CTV Ottawa announces celebration of its 50th anniversary

On Saturday, March 12 CTV Ottawa (CJOH) celebrates 50 years of broadcasting in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec. The award-winning station has been a staple in the community since founder Ernie Bushnell’s dream became a reality on Bayswater Avenue a half century ago. 

CTV Ottawa has a variety of plans in place to mark this milestone. On March 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., the station will air a 30-minute 50th Anniversary Special. CTV Ottawa will air a series of special segments dedicated to its history throughout the week leading up to the anniversary. Currently the station is airing vignettes looking back on significant events such as the launch of the station by Bushnell, the moment the modern day Ottawa Senators franchise was awarded in Florida, and the devastating ice storm that crippled the region in 1998. 

CTV Ottawa has dedicated a section of its web site at www.ctvottawa.ca to the 50th anniversary. Visitors can take a 50th Anniversary Quiz, e-mail comments and memories to ctvottawa50@ctv.ca, and take a look through archival galleries.

Much of the success and longevity of the station can be credited to its commitment to the community. Telethons for The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and University of Ottawa Heart Institute, and sponsorships of endless events and fundraisers are examples of how the station has woven itself into the fabric of the community. The same can be said for the station’s constant commitment for decades of creating programming and covering stories that mattered directly to the audience it served.

Today, CTV local NEWS AT SIX is watched by more people than any other television program in the market, and all of CTV Ottawa’s local news properties are #1 in their respective timeslots. The station also produces another Top 5 show REGIONAL CONTACT. Further, CTV Ottawa has a weekly audience of more than one million viewers and is home to 17 of the Top 20 most-watched shows. 

The station’s call letters have been CJOH for all 50 years. However, the station was re-branded CTV Ottawa in 2005, when all local CTV markets took the name of their respective cities.

In 1961 CJOH began broadcasting on Channel 13. Until then, television owners in the Ottawa area and West Quebec only had the choices of CBC’s English or French language service. Today, the station can be found on satellite and cable, broadcasting in both standard and high definition. 

Throughout the years CTV Ottawa and CJOH-TV have been home to an abundance of talent. Alumni include Peter Jennings, Alanis Morissette, Les Lye and Sandra Oh. With the quality of its facilities and highly skilled crews, CJOH gained a reputation as a television production house, creating programs such as THE GALLOPING GOURMET, THE AMAZING KRESKIN and YOU CAN’T DO THAT ON TELEVISION.

For many viewers the face of the station has been Max Keeping, who served as CTV NEWS AT SIX anchor for 37 years. He stepped down from the anchor desk on March 26, 2010 and is now CTV Ottawa’s full-time Ambassador to the Community. CTV NEWS AT SIX currently features co-anchors Graham Richardson and Carol Anne Meehan along with CTV Sports Director Terry Marcotte and weathercaster J.J. Clarke.

CJOH originally broadcast from temporary studios on Bayswater Avenue in Ottawa. Later that year the station moved to a state-of-the-art facility at 1500 Merivale Road. A devastating fire on February 7, 2010 saw the station relocate to 87 George Street, a location that also houses five other media brands owned by parent company CTV Globemedia: 580 CFRA, 93.9 BOB-FM, Sports Radio The TEAM 1200, MAJIC 100 and /A\ Television. 

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  • Catherine Latham

    You have assembled an excellent personnell. Keep up the great work. Specail greeting to Graham, Carole Anne, JJ, Catherine Latham, Terry Marcotte. The foundation of a great team.
    Terry McConnell tmglontpoop@yahoo.ca