call_letters = CFPL-TV
station_slogan = London's News Leader
station_branding = A London
analog = 10 (VHF)
digital = "allocated 57 (UHF)"
affiliations = A
November 28, 1953
callsign_meaning = C Free Press of London
owner = CTVglobemedia, Inc.
licensee = CTV Limited
former_affiliations = CBC (1953-1988)
effective_radiated_power = 325 kW
HAAT = 304.8 m
coordinates = coord|42|56|59|N|81|15|53|W|type:landmark
homepage = [http://www.atv.ca/london/ A London]
CFPL is part of the A system, and is the flagship station of a mini-system of stations in southwestern Ontario including CHWI in Wheatley, which serves the Windsor and Chatham areas; and CKNX in Wingham, which serves much of Western Ontario north of London.
CFPL was founded by
Walter Blackburn, who also owned London's major newspaper, the " London Free Press", as well as radio station CFPL on both the AM and FM dials. The television station first came on the air on November 28, 1953, with four hours of programming per day. That night there was a major fire in London, on which CFPL's news program was able to report almost immediately during its first news hour.
CFPL was the second privately owned station in Canada (CKSO-TV in Sudbury, now
CICI-TV, was the first). Its news program was the first to be scheduled at 6:00 p.m., during "the supper hour", which set the standard for other stations in Canada. CFPL also later became one of the first in Canada to broadcast in colour.
CFPL was the CBC's largest private affiliate, but wanted to produce and broadcast more local programming. This caused its relations with CBC to worsen over the years. CBC required affiliates like CFPL to carry a minimum amount of its schedule, and, according to station management, CBC programming was less lucrative by that time. Nonetheless, CFPL was a very successful station, and posted good profits. It finally disaffiliated with CBC and went independent in 1988. CFPL's slogan following disaffiliation was "The fun is here!", but the slogan did not last. With no CBC programming to attract viewers, such as "
The National" and " Hockey Night in Canada", ratings plummeted and so did revenues. By the end of 1989, the station was almost bankrupt, but tried to hang on as an independent station for another few years, even though its programming schedule did not have much beyond news to attract viewership.
From 1972 to 1981, the flagship newscast, "FYI" was anchored by
Jack Burghardt. During the 1980s, "FYI" was anchored first by Eric Sorensen (1981–1984), then Neil Stevens former weather anchor at CBET Windsor. In January 1985, CFPL hired its first female anchor, Kate Young, who co-anchored "FYI" with Stevens. Despite female news anchors becoming commonplace across Canada and the United Statesby the mid-1980s, this was a controversial move, and many London viewers were very upset by there being a female anchor. Young continued to anchor the 6 p.m. newscast for the next 17 years, and she became a well-known and respected face in the London community. Tragically, her co-anchor Stevens was killed in a car crash near Alvinston, Ontario early on July 17, 1987. Al McGregor was appointed as Young's co-anchor in 1988, a post he held for the next 10 years. Throughout the 1980s, the sports anchor was Pete James (now with CJBK radio), and the weather forecaster was Jay Campbell.
In 1992, amid poor ratings and low revenues, the station was sold to
Baton Broadcasting. In 1994 the various Baton stations, including CFPL, merged to form first "Ontario Network Television", then renamed Baton Broadcasting System. Baton greatly increased CFPL's news department, hiring dozens of people and rebranding the newscast as "News Now".cite news | url=http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/News/Columnists/Clark_George/2008/08/23/6547736-sun.html | publisher=" London Free Press" | date= 23 August 2008| accessdate=2008-08-28 | title=London broadcaster has been 'A' station of many names | first=George | last=Clark ] While Baton focused much of energy on news programming, it cut much non-news local programming from many stations, including CFPL. The long-time lifestyles program "One O'Clock Live" was cancelled in early 1997, for example.
In 1997 Baton sold CFPL and some of its other television stations to
CHUM Limited. Under CHUM, CFPL joined the NewNet system and was accordingly rebranded "The New PL" in September 1998. This was not done without controversy. In April 1998, CHUM fired news co-anchor Al McGregor, which generated harsh criticism of the station's new owners. News director George Clark replaced him as co-anchor for some time, but he left the station in early 2001. In October 2002, Kate Young moved on to a community relations position at the station, and reporter Kathy Mueller replaced her as anchor at 6 p.m. Dan MacLellan joined the station from CKEM(A-Channel Edmonton) at that time, and became her co-anchor.
In February 2005, CHUM announced plans to consolidate the
master controldepartments for CFPL, CKVR, CHRO, CHWI and CKNX at 299 Queen Street Westin Toronto, and consolidating the traffic and programming departments at CFPL in London, resulting in the loss of approximately 13 staff members from CFPL. On June 3, 2005, at approximately 10:00 a.m., the London master control signal came to an end, as the new consolidated master control took to air.
Today, Dan continues to anchor the 6 p.m. newscast, now known as " A News at 6", along with Norman James with sports, Jay Campbell with weather, and Jan Sims with the "Health and Home" mini-program at 6:30. Former Co-Anchor Kathy Mueller resigned as of
19 August 2008after a 13-year career at the station to pursue a new career with the Canadian Red Crossin Indonesia, assisting with relief efforts resulting from the 2004 tsunami disaster. [cite news | url=http://www.thelondoner.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1163025 | publisher="The Londoner" | date= 20 August 2008| accessdate=2008-08-28 | title=Kathy says goodbye to follow her dream / Local news anchor going to Indonesia to help Red Cross | first=Ben | last=Benedict]
August 2 2005, CFPL was rebranded as A-Channel as part of CHUM Limited's rebranding of the NewNet stations. While Craig Media's A-Channel stations merged into Citytvfollowing CHUM Limited's acquisition of Craig Media in 2004.NewsNow at Noon was cancelled a month earlier.
July 12, 2006, CTV owner CTVglobemediaannounced plans to purchase A-Channel owner CHUM Limitedfor $1.7 billion, with plans to divest itself of the A-Channel and Access Albertastationscite web|url=http://www.cbc.ca/story/business/national/2006/07/12/chum-bell.html|title=Bell Globemedia makes $1.7B bid for CHUM|publisher= Canadian Broadcasting Corporation|date= 2006-07-12|accessdate=2006-07-12] .
April 9, 2007, Omni Televisionowner Rogers Communicationsapplied to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission(CRTC) to purchase all of the A-Channel stations (including CFPL), CKX-TVand several cable channels being put up for sale in the wake of CTVglobemedia's pending acquisition of the CHUM group. cite web|url=http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/technology_rogers_ctvglobemedia|title=CRTC expected to OK Rogers' $137.5M buy of CTVglobemedia TV channels|publisher= Canadian Pressvia Yahoo! Canada News|date= 2007-04-09|accessdate=2007-04-09]
June 8, 2007, the CRTC announced its approval of CTVglobemedia's purchase of CHUM Limited, but added a condition that CTVglobemedia must sell off CHUM's Citytv stations to another buyer while keeping the A-Channel stations (including CFPL) , in effect cancelling the planned sale of A-Channel to Rogers Media. cite web|url=http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/08062007/3/canada-crtc-tells-ctvglobemedia-sell-5-citytv-stations.html|title =CRTC tells CTVglobemedia to sell 5 Citytv stations|publisher=cbc.ca via Yahoo! Canada News|date= 2007-06-08|accessdate=2007-06-08]
June 22, 2007, all of the CHUM Limited channels (with the exception of Citytv) were officially taken over by CTVglobemedia.
July 26, 2007, CTVglobemedia named Richard Gray the head of news for the A-Channelstations and CKX-TV. Gray will report to the CTVgm corporate group, not CTV News, to preserve independent news presentation and management. Gray will now oversee CFPL and the other news departments; CKVR, CHRO, CKNX, CHWI, CIVI-TVand CKX-TV. [ [http://micro.newswire.ca/release.cgi?rkey=1507269890&view=39118-0&Start=0 CTVglobemedia ] ]
At its fall
upfronts presentation on June 2, 2008, CTVglobemedia officially announced that A-Channel will be rebranded as "A", the date was later decided for August 11, 2008.
CFPL-TV broadcasts from a 314 metre/1030 foot tall guyed tower in London. It was built in 1961, and is one of the oldest
supertallTV towers in Canada. The current tower replaced the original 500 foot CFPL Television Tower completed in 1953.
The station is also carried on
cable televisionservices in Sanilac County, Michigan. It can also be picked up over-the-air in Erie, Pennsylvania. In 2007, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commissiongranted Cogecoapproval to carry CFPL-TV on basic cable at its own discretion in Leamington and Windsor, but the company has not added the station to the lineups in those two communities yet.
BBS logo from 1994-1997
CFTO-TV. CFPL had a very similar logo with the only difference being is the station's call letters.
* 1972: London's Television is Channel 10
* 1975: Channel 10 London, Bringing it Home to You
* 1977: London's Very Own
* 1980: You Turn Us On, London
* 1983-1986: It's on TV-London!
* 1987: TV-London is Your Place to Be
* 1988: The Fun is Here!
* 1990: We're Your 10
* 1991: TV-London, Where You Belong
* 1992-93: It's here on Southwestern Ontario's 10 and 8!
* 1994: Part of Your Community
* Now: London's News Leader
Programs produced in the past
* "Act Fast" (1950s–1974)
* "Behind the News"
* "FYI" (1960s–1993)
* "FYI First Edition" (
September 19, 1983-1990)
* "Inquiry" (
* "London Scene"
* London Tigers Baseball (1989–1993)
* "Morning Break" (late 1970s–early 1980s)
* "New View" (1999)
* "News at Noon" (1960s-2005)
* "One O'Clock Live" (1980s-1997)
* "Panorama Newsreel" (1950s)
* "Pie in Your FYI"
Reach for the Top"
The Red Green Show" (early 1990s)
* "The Roy Jewell Farm Show"
* "Sunshine School"
* "Take Your Choice"
* "This Business of Farming" (c. 1974–1998)
* "Tomorrow Tonight"
* "Trivia Company"
* "UWO Report"
Programs produced today
First production date shown in parentheses
* "AgVision" - Sundays at 1:30 p.m.
A Morning" - weekdays at 7:00 a.m. (October 5, 1999)
* "A News" - daily at 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. (1993)
* "A News This Week" - Sundays at 6:30 p.m.
* [http://www.Atv.ca/london/ A London]
* [http://www.broadcasting-history.ca/listings_and_histories/television/histories.php?id=13&historyID=32 Canadian Communications Foundation - CFPL-TV History]
* [http://www.canoe.ca/NewsStand/LondonFreePress/Today/2003/11/27/269499.html London Free Press: "PL's Golden Past"]
* [http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/english/exhibits/cfpl/index.html Archives of Ontario: Mirror Mirror... Looking back through the eyes of the CFPL news camera]
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