|City of license||Toronto, Ontario|
Global News (newscasts)
|Slogan||We Believe In A Greater Toronto|
|Channels||Digital: 41 (UHF)
Virtual: 41 (PSIP)
|Affiliations||Global (O&O; 1997–present)|
(Shaw Television Limited Partnership)
|First air date||January 6, 1974 (in Paris; moved to Toronto in 2009)|
|Call letters' meaning||C
III - Canada's third television network, and the station's channel 3 position on many cable systems in Ontario
|Former callsigns||CKGN-TV (1974–1984)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
22 (UHF, 1974-1988)
41 (UHF, 1988–2011)
|Former affiliations||Independent (1974–1997)|
|Transmitter power||100 kW|
CIII-DT-41, virtual and UHF digital channel 41, is a Global Television Network owned-and-operated television station located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, which serves as the flagship station of the network. The station is owned by the Shaw Media, a division of Shaw Communications. CIII maintains studio facilities located at 81 Barber Greene Road (near Leslie Street) in the Don Mills district of central Toronto, additional studio space at 121 Bloor Street East in downtown Toronto and its transmitter is located atop the CN Tower in downtown Toronto. The station serves much of the population of Ontario through a network of 13 transmitters across primarily the southern and central portions of the province. On cable, CIII is available on Rogers Cable channels 3 and 116 and in high definition on digital channel 517; on satellite, the station is also available on Bell TV channel 211 and in high definition on channel 1052.
As early as the mid-1960s, Ken Soble, founder of CHCH-TV (channel 11) in Hamilton, envisioned a national "superstation" of satellite-fed transmitters. In 1970, one of his former employees, Al Bruner, teamed up with Peter Hill to fulfill that vision soon after the Canadian Radio Television Commission issued a call for "third" stations across Canada in the 1970s. Bruner and Hill's group, Global Communications, eventually scaled back its proposal to a network of seven UHF transmitters whose combined footprint would have provided at least secondary coverage from Montreal to Detroit, Michigan.
The station first signed on the air on January 6, 1974 as CKGN-TV (prior to its use by the station, the CKGN callsign had previously been used by what is now CTV owned-and-operated station CKNY-TV in North Bay, Ontario from 1955 to 1962). It branded itself as the "Global Television Network," a name which reflected its then-unprecedented coverage of most of Southern Ontario from six transmitters (a seventh that would have reached Montreal was turned down) fed from a centralized studio. From its launch in 1974 until 2009, the station's main transmitter was licensed to Paris, a small town near Brantford, but Toronto became the station's primary city of licence following an amendment to the channel 41 licence in 2009. Through its entire history, however, the station's main studio facility has been based in a converted factory (built 1954 for Barber Greene Canada Limited) in the Don Mills area of North York (since 1998, located in Toronto).
It had hoped to be distinct from CBC and CTV by airing a number of its own Canadian-made programs. Three months later, however, many of these programs had been canceled due to deep financial problems. It had made a serious blunder by signing on in the middle of the 1973-74 television season, and prospective advertisers did not have the money to spare for commercial spots. It barely registered as a blip in the ratings; in Toronto, for instance, it only drew a 2.5 share, just a fraction of those drawn by CBC and CTV. Its line of credit was yanked, and it was unable to meet daily expenses.
Amid losses of over a million dollars a month, the network was forced to scrap its ambitious business model just to survive. Instead, it began airing as much non-Canadian content as allowed (at the time, Canadian content regulations required stations to broadcast domestically produced programs for 60% of its overall schedule, and 50% during prime time), becoming essentially a clone of CTV. The station's financial difficulties continued until it was bailed out by two conglomerates in 1977 – a Toronto-based group headed by Paul Morton and a Winnipeg-based group headed by Izzy Asper. The Asper group bought controlling interest in 1985. In 1989, the two groups tried to buy out each other's shares, and the CRTC ended the contest by allowing Asper and his company, CanWest, to take full ownership.
The station's callsign was changed to CIII-TV in January 1984, in accordance with its 10th anniversary of broadcasting. The Windsor/Cottam transmitter would be an exception to the rebroadcasters that were also assigned the CIII calls that month for a few years as it continued to be identified in CRTC documents as CKGN-TV-1, perhaps because of licensing issues with nearby broadcasters in the Detroit market (the CKGN calls are now used by an FM radio station in Kapuskasing, Ontario).
CIII has evolved into a much more Toronto-centric station in recent years. Previously, it employed a number of freelance journalists from across the province who filed reports for Global News. This, along with extensive provincewide weather coverage, gave the station a distinctive Ontario feel for many years. In the late 1990s, its focus had shifted almost exclusively toward Toronto.
Asper's stations (including CKVU-TV in Vancouver, Saskatchewan stations CFRE-TV/Regina and CFSK-TV/Saskatoon, CKND-TV in Winnipeg and CIHF-TV in Halifax/Saint John) formed a mini-network across portions of Canada outside of Ontario that by 1990 was known as the Canwest Global System. After Canwest bought CKMI-TV in Quebec City and set up rebroadcasters in Montreal and Sherbrooke, the Global brand was extended nationwide on August 18, 1997, forming Canada's third national television network. Around this time, CIII became known internally as "Global Ontario," but generally avoided using the name on-air, even after most other Global stations began using regional branding in 2006. The Ontario station began to identify as "Global Toronto" in 2009 following the aforementioned licence amendment, but continues to use only the main Global logo in its bug outside of news programming, unlike other Global stations.
CIII-DT presently broadcasts 28 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with five hours on weekdays and 1½ hours on weekends). In addition to its main news department in Toronto, the station also operates a news bureau at the National Press Centre in Ottawa. CIII does not employ its own entertainment or sports reporters. Entertainment news coverage is provided by Entertainment Tonight Canada and sports news content is provided by sports specialty channel Sportsnet 360 (which ironically is owned by competitor CITY-DT (channel 57)'s parent company Rogers Media).
Early on, its flagship news program Global News was developed under the guidance of Bill Cunningham, a veteran of CBC News; in the beginning, the newscast was anchored by Peter Trueman in Toronto and Peter Desbarats in Ottawa. During the news department's early years, its newscasts were one of the most successful and important programs that CKGN/CIII had. Trueman has noted in his memoir that the programme was groundbreaking: "Our newsroom-studio combination ... served as a model for the new CHAN-TV facilities in Vancouver, and it is currently  the inspiration for Ted Turner's new Cablenews operation in Atlanta". The CBC also looked to it for inspiration when it changed its national news format in the early 1980s. The programme also pioneered the use of "regional correspondents," usually print or radio journalists, who would regularly advise the station about stories in their part of Ontario. This allowed field producers and a Global crew to target key stories of the day. "This is the main reason that much of Global's ex-urban coverage has been so effective", Trueman wrote in 1979.
During the 1980s, Global greatly expanded its news operation, with a 90-minute block of news starting at 5:30 p.m., as well as newscasts at noon and 11:00 p.m. By the end of the 1980s, the noon newscast was simply titled News at Noon, the 5:30 newscast was called First News, the 6:00 newscast was called The Six O'Clock Report, and the 11:00 newscast was titled The World Tonight. Trueman left CIII in 1988. Other anchors on the station over the years have included Mike Anscombe, Beverly Thomson, John Dawe, Jane Gilbert, Peter Kent, Loretta Sullivan, Bob McAdorey, Thalia Assuras and Anne-Marie Mediwake.
In keeping with the avoidance of regional branding noted above, CIII used Global News, as opposed to a regional name such as Global Ontario News, as its main news brand. In the fall of 2009, however, for news programming, it began using "Global Toronto," since its newscasts focus primarily on that city. Individual newscasts are given separate titles including News Hour (for the early evening newscast) and News Final (for the 11:00 p.m. newscast).
From 1994 to 2001, CIII also produced First National, which was anchored by Peter Kent and aired at 6:30 p.m. weeknights. In 2001, the programme was replaced by Canada Tonight, which in turn was replaced that fall with Global National, anchored by Kevin Newman; it originated from CHAN's facility in Vancouver before moving to a dedicated studio in Ottawa in February 2008. In January 2009, CIII canceled its weekday morning newscast Global News Morning, along with the Noon News Hour, with the former being discontinued due to low ratings and both programmes being dropped due to cost-cutting measures at certain Global stations. From February to August 2009, CIII simulcast former Hamilton sister station CHCH-TV's Morning Live newscast each weekday from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. The CHCH simulcast was later dropped after Canwest sold that station to Channel Zero, with CIII airing second-run lifestyle programming in the morning timeslot, as well as rebroadcasts of the previous night's News Hour Final.
On October 11, 2011, CIII-DT launched a three-hour weekday morning newscast titled The Morning Show, running from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m., which broadcasts from a storefront studio at Shaw Media's Bloor Street building in Downtown Toronto. The station also moved its early evening newscast, News Hour, a half-hour earlier to 5:30 p.m. to coincide with a shift of Global National to the 6:30 p.m. slot, joining Montreal's CKMI-DT and Halifax's CIHF-DT as the only Global stations to carry the network's national newscast in that timeslot.
On August 27, 2012, CIII restored a midday newscast to its schedule with the launch of a half-hour weekday noon newscast. Unlike the existing lunch hour newscasts carried on Global's sister stations, the newscast airs for 30 minutes instead of one hour. The expansions to CIII's news programming were part of a benefits package that was included as a condition of the sale of the Global Television Network to Shaw Communications.
In May 2015, Shaw did a complete news anchor shuffle, resulting in the current news anchor lineup, including revealing the new Evening News anchors, filling the vacancy left following the resignation of Leslie Roberts in January 2015.
Notable former on-air staff
- Anne Mroczkowski – co-anchor of News Hour (2010–13)
- Leslie Roberts – The Morning Show – National Edition (weekday mornings anchor) and News Hour (weeknights anchor)
- Peter Trueman – evening news anchor (1974–88)
- Peter Desbarats – anchor until 1980
- Peter Kent – national anchor, (1992–2001); later news executive and business news host
- Jan Tennant – local anchor (1982–87)
- Bob McAdorey – entertainment anchor (1980–2000)
- Mike Anscombe – news and sports anchor (1974–97)
|Station||City of licence||Channel||ERP||HAAT||Transmitter Coordinates|
Virtual: 6.1 (PSIP)
|97 kW||272 m|
|CIII-TV-2||Bancroft||2 (VHF)||100 kW||390 m|
|CIII-DT-4||Owen Sound||26 (UHF)
Virtual: 4.1 (PSIP)
|192 kW||132.0 m|
Virtual: 6.1 (PSIP)
|145 kW||261.3 m|
Virtual: 7.1 (PSIP)
|6.75 kW||346.7 m|
|CIII-DT-12||Sault Ste. Marie||15 (UHF)
Virtual: 12.1 (PSIP)
|6 kW||132 m|
Virtual: 13.1 (PSIP)
|30 kW||175 m|
Virtual: 22.1 (PSIP)
|49 kW||110 m|
Virtual: 27.1 (PSIP)
|275 kW||276.6 m|
|CIII-DT-29||Sarnia-Oil Springs||29 (UHF)
Virtual: 29.1 (PSIP)
|184 kW||209 m|
Virtual: 41.1 (PSIP)
|100 kW||503.0 m|
Virtual: 11.1 (PSIP)
|11.7 kW||141.5 m|
|CFGC-DT-2||North Bay||15 (UHF)
Virtual: 2.1 (PSIP)
|16.8 kW||92.8 m|
A series of rebroadcast transmitters relay the CIII signal to much of Ontario. Most of these use the CIII base callsign followed by a number to denote their status as rebroadcasters, except in Sudbury and North Bay where the CFGC callsign is assigned. The most likely explanation for using CFGC is that the close resemblance between the number 1 and the letter I would make CIII-TV-11 an undesirable call sign for Sudbury, while North Bay could not use CIII-TV-2 as that call sign is already in use in Bancroft.
These six transmitters formed the original 1974 service:
- CKGN-TV Channel 6 from Paris (serving Hamilton, Brantford and Kitchener-Waterloo)
- CKGN-TV-1 Channel 22 from Cottam (near Windsor; also serving Detroit, Michigan)
- CKGN-TV-2 Channel 2 from Bancroft (serving Belleville)
- CKGN-TV-6 Channel 6 from Gatineau, Quebec (Camp Fortune site, near Ottawa)
- CKGN-TV-22 Channel 22 from Uxbridge (near Toronto)
- CKGN-TV-29 Channel 29 from Oil Springs (near Sarnia)
Original plans called for a seventh transmitter, CKGN-TV-36 from Maxville, near Cornwall. It would have primarily served Hawkesbury, but would have also provided a fairly strong grade B signal to Montreal. However, the CRTC rejected the application to operate that rebroadcaster.
The Cottam transmitter frequently went blank during the airing of imported prime-time American series; Windsor is considered to be part of the Detroit market for purposes of programming rights. This also affected CBC's station in Windsor, CBET, which frequently had to air alternative programs (for more information on this, see Media in Windsor, Ontario and Media in Detroit). This transmitter was silent for several years following a transmitter fire in the late 1970s.
In 1986, the CRTC approved the relocation of the Windsor-area transmitter from Cottam to Stevenson. Some time after this, the CIII-TV-22 call letters from the now-defunct Uxbridge transmitter were reassigned to the Stevenson transmitter. The transmitter is located southwest of Wheatley, between Wheatley and Leamington, but its signal is aimed northeast (towards Chatham–Kent), and barely reaches Windsor and Detroit – presumably to protect the Detroit stations. In the early 1990s, additional transmitters were added to expand Global's footprint in Ontario.
CIII-TV-22 (the transmitter in Uxbridge) was Canada's most powerful UHF transmitter, operating at the maximum allowable power of 5 MW. The Uxbridge transmitter ceased operations in 1988, replaced by CIII-TV-41, broadcasting from the CN Tower in Toronto. For all intents and purposes, given that the station has always been based in Toronto, this was CIII's main transmitter and Global's flagship even before the station officially moved its licence to Toronto in 2009. This was the case with the Uxbridge transmitter as well. Starting in 2008, CIII began sending its signal to the Toronto transmitter first, since the Paris transmitter did not yet have digital capability.
Other transmitters were gradually introduced, including (launch dates in parenthesis):
- CIII-TV-7 Channel 7 from Midland (November 1987, serving Barrie)
- CIII-TV-4 Channel 4 from Owen Sound (June 1988)
- CIII-TV-27 Channel 27 from Peterborough (October 1988)
- CFGC-TV Channel 11 from Sudbury (December 1992)
- CFGC-TV-2 Channel 2 from North Bay (December 1992)
- CIII-TV-13 Channel 13 from Timmins (December 1992)
- CIII-TV-12 Channel 12 from Sault Ste. Marie (December 1992)
- CIII-TV-55 Channel 55 from Fort Erie (early 1993, serving Niagara Falls and the southern Niagara Region; signal also reaches Buffalo, New York)
CIII is not available in Thunder Bay, but Thunder Bay Television station CHFD broadcasts a large amount of Global programming and uses the Global branding. TBTV's owners, the Dougall family, were concerned about Global threatening their local television monopoly (DougallMedia controls all of the local network television output for the Thunder Bay region and had previously lobbied the CRTC to cease CHCH-TV's cable transmissions in the mid-1990s) and pressured the CRTC to deny Global's application to build a transmitter there. However, in 2009, Thunder Bay Television switched the affiliation of CHFD from CTV to Global. As a result, Global programming is available in Thunder Bay, just not via CIII-TV's province-wide network of repeaters. Similarly, in Kenora, former CTV affiliate, CJBN-TV (which is owned by Shaw), switched to full-time Global programming in late 2011.
Initial attempts to cover Peterborough and Kingston from the Bancroft transmitter had yielded poor to marginal results; this signal has since been largely supplanted (for Peterborough only) by the more-powerful CIII-TV-27.
Following the analog television shutdown and digital conversion, digital television receivers in areas converted to digital will display the local transmitter's virtual channel (or PSIP) as "x.1", with "x" being the station's analog channel number.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|x.1||1080i||16:9||CIII-HD||Main CIII-DT programming / Global|
CIII-TV-41 in Toronto began broadcasting its digital signal in July 2009. The station's analogue signal, over UHF channel 41, was shut down on August 31, 2011, the official date in which Canadian television stations in CRTC-designated mandatory markets transitioned from analogue to digital broadcasts. CIII's digital signal was relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 65, as its original digital channel was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition, to UHF channel 41.
Global also transitioned CIII-TV in Paris, CIII-TV-6 in Ottawa and CIII-TV-7 in Midland (serving Barrie) to digital on August 31, 2011. CIII-TV-22 in Stevenson (serving Windsor and Chatham) converted to digital on August 8, 2011. The transmitter operates at a reduced power and its coverage area has been reduced. CIII-TV-55 in Fort Erie vacated its channel frequency on August 31, 2011, as Global decided to shut down that transmitter. Coverage to the areas in Canada served by the Fort Erie transmitter are provided by CIII-DT-41. Global plans on transitioning its remaining transmitters to digital by 2016, though all of CIII-DT's transmitters except for its Bancroft transmitter are to be converted to digital by February 2013.
Shortly after the 2011 digital transition, an additional digital subchannel (41.2) was launched, carrying a standard definition feed of CIII-DT, which fully duplicates the existing programming on 41.1. However (unlike other Toronto-area stations) this SD feed is not simply a letterboxed or cropped version of the HD feed, instead having different placement for promotional graphics and a separate on-screen bug (without an "HD" annotation). It is therefore possible that the SD feed needs to be broadcast over-the-air in order to continue carriage of this dedicated feed on cable and satellite providers (however, it also serves as a benefit to some over-the-air viewers with 4:3 television sets and digital converters, insofar as it allows those viewers to avoid older 4:3 programs appearing both letterboxed and pillarboxed).
On April 10, 2012, Shaw Media applied for permission to change CIII-DT-6's allocation from VHF channel 6 to UHF channel 14, switching from circular to elliptical polarization, citing the VHF-Low band's impulse noise (compared to the VHF-High and UHF bands) causing reception issues, which would be mostly resolved with a higher frequency. The power would be increased substantially, from 3.3 kW, to 145 kW. The application states that it may be short-spaced to Buffalo, New York's WUTV, and Plattsburgh, New York's WPTZ, both of which may be subject to (and cause) some co-channel interference on the fringes of CIII-DT-6's service area. This application was approved by the CRTC on July 4, 2012. CIII-DT-6 officially moved to channel 14 in mid-August 2013.
Shaw Media had begun applying for permission to convert its transmitters in Northern Ontario to digital, with CFGC-TV (channel 11) in Sudbury and CFGC-TV-2 (channel 2) in North Bay on June 14, and CIII-TV-12 (channel 12) in Sault Sainte Marie on June 22. The application for CIII-TV-12 included switching its digital allotment from VHF channel 7 to UHF channel 15, for improved signal quality and a slightly increased population coverage. The application for CFGC-DT-2 requested the use of UHF channel 15, instead of UHF channel 32, as CHCH-TV-6 currently uses that frequency. The digital channel for CFGC-TV has not yet been requested. All three transmitters are to be fed via satellite.
Following the shutdown of the Radio-Canada repeater in Kitchener (CBLFT-TV-8) which had been assigned the UHF channel 17 allocation, Shaw had applied on October 10, 2012 to move its CIII-DT digital transmitter in Paris from VHF channel 6 to UHF channel 17, to vastly improve its coverage to the Kitchener area. Technical parameters included in the change would be a boost in power and slight decrease in height (4 kW at 311.3 meters on VHF channel 6, compared to 165 kW (average of 97 kW) at 272 meters on UHF channel 17). The UHF signal would have a slightly smaller range of broadcast coverage, but Shaw had admitted that areas on the fringes would still be able to receive Global programming via CIII-DT-29, CIII-DT-41 and CIII-TV-4. The application was approved by the CRTC on January 22, 2013. CIII-DT-27 can on most days be seen from as far away as Rochester, New York on channel 27.1.
- CRTC Decision 2009-409
- Peter Trueman, Smoke and Mirrors (McClelland and Stewart), 1980 p. 211. Trueman writes, "without its news service, Global would probably long before have gone under as a network. The news service has given us standing not just with the CRTC, but has generated prestige and credibility with viewers, advertisers, the banks, and the rest of the financial community"
- Peter Trueman, Smoke and Mirrors (McClelland and Stewart), 1980 p. 216.
- Peter Trueman, Smoke and Mirrors (McClelland and Stewart), 1980 p. 136
- Global News Boosts Fall Schedule
- Global News Boosts Local Programming Across the Country, Broadcaster Magazine, May 30, 2012.
- Decision CRTC 86-678
- Decision CRTC 92-220
- CKGN-TV (now CIII-TV) sign-off, from 1979
- CIII-TV sign-off, from 1984
- Decision CRTC 86-1087
- Global Television Network - Frequently Asked Questions
- Digital Television - Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA)
- RabbitEars TV Query for CIII
- CIII-DT ("Global Toronto") official website
- Canadian Communications Foundation - CIII-TV History
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CIII-TV
- Query the REC's Canadian station database for CFGC-TV (Callsign used in Sudbury and North Bay)
- Query TV Fool's coverage map for CIII