CablePulse 24 (CP24) is a Canadian English language Category A specialty cable and satellite television channel that is owned by the Bell Media subsidiary of BCE, Inc. Based in Toronto, the channel focuses on local news from the Greater Toronto Area and Southern Ontario, and also covers national and international news. It is distributed through cable in Southern Ontario and direct broadcast satellite nationally.
The channel was licensed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in 1996 as Pulse 24, and launched on March 30, 1998 as CablePulse 24, under the ownership of CHUM Limited and minority partner Sun Media, owner of the Toronto Sun daily newspaper. The channel was named as an extension of CITY-TV's newscasts, which were then known as CityPulse. For the first 10 years after its inception, CP24's programming was anchored and featured reports from Citytv personalities, live CityPulse news broadcasts were immediately repeated on CP24 after their initial broadcast on CITY-TV (except for breaking news coverage), and special coverage was simulcast between the channel and the television station. Select programming from other CHUM stations would also be featured on the channel including The NewMusic and Fashion Television.
On December 1, 2004, CHUM Limited acquired the remaining interest in CP24 (giving it 100% of its shares), when the Sun's owners sold their 29.9% share in CP24 after acquiring its independent broadcast station CKXT-TV, the same day that CHUM Limited took control of Craig Media and its assets also.
On July 12, 2006, Bell Globemedia (the latter which became CTVglobemedia in 2007) announced a friendly bid to take over CHUM Limited for an estimated $1.7 billion. One year later on June 8, 2007, the CRTC approved the CTV takeover of CHUM. However, the CRTC made the deal conditional on CTV selling the Citytv stations. On June 12, 2007, Rogers announced that it had agreed to buy the Citytv stations (including Citytv Toronto) for $375 million. The deal was finalized later that year, with a stipulation that CTV maintain ownership of CHUM's 299 Queen Street West headquarters and studios. CTV chose to keep CP24, and the rest of CHUM assets (including the A-Channel stations) it had said it would sell.
As a result of the ownership changes, CP24 began to separate its operations from those of CITY-TV. This process began in 2008, with the introduction of new CP24-only personalities (which meant they were no longer seen anchoring/reporting on the CityNews side), new live eye trucks (also known as Breaking News Vehicles) which were outfitted with white and black design bearing the CP24 and red "Breaking News" decals, the establishment of a new studio and newsroom on the second floor of the 299 Queen Street West building in November of that year, and the removal of nearly all Citytv's news simulcasts from its schedule few weeks later on December 10 of that year, (excluding Breakfast Television), and replacing the 6 p.m. CityNews simulcast with CFTO's CTV News Toronto at Six. Critics had speculated that the latter change was likely as a response to the announcement of the CRTC granting approval to an application by Rogers Media for its own regional news channel focusing on the Greater Toronto Area, the CityNews Channel.
On March 26, 2009, Breakfast Television was replaced with the launch of its own new morning show, CP24 Breakfast, which marked the completion of CP24's separation from Citytv. Also coinciding with the launch, included the rebranding of its oldies music radio station 1050 CHUM (another station which was acquired in the CTV/CHUM acquisition) to a news talk radio format which operated as an audio simulcast of CP24 called "CP24 Radio 1050". The move was intended to broaden the network's reach as a multi-platform news source, but did not prove successful; Toronto Sun columnist Ted Woloshyn in particular pointed out that the station was simply airing a straight simulcast of CP24 television content that was not properly formatted for radio. This arrangement ended on April 13, 2011, with the launch of a new TSN-branded sports talk format, "TSN Radio 1050", (which became the first station of the new national TSN Radio network) few weeks after Bell Canada took control of CTVglobemedia's assets including CP24, with the latter company becoming known as Bell Media.
Following the layoffs and cost-cutting measures that took place at the Citytv stations across Canada (including the cancellation of Citytv Toronto's CityNews at Five announced on January 19, 2010), CP24 immediately expanded its Live at 5 newscast (which had been airing for 15 minutes since its launch in 2008) to 30 minutes along with the launch of another half-hour newscast, Live at 5:30. As a result, CP24's late-afternoon talk shows, such as Animal House Calls and Hot Property, which had been seen weekdays at 5:15 p.m. were moved to a new 7:15 p.m. time slot on January 26, 2010.
On September 10, 2010, BCE (a minority shareholder in CTVglobemedia) announced that it planned to acquire 100% interest in CTVglobemedia for a total debt and equity transaction cost of $3.2 billion CAD. The deal which required CRTC approval, was approved on March 7, 2011 and closed on April 1 of that year, on which CTVglobemedia was rebranded Bell Media.
On March 19, 2011, CP24 introduced a weekend edition of CP24 Breakfast, hosted by Pooja Handa and Gurdeep Ahluwalia, George Lagogianes is the remote host and Nneka Elliott (who resigned on May 2, 2011, and was replaced by Jamie Gutfreund) delivers the weather forecasts. The show runs from 7:00-10:15 a.m.
Location and format
CP24 is based at 299 Queen Street West, at the corner of John Street and Queen Street West. It used to share the newsroom with CITY-TV on the ground floor (which uses the facilities of Bell Media's 24-hour business news channel, Business News Network). In November 2008, CP24 moved its operations to a new studio and newsroom on the second floor of the complex. Coinciding with the new studio, CP24 also adopted an updated on-air appearance, replacing the previous blue and gold colour scheme with a red, white and black design.
CP24's screen format uses a window in the top-left of the screen to show the current program, which is surrounded with a sidebar with weather and traffic reports, scrolling news headlines and local entertainment/event information, and tickers for stocks and sports. This format has been described as more closely resembling a website than a conventional television channel, and has been replicated with a similar look of CP24's enriched screen on its website.
On September 27, 2012, CP24 again updated its on-air appearance as the channel began broadcasting in high definition. The relaunched enriched screen includes several changes such as:
- the entertainment and concert listings were reallocated from the bottom screen to the right-hand corner between the weather and traffic boxes,
- the weather scroll was expanded to a "five-day" contrast (which previously only displayed in "four-day" contrast) on which the scroll displays the forecast breakdown for the next 24-hours (e.g., "MORN" for both the current morning and the next morning, "AFT", for afternoon, "EVE" for evening and "NITE" for overnight), and
- a larger sports headline news scroll was added at the bottom, in which business news from Canada's Toronto Stock Exchange and the American New York Stock Exchange takes over the sports headline scroll Monday-Friday between 9:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
CP24 shares news resources with other Bell Media-owned outlets, including the news/talk radio affiliate CFRB "Newstalk 1010", sports updates with TSN (and CHUM "TSN Radio 1050"), business news updates with the Business News Network, MTV News with MTV Canada and entertainment news updates with eTalk. Before its acquisition by CTV, CP24 was closely integrated with CITY-DT's newsroom, which had shared programming, anchors and hosts at the time.
Carriage and expansion plans
CP24 is seen on cable channel 24 on most cable providers that carry the channel. It is not carried on any analogue cable system outside of Central or Southern Ontario, although it is available on direct broadcast satellite and IPTV television providers in some markets. The channel is available across Canada on Bell TV, on which the station is part of the service's "News" package. It is also available in the "FYI" package provided to Shaw Direct customers.
Remote camera use
- CN Tower
- Highway 401
- Toronto Pearson International Airport
- Rogers Centre
- Toronto City Hall
- Don Valley Parkway
- 299 Queen Street West
Since 2008, CP24 has leased a Bell 206L-4 Long Ranger (C-FCTV) news helicopter which can broadcast live at 1500 feet above land; nicknamed Chopper 24, which is supplied by its sister station, CTV Toronto and is painted with CTV's colouring and logo.
Remote truck use
CP24 operates a fleet of remote transmission trucks that use digital microwave and satellite uplink systems to do live news reports throughout the region. Known as "Breaking News Vehicles" the custom-built 2008 Chevrolet Suburbans were outfitted by Frontline Communications of Clearwater, Florida, USA. The vehicles use a red, white and black paint scheme with the channel's logo and the "Breaking News!" slogan also included in the design.
Beat The Traffic
In 2009, CP24 became the first station in Canada to introduce a new Beat The Traffic system showing a three-dimensional animated map displaying traffic flow, roadwork, accidents and current highway travel times.
The CRTC approved an application by then-owners CHUM Limited in June 2007 to launch an high-definition simulcast of CP24. On September 27, 2012, CP24 began broadcasting in HD (with the SD feed letterboxed) initially on Bell Fibe TV coinciding with it, a new enhanced on-air appearance. The HD feed was also added on the Bell TV service in December 2012. On June 25, 2013, CP24 began broadcasting in HD on Rogers Cable, shortly after the competing Rogers-owned CityNews Channel, which had been available in HD on Rogers Cable since launch, announced it would be shutting down.
In December 2013, CP24 (along with several other Bell Media television channels) launched a TV Everywhere service known as CP24 GO, which is offered for free to Bell TV customers. It can be accessed from a computer or on a mobile app such as a tablet or smartphone. However, CP24 continues to offer its occasional free live streaming of some major news events on its website.
Notable on–air staff
- Steve Anthony – weekday morning co–host of CP24 Breakfast
- Kyle Christie - host of Live at 10 and Live at 11
- Jackie Crandles – host of Hot Property; also reporter
- Cristina Tenaglia- reporter, anchor, host of "AutoShop."
- Travis Dhanraj – weekend morning co–host of CP24 Breakfast; also reporter/anchor
- Nathan Downer – weeknights on Live at 5; also reporter
- Nneka Elliott – weekend morning co-host of CP24 Breakfast
- Courtney Heels – also reporter
- Jill Colton – weather specialist
- Rena Heer – also reporter
- George Lagogianes – weekday morning co–host of CP24 Breakfast; also reporter
- Stephen LeDrew – weekdays on CP24 Live at Noon
- Jee Yun Lee – host of Live at 10 and Live at 11
- Stephen LeDrew – host of LeDrew Live
- Chris Potter - weekday evenings meteorologist
- Cam Woolley – host of Know Your Rights
- Lindsey Deluce – anchor of Before Breakfast and CP24 Breakfast (takes maternity leaves)
- Devon Soltendieck – former Evening News anchor and Autoshop host, occasionally host guests CP24 Breakfast
- Thalia Assuras (later moved to ABC and then CBS)
- Matte Babel – CP24 Breakfast remote host
- Hugh Burrill – CityNews/CP24 sports anchor and AutoShop (now with CITY–TV's CityNews Toronto)
- Bill Cameron (later with the CBC)
- Lance Chilton – reporter
- Francis D'Souza – CityNews/CP24 anchor/reporter (now 6 p.m. anchor for CityNews Toronto)
- Mark Dailey – CityNews/CP24 anchor/reporter and host of CityNews Tonight (died on December 6, 2010, after a long battle with kidney cancer)
- Denise Donlon (later CEO of Sony Canada)
- Dwight Drummond – CityNews/CP24 crime reporter – former host of The Chief (joined CBC News Toronto on October 12, 2010)
- Merella Fernandez – CityNews/CP24 anchor/reporter and host of AutoShop (now with CTV National News)
- Mary Garofalo (later at WNYW in New York City; now host of Global's 16x9)
- Melissa Grelo – former co–host of CP24 Breakfast and anchor/reporter with CityNews/CP24 (now co–host of CTV's The Social exclusively)
- Larysa Harapyn – CityNews/CP24 entertainment reporter
- Lorne Honickman – CP24 legal specialist
- Bob Hunter (founder of Greenpeace; later died of cancer)
- Avi Lewis (later with CBC; now with Al Jazeera English)
- Stephen Lewis – provided a commentary program (later appointed as Canadian ambassador to the United Nations)
- Gord Martineau – CityNews/CP24 anchor/reporter, CityNews at Six anchor for CP24, and anchor of CityNews International (now with CITY–TV's CityNews Toronto)
- Jim McKenny – CityNews/CP24 sports anchor (now retired)
- Tracy Moore – reporter (now host of Citytv's CityLine)
- Anne Mroczkowski – CityNews/CP24 anchor/reporter – CityNews at Six anchor and host of The Mayor (now at Global Toronto)
- Cynthia Mulligan – CityNews/CP24 anchor/reporter (now with CITY–TV's CityNews Toronto)
- David Onley – CP24 anchor and host of Homepage (appointed Lieutenant Governor of Ontario in 2007)
- Alex Pierson – CityNews/CP24 reporter (later with Global News in Toronto; now with Sun News Network)
- Beatrice Politi – CP24 political specialist (now with Global)
- John Roberts (credited as J.D. Roberts) – entertainment reporter and weekend anchor (later with CNN's American Morning; now Atlanta–based national correspondent for Fox News Channel)
- Ann Rohmer – host of CP24 Breakfast, Animal House Calls, Hot Property and On The Quarter
- Tonya Rouse – fitness specialist and host of CP24's Perfect Fit
- John Saunders – sportscaster (now at ESPN)
- Omar Sachedina – CP24 anchor/reporter (now a correspondent for CTV News)
- Pam Seatle – CityNews/CP24 anchor/reporter (now general assignment reporter with CITY–TV's CityNews Toronto)
- Devon Soltendieck – Evening News anchor and Autoshop host