, CTVglobemedia received Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approval to acquire CHUM; while CTV did not originally plan to keep A-Channel, it decided to do so following a CRTC requirement to sell the Citytv system. This once again made CJOH and CHRO sister stations in a market with only one other local English-language station, CBOT. Interestingly, while the CRTC forced the Citytv sale because of concerns about media concentration with multiple stations in the same city, it had no problem allowing the Ottawa twinstick, apparently due to the precedent set by the stations having common ownership in the 1990s.
On August 1, 1995, the station's longtime sports anchor Brian Smith was shot in the station's parking lot by Jeffrey Arenburg, a released mental patient with a history of threatening media personalities, who claimed the station was broadcasting messages inside his head. Smith died in hospital the following day. The incident led to renewed calls across Canada for strengthening of the Canadian government's gun control legislation and provided the impetus for Brian's Law (Ontario Bill 68) - an amendment of the Mental Health Act and Health Care Consent Act which introduced community treatment orders and new criteria for involuntary commitment to psychiatric facilities. Arenburg was released from a mental hospital in Penetanguishene in 2006, then imprisoned for two years for assaulting a U.S. border guard in 2008.
CJOH changed its branding to "CTV Ottawa" in 2005, when CTV's owned-and-operated stations began to stop using their callsigns within each station's branding.
The newsroom was destroyed by a four-alarm fire during the early morning hours of February 7, 2010, destroying equipment and the news archives. The building itself remained intact until it was demolished by the end of December of 2011. An adjacent office building housing former sister station CKQB-FM was not affected by the fire.
CJOH's news operations were permanently relocated to CTV's ByWard Market building. This would be the first time the ByWard Market studios would have an evening newscast since the cancellation of sister station CHRO-TV's A News in March 2009.
Following many budget cuts to local programming beginning in 1996, the vast majority of shows broadcast on CJOH-DT simply consists of American programming simultaneous substitutions, or simsubs. Canadian content has been reduced to only a handful of shows, including The Marilyn Denis Show every weekday at 10:00 a.m. and reruns of Flashpoint every Saturday night at 10:00 p.m.
Regular local programming
With the exception of Your Morning (along with its predecessor Canada AM) and Question Period, none of these programs are available in HD. This is also why CJOH-DT on Bell TV is only broadcast in standard definition television.
Former local programing
CJOH-DT presently broadcasts 15½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 2½ hours on weekdays, and 1½ hours each on Saturdays and Sundays); in lieu of a local morning newscast (which instead airs on sister station CHRO), CJOH displays local news headlines on a news ticker during its broadcast of CTV's semi-national morning program Canada AM.
Local newscasts (under the name CTV News) are aired weekdays at noon, 6 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. The newscasts were previously called Midday Newsline/Newsline/Nightline (depending on the time of day) from the 1970s until 1998, and CJOH News from 1998 to 2005. (In 1982, the 6 p.m. newscast Newsline became, for a brief time, Canada's first 90-minute local supper hour newscast.) From December 10, 2011 to autumn 2012, the noon and 6 p.m. broadcasts broadcast for one hour, though the Sunday evening 6 p.m. broadcast remained a half-hour program. Since April 2012, the audio feed of CJOH's 6 p.m. newscast is simulcast on sister radio station CFRA-AM. The Sunday 6 p.m. newscast expanded to one hour in the fall of 2012. On July 7, 2014, the station unveiled a new studio to accompany the transition to high definition news production.
Notable current on-air staff
Notable former on-air staff
All of these, and a long list of other CTV rebroadcasters nationwide, were to shut down on or before August 31, 2009, as part of a political dispute with Canadian authorities on paid fee-for-carriage requirements for cable television operators. A subsequent change in ownership assigned full control of CTVglobemedia to Bell Media; as of 2011, these transmitters remain in normal licensed broadcast operation.
The transmitter in Cornwall also overlap the coverage areas of the transmitters of CKWS-DT in Kingston, Ontario, which became a CTV affiliate in 2015. On June 27, 2016, it was announced that Bell Media filed a proposal with the CRTC to shut down 40 of its television transmitters (all rebroadcasters of other stations), due to maintenance costs, high cable and satellite viewership, and no generation of revenue. CJOH's transmitter in Cornwall is slated for closedown, an area already served by other nearby CTV affiliates, including CFCF-DT Montreal and the aforementioned CKWS-DT.
CJOH has made its network programming available in standard definition on Bell TV (channel 229) and in high definition through Videotron (channel 607), Cogeco Cable (digital channel 701) and Rogers Cable (digital channel 518). On August 31, 2011, when Canadian television stations in CRTC-designated mandatory markets transitioned from analogue to digital broadcasts, the station flash cut its digital signal into operation on VHF channel 13. The station's news operations completed upgrades to high definition capabilities, and the first HD news broadcast took place on July 7, 2014 starting with the noon hour newscast.