CFRN first signed on the air on October 25, 1954 at 3:00 p.m. as the second television station in Alberta, and the province's second CBC Television affiliate. Sunwapta Broadcasting, owned by pioneering Edmonton broadcaster Dick Rice, originally owned the station alongside co-owned radio station CFRN-AM.
During its early years, CFRN aired, alongside CBC programming, some syndicated programs and locally-produced shows such as The Noon Show and Morning Magazine (which later became Day by Day). In 1958, it aired a live broadcast of the opening of the Alberta legislature to a five-station provincial network via microwave. CFRN's first rebroadcasting stations went on the air in Edson and Carrot Creek in June 1961.
CFRN switched its affiliation to the new CTV network on October 1, 1961 when the CBC, which had gained a licence for its own Edmonton station from the Board of Broadcast Governors, put CBXT on the air on the same day. CFRN added more rebroadcasters in Whitecourt and Ashmont in 1966, and it began airing network programs in color in September that year. Local studio-produced color programs began airing in 1970, followed by the addition of mobile color production in 1975. CFRN's network of rebroadcasting stations expanded between 1968 and 1993 across northern Alberta.
The CFRN radio and TV stations were sold in 1988 to Canadian media/electronics company Electrohome Ltd., which also owned CTV affiliate CKCO-TV in Kitchener, Ontario. CFRN-AM and -TV founder Dick Rice died on February 25, 1992 at age 92. On June 19, 1992, Standard Radio Inc. (now part of Astral Media) purchased CFRN-AM and FM sister station CJKE-FM (now CFBR-FM) from Electrohome, which kept CFRN-TV as part of the sale.
In 1995, Electrohome entered an alliance with Baton Broadcasting as part of Baton's bid to acquire control of CTV. The Baton-Electrohome alliance took control of Electrohome stations CFRN and CKCO, as well as six Baton-owned stations in Saskatchewan (four CTV affiliates and two CBC affiliates), two Baton-owned independent stations in London and Windsor, Ontario, and the recently-acquired CFCN-TV in Calgary. Electrohome sold CFRN, CKCO and its ownership shares in CTV to Baton in 1997 in exchange for shares in Baton, which changed its corporate name to CTV Inc. in 1998 upon succeeding in acquiring all CTV shares from the network's former co-owners.
On August 31, 2011, as part of the transition of Canadian television broadcasting from analog to digital, CFRN's channel 3 analog signal went off the air while CFRN-DT's digital signal went on the air on channel 12.
Current Prime-Time Schedule
Note: Schedule is subject to change due to live sports coverage and special programming.
|Monday||eTalk||The Big Bang Theory||Castle||Gotham||Forever||CTV National News||CTV News Edmonton|
|Tuesday||eTalk||The Big Bang Theory||Person of Interest||The Flash||Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.||CTV National News||CTV News Edmonton|
|Wednesday||eTalk||The Big Bang Theory||Grey's Anatomy||Arrow||Criminal Minds||CTV National News||CTV News Edmonton|
|Thursday||eTalk||The Big Bang Theory||How to Get Away with Murder||The Big Bang Theory||The Millers||Two and a Half Men||The McCarthys||CTV National News||CTV News Edmonton|
|Friday||eTalk||The Big Bang Theory||Blue Bloods||The Amazing Race||Grimm||CTV National News||CTV News Edmonton|
|Saturday||W5||The Big Bang Theory||Anger Management||Mike & Molly||Hot in Cleveland||Saving Hope||CTV National News||CTV News Edmonton|
|Sunday||Saving Hope||CSI||Once Upon a Time||Resurrection||CTV National News||CTV News Edmonton|