Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
CFCL-AM was established by J. Conrad Lavigne in 1952, as the first French radio station in Canada outside of Quebec. It was a private affiliate of Radio-Canada's French radio network, and one of the only private affiliate stations of a CBC radio network anywhere in Canada.
Lavigne's broadcast holdings were eventually merged into the MCTV system. When MCTV acquired several other radio stations in 1986, CFCL became a commercial station as part of the Mid-Canada Radio network, and disaffiliated from Radio-Canada.
Mid-Canada Radio was sold to the Pelmorex Radio Network in 1990. Because the radio and television station no longer had common ownership, the radio station's callsign was subsequently changed to CKOY.
CFCL-TV was established on June 21, 1956, also by Lavigne. It was originally established as a bilingual private affiliate of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's English and French television networks. It aired on channel 6.
The station added a rebroadcast transmitter in Kapuskasing in 1957. Lavigne subsequently added rebroadcasters in several communities in Northern Ontario and Western Quebec; by 1965, CFCL had the largest privately-owned microwave transmission network in the world. CFCL remained a dual affiliate until the late 1970s, when CBLFT added a transmitter in Timmins.
In 1971, Lavigne opened new CBC stations in Sudbury (CKNC) and North Bay (CHNB). The existing CBC stations in those cities became CTV affiliates; their owner also established a new CTV station, CITO, in Timmins.
Until 1980, CFCL and CITO aggressively competed with each other for advertising dollars, leaving both in a precarious financial position due to the Timmins market's relatively small size. In 1980, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission approved the merger of the two stations, along with their co-owned stations in North Bay and Sudbury, into the MCTV twinstick.
In 1990, the MCTV stations were acquired by Baton Broadcasting. Baton subsequently became the sole corporate owner of CTV, and sold CFCL to the CBC in 2002. The station is now a semi-satellite of CBLT in Toronto.
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