—Slogan in the 1990s
(currently styled as City
) is unofficially Canada's fourth TV network, though it serves as more a system of TV stations. Currently owned by Rogers Media.
Citytv station was CITY-TV in Toronto
(now officially known as CITY-DT following the 2011 switch from analogue TV to digital TV across Canada), which signed on in 1972. The station was originally owned by a partnership between Moses Znaimer and the Pouliot family, who was, at the time, the owner of Montreal
affiliate, CFCF-TV. In many subsequent years, Moses Znaimer would be the station's sole owner after the Pouliots sold their stake to him. He then established the new station as having a unique mix of programming typical of many American independent stations that would become affiliates of Fox
nowadays. It would be the basis of Znaimer's company, CHUM Limited.
CITY-TV's schedule, back in its heyday of the 1980s and 1990s, was composed of many unique shows produced at the station. It regularly aired movies as well through its Great Movies
in prime time and, at late night, soft core porn films, something which would never fit on broadcast TV in modern society.
In 2007, when CHUM Limited merged with the then CTVglobemedia (now Bell Media), the CRTC, through Executive Meddling
, required CHUM to divest of Citytv to a third party owner. It was sold to Rogers Media in return. By this point, Citytv had expanded its operations to Western Canada, adding affiliates in Vancouver
in 2002, followed by Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg (the latter licensed to Portage la Prairie, Manitoba) in 2005 by acquiring the A-Channel system, which was owned at the time by Craig Media. CHUM purchased Craig Media in 2005.
In October 2012, Citytv shortened to just "City". One of the reasons was that its flagship station in Toronto now has the callsign CITY-DT, which in effect made the "Citytv" name more of an Artifact Title
. (After the 2011 switch, most TV stations in Canada that switched to digital broadcasting switched the "-TV" suffix in their callsigns to the "-DT" suffix.)
Currently, Citytv operates similarly to CTV
, airing a schedule in prime time composed largely of simulcasts of shows from the "Big Four" American networks (ABC
), although the Great Movies are no longer present. The network has also had its own share of original programs, including Murdoch Mysteries
, which aired on Citytv for its first five seasons before moving to the CBC