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CH logo.jpg
Founded September 1, 2001 (as CH)
September 7, 2007 (as E!)
Closed August 31, 2009
Company Canwest
Notable Series

For the television channel owned by Bell Media, formerly known as Star! from 1999 to 2010, see E! (Canada).

CH (later known as E! from 2007 to 2009) was a Canadian television system which operated from 2001 to 2009, consisting of two stations in British Columbia (Victoria [also serving Vancouver] and Kelowna), one in Alberta (Red Deer), one in Ontario (Hamilton [also serving Toronto]) and one in Quebec (Montreal). Canwest owned the system.

During CH's later run as E!, the E! name was used by Canwest under licence from the American cable channel of the same name, which also supplied the majority of the system's programming outside of local news and regional programming and its weeknight primetime schedule of shows from the American broadcast networks. The system also shared the E! Online website with the American E! channel, which otherwise did not have any ownership stake in the original Canadian version of E!.

On November 1, 2010, CTVglobemedia (now Bell Media) announced that it had acquired the Canadian rights to the E! brand and programming from the now-defunct Canwest (whose broadcasting and cable assets became known as Shaw Media following their acquisition by Shaw Communications on October 27, 2010, then were acquired by current owner Corus Entertainment on April 1, 2016). CTVgm transferred the E! brand and programming to their similarly-formatted Star! cable channel (which had previously carried E! programming before Canwest obtained the Canadian rights in 2007) on November 29, 2010.[1]




CH was originated by Canwest on September 1, 2001 as a secondary system to the established Global Television Network. From the beginning, the system flagship was Hamilton station CHCH-TV, which first began identifying on-air as CH in February 2001 following Canwest's purchase of that station and several others then owned by Western International Communications. CHCH, at that point, began using a variation of Global TV's crescent logo of the time, with the CH name replacing that of Global above the crescent. The CH system officially began on September 1 when former Victoria CTV affiliate CHEK-TV disaffiliated from that network and began sourcing the majority of its programs from CHCH, while also adopting the CH branding on-air.

CH continued to grow over the next few years, adding Montreal multicultural station CJNT-TV later in September 2001, followed by CKRD-TV, a former CBC Television affiliate in Red Deer, which changed its call sign to CHCA-TV (which had also been the station's calls from its first sign-on in 1957 until 1965) and joined CH on September 8, 2005. Another former CBC affiliate, Kelowna station CHBC-TV, left that network and became the fifth CH affiliate on February 27, 2006, but CHBC became the only Canwest-owned station to opt not to use the CH brand on-air, instead staying with its call sign for its on-air identity.

At the same time that CHBC joined CH, the system gained its first non-Canwest-owned affiliate when CFJC-TV, a CBC affiliate in Kamloops, British Columbia owned by the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, disaffiliated from the CBC and joined CH; the disaffiliation by CFJC was necessitated by its joint sales and programming agreement with CHBC. As with CHBC, CFJC chose to use its new local brand at the time, "The All-New Independent TV7", on air and in print.

Canwest announced in early 2006 that it would discontinue using the CH brand for its stations, but the CH brand remained in use for another year following the announcement. In 2007, Canwest obtained the broadcast rights to programs from the American E! from Star!, the CTV-owned Canadian counterpart to the American E! channel, and also licenced the E! name from the US channel's then-parent company, Comcast Entertainment Group, with the announcement that CH would rebrand as E! later in the year.

As E!

Logo used as E!. It was introduced when CH was renamed and reformatted on September 7, 2007 and was used until the E! system ceased operations on September 1, 2009

The rebranding as E! took place on September 7, 2007, marking the first adoption of a specialty channel-type format for an over-the-air network or system in Canada as the majority of its schedule (in the daytime, late night, weekend and selected primetime hours) was revamped to feature the American E! content of celebrity-oriented news, gossip, documentary and reality programs. Most, but not all, of the primetime schedule on E! continued to consist of shows sourced from the American broadcast networks, such as Knight Rider, Deal or No Deal, How I Met Your Mother, The Biggest Loser and My Name is Earl. In addition, to avoid confusion with the celebrity news program E! News, local newscasts and regional programming on the E! affiliates returned to the use of local identities for the first time since the formation of CH in 2001, with the use of each station's call sign (i.e. "CHCH News" in Hamilton, and "CJNT Montreal" for that station's multicultural programs, which made up 60% of its schedule).

On September 1, 2008, two more former CBC affiliates, CKPG-TV in Prince George, British Columbia and CHAT-TV in Medicine Hat, Alberta (both owned by Jim Pattison), disaffiliated from that network and joined E!. In line with the Canwest-owned affiliates, the Pattison-owned stations used the E! brand for programming from the American E! channel, while using its call letters as the branding for local and regional programming and for non-E! shows. In spite of Canwest's efforts to revitalize its secondary system with the E! format (which was intended to bring in a younger viewer demographic), however, that move proved over time to be highly unpopular with traditional CH viewers, who expressed that they hated the new format and the imported E! programming; this largely resulted in an overall decline in viewership for the E! stations outside of local newscasts and non-E! programs airing on the system.

On February 5, 2009, Canwest announced that it had looked into the possibility of selling its E!-branded stations as one of several options for the stations' future operations. Canwest President and CEO Leonard Asper announced that the sale of CHEK, CHBC, CHCA, CHCH and CJNT would allow Canwest to focus on its specialty cable channels and their synergy with the company's flagship operation, Global TV. [1][2][3] According to a Canadian Press report, analysts speculated it was unlikely that the Canwest-owned E! stations would be sold as a group, but that each station would instead be individually sold to interested local buyers. [4] Further speculation about the future of the Canwest-owned E! stations was later raised when, during Canwest's June 3, 2009 press conference announcing its fall 2009 lineups for its over-the-air and cable channels, it was revealed that no shows had been purchased or even announced for E! for the new season. [5]

On June 30, 2009, Canwest announced that it had sold two of its E! stations, CHCH and CJNT, to Channel Zero, which owns the movie channels Movieola and Silver Screen Classics. Channel Zero also announced that it would reformat CHCH as a local news channel in the daytime with movies airing in the primetime and late night hours, while the multicultural CJNT would air foreign-language movies and multicultural music videos in addition to its existing ethnic programming as part of its reformatting by Channel Zero. As part of the announcement, Canwest also stated that its E! system would not continue past August 31, 2009, and the fate of the remaining E! affiliates it owned, CHEK, CHBC and CHCA, remained unknown, although the company still sought buyers for the stations. [6] The sale of CHCH and CJNT was approved by the CRTC on August 28, 2009.

On July 14, 2009, the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group announced that Pattison-owned E! affiliates CFJC, CKPG and CHAT, in the wake of the pending demise of the Canadian E!, would be establishing new affiliations with Rogers Communications' Citytv system (now a network). Beginning on September 1, 2009, the stations began carrying programming from Citytv (such as 30 Rock, Supernanny, The Office and The Jay Leno Show), but do not use the Citytv branding, instead using their call signs for full-time local branding. [7][8]

On July 22, 2009, Canwest announced that, as a result of its operations review, it would be closing CHEK and CHCA as of August 31, 2009, while CHBC, which was retained by Canwest, would join Global TV as that network's newest owned-and-operated station and would be rebranded on-air on the same day. [9] In the announcement, Canwest Broadcasting President Peter Viner claimed that CRTC regulations regarding cable and satellite companies carrying over-the-air broadcast stations without paying fees to the broadcasters "made the stations unviable"; this claim drew immediate criticism from the public, who alleged in turn that Canwest's business practices (including obtaining bank loans for the purchase of broadcast stations, cable channels and newspaper publishing companies, layoffs of station staff, consolidation of station operations [including removal of station master controls and merging them into a centralized master control based in Calgary] and ill-advised station formatting [in reference to the E! branding and format]), along with the CRTC's allowances of same, led to the forced closures of CHEK and CHCA. [10][11]

The scheduled transition for each station for the end of broadcasting by E! on Monday, August 31, 2009, was as follows:

  • Channel Zero assumed control of programming at both CHCH and CJNT as of 12:00 a.m. EDT.
  • CHCA signed off at 6:00 a.m. MDT.
  • CHBC joined Global (by simulcasting the Global Morning News on CHAN-TV) at 5:30 a.m. PDT.
  • CHEK's last Canwest-supplied program as an E! affiliate, Days of our Lives, ended at 5:00 p.m. PDT. It then carried regular local programming until 7:00 p.m., when it aired a one-hour Best of Island 30 special, followed by a two-hour retrospective of the station's history. Prior to those shows airing on the scheduled day of signoff, it was announced during CHEK's 5 p.m. newscast that the closure was put on hold while negotiations between the involved parties in the sale continued. CHEK became an independent station on September 1 and was sold on September 4 to CHEK Media Group, a consortium of CHEK employees and several local private investors. The CRTC officially approved the sale of CHEK on November 9, 2009.
  • The Pattison-owned affiliates carried regular E! programming during the broadcast day, with the final Canwest-supplied program, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, concluding at approximately 1:38 a.m. PDT on September 1, which also officially ended E!'s operations. CFJC, CKPG and CHAT began carrying programming from Citytv later that morning.

Subsequent to the closure of E!, both CHCH and CHEK began airing schedules consisting of rolling news updates in the daytime, while in the evening, CHCH aired two feature movies at 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. (which then repeated overnight after the late news) while CHEK aired locally-produced programs and a feature movie each night at 8:00 p.m. Beginning in September 2010, CHCH, CJNT and CHEK resumed airing some common syndicated American programming for the first time since the demise of E!, such as Smallville, Supernatural, Chuck, 60 Minutes, Nightline, Jimmy Kimmel Live and selected games from the NBA on ABC during the NBA regular season and playoffs. CHCH and CHEK, however, each remain independently owned with their own branding and sell advertising and program their schedules independently. CJNT was sold to Rogers on December 20, 2012 and adopted the City brand and that network's program schedule on February 4, 2013.

CH/E! affiliates (including city of licence and date of first sign-on)


Station City First sign-on date Notes
CHEK-TV Victoria, British Columbia December 1, 1956 Formerly a CBC affiliate until September 1963, a CBC/CTV dual affiliate until January 4, 1981, then a CTV affiliate until August 31, 2001; ceased its affiliation with E! on August 31, 2009; purchased by a group of station employees and private investors (now known as CHEK Media Group) on September 4, 2009
CHBC-TV Kelowna, British Columbia September 21, 1957 Formerly a CBC affiliate until February 26, 2006; ceased its affiliation with E! and joined Global Television at 5:30 a.m. PDT on August 31, 2009
CHCA-TV Red Deer, Alberta December 11, 1957 Signed on under that name as a CBC affiliate; changed its call sign to CKRD-TV in September 1965; disaffiliated from CBC and joined CH on September 8, 2005, returning to its original call sign the same day; signed off on August 31, 2009
CHCH-TV Hamilton, Ontario June 7, 1954 Formerly a CBC affiliate until 1961; flagship station of CH/E!; purchased by Channel Zero on June 30, 2009; ceased its affiliation with E! at 12 a.m. EDT on August 31, 2009
CJNT-TV Montreal, Quebec September 8, 1997 Formerly a multicultural station until February 3, 2013; joined CH on September 8, 2001; purchased by Channel Zero on June 30, 2009; ceased its affiliation with E! at 12 a.m. EDT on August 31, 2009; sold to Rogers Communications on December 20, 2012 and, after a brief City/OMNI Television joint affiliation, solely affiliated with City on February 4, 2013

Independently owned

Note: All independently-owned E! affiliates are owned by the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group; all the Pattison-owned E! affiliates ceased their affiliations with E! and formed new affiliations with Citytv on September 1, 2009. [12]

Station City First sign-on date Notes
CFJC-TV Kamloops, British Columbia April 8, 1957 Formerly a CBC affiliate until February 26, 2006
CKPG-TV Prince George, British Columbia August 20, 1961 Formerly a CBC affiliate until August 31, 2008
CHAT-TV Medicine Hat, Alberta September 14, 1957 Formerly a CBC affiliate until August 31, 2008

Several Canadian stations, most of them privately-owned CBC or CTV affiliates, also supplemented their schedules with programming from CH/E!, as did some Global TV stations in cities not served by a CH/E! affiliate.


  1. CTV and Comcast International Media Group Partner to Bring E!, World’s Top Entertainment Brand, Back to Canada

External links