CTV Ottawa

After 24 years with CTV, and 14 years with REGIONAL CONTACT, CTV’s Kathie Donovan is stepping down from her role as co-host and co-producer of the popular Ottawa program.

With Donovan’s departure, Joel Haslam remains host of REGIONAL CONTACT which expands beyond its current weekly broadcast to become a featured part of CTV NEWS AT SIX nightly in the fall.

On Sunday, May 13 at 6:30 p.m. ET, CTV Ottawa will air a special episode of Regional Contact, looking back at some of the great adventures Kathie and Joel have shared together.

“Being part of the Regional Contact storybook has been a great honour and an amazing adventure. It has been my privilege to share the stories of our region’s extraordinary everyday people, who taught me much about how to live my life. I am deeply grateful to have had one of the best jobs in television and thankful to our dedicated viewers who have welcomed Joel and me into their lives and homes for so many years.”

“Kathie’s ability to showcase such a diverse range of local arts and artists, characters and cuisine and so many other things that make our region unique is a rare talent,” said Richard Gray, Regional Vice-President, Radio and TV Operations, Eastern Canada, Bell Media, and General Manager, CTV Ottawa. “She and Joel were the perfect complement to one another; Kathie will definitely be missed.”

Born in Vancouver and raised in Montreal, Donovan has made the Ottawa area her home for the last three decades. Donovan joined CTV Ottawa in 1988 as entertainment and weather reporter at Ottawa’s CJOH News. In 1998, she joined Joel Haslam as co-producer and co-host of REGIONAL CONTACT. In 1976, Donovan helped launch Ottawa’s first alternative FM radio station, CHEZ 106, where she was a disc jockey, then host of a radio magazine program called “In The City,” which covered the local entertainment scene. She helped to start Canada’s first campus FM radio station CKCU-FM at Carleton University in 1975. 

Veteran news anchor/producer Leigh Chapple is stepping down after 36 years at CTV Ottawa this coming Friday, May 4, it was announced today.

CTV Ottawa presents special tributes to Chapple on CTV NEWS AT SIX and 11:30 p.m. this Friday. A replacement for Chapple will be announced at a later date. 

“I have had the privilege of serving the people of our community for nearly my entire broadcast career and I am so grateful to our viewers who have kindly welcomed me into their lives and homes during that time,” said Chapple. “I am looking forward to now pursuing other passions, but I will forever cherish my time at CTV Ottawa.”

“Leigh Chapple has had a one-of-a-kind career. For a very long time she’s been a constant that viewers have been able to rely upon for the full local news picture at the end of every day,” said Richard Gray, Regional Vice-President, Radio and TV Operations, Eastern Canada, Bell Media, and General Manager, CTV Ottawa. “We want to thank Leigh for her years of commitment and dedicated service. She will be missed.”

Chapple began her career at CHOV-TV Pembroke. Shortly after, she joined Ottawa’s CJOH-TV, and soon stepped into the role of reporter. Chapple has hosted REGIONAL CONTACT, the weekend editions of CTV NEWS, and currently anchors CTV NEWS AT 11:30. The program has led the late-evening ratings in the Ottawa market, even over talk show titans Jay Leno and David Letterman. 

Chapple was a 2001 nominee for the Premier’s Award. In 2003, she was named one of the capital’s Top 50 people by Ottawa magazine, and the following year was honoured as the Consumers’ Choice 2004 Woman of the Year.

CTV Ottawa is about to be recognized with The CMN Television Station Founders Award, the highest honour a television station can receive from one of North America’s leading Children’s Charities, Children’s Miracle Network (CMN).

The CMN Television Station Founders Award, annually given to a television station that has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to a CMN hospital, will be presented this Friday, Oct. 21, 2011 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. CTV Ottawa’s Ambassador to the Community, Max Keeping, will receive the award on behalf of the station at Celebration, the annual CMN conference attended by all 170 CMN member hospitals. 

The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) nominated CTV Ottawa, citing the year round efforts of the station’s management, on-air and behind-the-scenes staff. 

“For decades CTV Ottawa has been committed to us,” said Norma Lamont, Vice-President Community Development. “Regardless of the changes in the television industry or changes in anchors, reporters and staff, CTV Ottawa has consistently told the stories and supported the efforts of our community with our hospital. Twenty-eight years ago they were the first Canadian television station to broadcast a CMN telethon, and since then over $65,000,000 has been raised for CHEO.” 

CTV Ottawa is the most-watched television station in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec, with more than one million viewers weekly. On March 12, 2011 the station celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Children’s Miracle Network is an international non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children’s hospitals and health foundations across North America. Each year, the 170 Children’s Miracle Network hospitals, 14 of which are in Canada, create miracles by providing the finest medical care, life-saving research and preventative education to help millions of kids overcome diseases and injuries of every kind.

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.