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|St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador|
|Channels||Digital: 21 (UHF)|
NTV News (newscasts)
|Subchannels||21.1: NTV HD|
21.2: CHOZ-FM simulcast
|Affiliations||Global (entertainment and news programming)|
CTV (news and sports programming)
Yes TV (entertainment programming)
|Owner||Stirling Communications International |
(Newfoundland Broadcasting Company Ltd.)
First air date
|September 6, 1955|
Former call signs
Former channel number(s)
6 (VHF, 1955–2011)
|CBC Television (1955–1964)|
CTV (1964–2002; primary)
Global (1974–2002; secondary)
|HAAT||254.6 m (835 ft)|
CJON-DT, virtual and UHF digital channel 21, branded on-air as NTV (short for Newfoundland Television), is an English-language independent television station licensed to St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The station is owned by Newfoundland Broadcasting Company Ltd. CJON-DT's studios are located on Logy Bay Road in St. John's, and its transmitter is located in the city's Shea Heights section.
On cable, the station is available on Rogers Cable channel 141 in St. John's and most of Atlantic Canada. On satellite, it is carried across Canada on Bell Satellite TV channel 1008, and Shaw Direct channel 112.
In 1955, Newfoundland Broadcasting Company Ltd., owner of CJON radio (now CJYQ), applied for and received a licence for the first television station in Newfoundland. Newfoundland Broadcasting was jointly owned by Geoff Stirling and Don Jamieson. The station went on the air later that year on September 6, as a CBC Television affiliate. It was Newfoundland and Labrador's first television station, and remains the province's only privately owned station to this day. Stirling has contended that his was the only group willing to invest in such a station, although other sources have suggested that Stirling and Jamieson used their political connections to prevent the CBC from opening its own station in Newfoundland first. This scenario is somewhat unlikely because until 1958, the CBC was both the primary broadcast regulator in Canada and a broadcaster in its own right, the former role taken over in 1958 by the independent Board of Broadcast Governors (the forerunner of the CRTC). However, the CBC-owned CBYT in Corner Brook launched soon after, in 1959. When it began operations, CJON's first studios and offices were located at the Prince of Wales Building in Buckmaster's Circle and the transmitter on Kenmount Road.
In any event, the CBC launched CBNT-TV in 1964, and CJON became an affiliate of the new CTV network. During the mid-1970s, it was known as NBC, for the "Newfoundland Broadcasting Company", until 1978 when WLBZ, the Bangor affiliate of the U.S.-based National Broadcasting Company, became available on cable (to be replaced later by WDIV-TV from Detroit, then WHDH from Boston and eventually WBTS-LD/CD also from Boston). To avoid confusion, CJON was rebranded as NTV, although as late as August 1978, the Newfoundland Herald's TV listings continued to refer to NTV as NBC, including listing the local newscasts under the title NBC News.
In 1972, CJON became one of the first television stations in Canada, if not the first, to broadcast around the clock every night (see "Overnight programming", below). In 1977, Stirling and Jamieson unwound their partnership, with Jamieson taking the AM radio stations, with CJON radio being renamed CJYQ. In later years, many of the AM stations were eventually sold, and in several cases shut down. Stirling kept NTV and the newly launched station CHOZ-FM. 1983 saw CJON and CHOZ's operations move to their present building on Logy Bay Road, with a new transmitter on the South Side Hills.
1988 to 2002
Until the fall of 1992, CTV programming made up a clear majority of NTV's schedule, although acquired programming from CanWest Global and others was present. However, from 1992 on, when CTV reduced its programming to 40 hours per week, NTV suddenly became much more reliant on other broadcasters, primarily CanWest (which owned the Canadian rights to many dominant programs of the era such as The Simpsons and Seinfeld), but also Baton Broadcasting and WIC. Instead of relying on any one group, it took what it considered the best programming from all the groups, even after the Baton/CTV merger strengthened the CTV schedule considerably. NTV is the last CTV/Global station in the country.
During this period, and indeed well before, NTV consistently aired 4½ hours of prime time programming each night, a great deal of them being American imports, from 8:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. NT (11:00 p.m. ET), as opposed to the North American norm of three hours. In fact, in 1995–96, first-run prime time programming began at 7:30 p.m. and ran until 12:30 a.m. Although the net result was less than the mandated 50% Canadian content between 6:00 p.m. and midnight, this was not deemed to violate Cancon regulations as CTV National News did not feed an 11:00 p.m. AT edition until 1997, although the practice was maintained without CRTC complaint until disaffiliation in 2002.
2002 to present
As of fall 2002, NTV lost access to most CTV programming, but maintained rights to CTV National News, Canada AM, and other CTV news programming free of charge, on the condition that it continue to provide coverage of Newfoundland and Labrador events for CTV and CTV News Channel. Additionally, it purchased rights to additional CTV programming, such as Desperate Housewives, on an individual, per-season basis (Desperate Housewives aired on NTV in its first season but not afterward, and currently no CTV entertainment programming appears regularly on NTV; until 2006, some other CTV-owned properties such as the Academy Awards and the Juno Awards continued to air on NTV, but all have recently been dropped, although The Juno Awards have since reappeared on NTV as of 2009).
Most of NTV's entertainment programming since 2002 has been received pursuant to a program supply agreement with the Global Television Network; for example, Survivor, Family Guy, and The Young and the Restless. NTV's last public comment on the arrangement, at a CRTC hearing in 2002, was to the effect that it would expire at the end of the 2005–2006 season. However, with the addition of new Global programs to the NTV schedule during the spring and summer of 2006, all indications are that the agreement has been extended.
Unlike most Canadian stations, which fill essentially all of their unsold commercial airtime with program promotions or public service announcements, NTV frequently uses minute-long clips of music videos, usually at the end of a commercial break, in addition to its promos and its Public Service Announcements. Video usage has recently been relaxed, at least during parts of the regular broadcast day, with the addition of high-rotation news and weather updates of up to two minutes duration. However, music videos remain common during the overnight hours.
As with many local stations in North America, non-news local programming was common in the station's early days but had decreased significantly by the 1990s. Since 2002, perhaps given the recent ratings dominance of CTV over Global (NTV's chief programming supplier), NTV has attempted to distinguish itself further through additional local programming, mainly from independent local producers. Examples include local wrestling promotion Legend City Wrestling on Saturday afternoons and fishing shows The Dimestore Fishermen and Newfoundland Sportsman. It also airs repeats of programs from the NTV archives, most frequently the retrospective series A Little Good News (later renamed NTV.ca), news program Canada in View (on Mondays), and speeches from Geoff Stirling during Captain Atlantis Late Night (on Saturdays).
NTV's overnight schedule (between 1:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.) generally consists of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, A Little Late with Lilly Singh or Saturday Night Live followed by reruns and overflow programming unable to be accommodated in prime time. The overnight block then concludes with Scenes of Newfoundland, a full half-hour or hour dedicated to scenes of the province with traditional music from local artists playing in the background.
On Saturdays, the channel shows a two-hour block of freeform programming under the banner of Captain Atlantis Late Night. This block usually consists of speeches and interviews involving Stirling or longtime Newfoundland Premier Joey Smallwood, but has also included content such as American patriotic montages, recut Elvis Presley television specials, holiday movies and specials, and miscellanea. As of 2021, Captain Atlantis (named after an ancient alien astronaut character Stirling created) airs in the early Saturday graveyard slot, and on Saturday mornings.
CJON presently broadcasts 16 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with three hours each weekday and one hour on Sundays); the station does not broadcast any news programs on Saturdays.
It has frequently been promoted as "the award-winning NTV Evening Newshour", in reference to a RTNDA Canada "Best Newscast – Medium Market" award from 1998 (for a newscast aired in 1997), and several other awards for individual reports received since (overall, CBNT has won more RTNDA and AJA awards over the same period, and is the most recent area station to have won an RTNDA Best Newscast award, winning in 2009.
Repackaged versions of the Newshour air at midnight and at 6:00 a.m. the following day. NTV Newsday, a live newscast that airs weekdays at noon, frequently also relies on content from the previous night's Newshour. NTV's newscasts are also seen on at least one television station in the United States—WZRA-CD (channel 48), an ethnic station in Tampa, Florida, has regularly carried NTV's newscasts as well as select CTV programming. In fact, NTV's website promotes the fact that NTV advertisers can reach Tampa viewers through WZRA, although the station's signal is only received well in northwestern parts of Tampa (WZRA is licensed to Oldsmar, Florida, a northwestern suburb of Tampa).
The station once operated a network of retransmitters across the province. These transmitters were all analog and never converted to digital. Beginning in the 1990s, transmitters in smaller communities were shut down or spun off to community-based groups. More transmitters were shut down from 2006 to 2013.
The station's transmitters in Swift Current (CJSC-TV channel 10), Glenwood (CHSG-TV channel 7), and St. Alban's (CJST-TV channel 13) were shut down as of December 31, 2006; transmitters in Bay Bulls (CJON-TV-4 channel 10) and Lawn (CJLN-TV channel 10) were shut down as of November 2011.
On November 30, 2012, transmitters at Red Rocks (CJRR-TV channel 11) and Stephenville (CJSV-TV channel 4) were shut down; the station cited the age of the towers and the costs of the upkeep. The station also announced that their transmitter network would eventually close down in the coming years, due to the high cost of upkeep. Deleted concurrently with CJRR and CJSV was the transmitter at Grand Bank (CJOX-TV-1 channel 2), which left the air in September 2012 following the failure of its transmitter; NTV also chose to close CJOX-1 instead of repairing it.
On July 31, 2013, the remaining over-the-air retransmitters of NTV in Corner Brook, Deer Lake, Norris Arm, Bonavista, Clarenville, Argentia, and Marystown were discontinued. Coupled with the closure of the CBC's analog repeater network in 2012, this left all of Newfoundland and Labrador outside of the St. John's area needing a cable or satellite subscription for "over-the-air" TV.
|List of some of CJON's former retransmitters|
Digital television and high definition
In a rarity for a Canadian television station, CJON's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||Audio||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|21.1||1080i||16:9||Dolby Digital 5.1 (DD 2/0 DV)||CJON-DT||Main CJON-DT programming|
|21.2||Audio only||Dolby Digital 2.0||CHOZ-FM||Simulcast of CHOZ-FM|
In May 2011, CJON announced plans to broadcast in digital and in high definition. The analog transmitter serving the St. John's viewing area was shut off on the morning of July 11, 2011, in order to facilitate installation of the new digital HD transmitter. CJON began transmitting its digital signal on August 3, 2011, broadcasting on UHF channel 21. CJON has opted to use channel 21, its actual digital channel, as its PSIP, instead of channel 6, its former analog channel.
NTV streams all of its local newscasts live through its website, with no geographic restrictions. The live Internet feed previously carried some of the American syndicated programs; these were dropped in September 2018. It has never carried network programming on the online feed. During times when it is not carrying local news, the NTV online feed simulcasts sister station CHOZ-FM, accompanied by webcam shots overlooking St. John's.
- Broadcasting Information Bulletin CRTC 2012-109, February 20, 2012. Application # 2011-1487-6.
- "List of Bell Satellite TV Channels". TV Channel Lists. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
- "National Channel Lineup (Numerical)" (PDF). Shawdirect.ca. Shaw Satellite G.P. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
- Newfoundland Herald TV Week, week of August 19–25, 1978
- "Here & Now wins national newscast award". CBC.ca. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2009-05-24. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
- Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2007–11, February 1, 2007.
- Broadcasting Information Bulletin CRTC 2012-109, February 20, 2012.
- The Gulf News: "OZ FM, NTV to stop broadcasting from Red Rocks", November 26, 2012.
- "Broadcasting Information Bulletin CRTC 2013–62". Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. February 15, 2013. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
- Notice: Discontinuation of Analog "Over-the-Air" TV Archived 2013-07-05 at the Wayback Machine
- RabbitEars TV Query for CJON
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-05-24. Retrieved 2011-05-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- CTV: The Television Wars, Susan Gittins, Toronto: Stoddart Publishing, 1999
- Small, Lennon, the gods and ME, Susan Bourette, Report on Business Magazine, December 2004
- nf.general Archives – Usenet newsgroup where NTV preemptions have been frequently discussed (Click here for listings specific to NTV)
- CJON-DT history – Canadian Communications Foundation
- Transcript of CRTC public hearing, December 11, 2002