Continuing the momentum of expanding its footprint in key Canadian markets , Rogers Media in rebranding their Citytv stations in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Saskatchewan and Montreal (with the launch of City Montreal on February 4, 2013) from Citytv to City. According to a statement, the network “has come to represent much more than just television,” and the new name, as well as a shortened logo, will reflect that. These stations offer intensely-local, urban-oriented, culturally-diverse television programming for its young professional, upwardly mobile, white collar viewers. City Montreal will mark the third expansion for Rogers in the past year following the launch of City Saskatchewan and City programming in three key markets in Western Canada – Kamloops, Prince George, and Medicine Hat (CHAT) as a result of an affiliate agreement with Jim Pattison Broadcasting Group.
Beginning September 1, 2012, the three Pattison television stations in Western Canada, including CHAT in Medicine Hat, began to air 90% of City programming throughout prime time and the majority of the morning and daytime hours. Pattison continues to produce and broadcast its local newscasts (at 12 noon and the dinner hour).
The slow rebranding from Citytv to City that’s been going for the past few months is sign that Rogers Media is quietly reinventing itself. In October 2011, they launched a new specialty all-news network, CityNews Channel granted to them by the CRTC in 2008. Currently, the channel is broadcasting only in the greater Toronto area and plans to expand across the country. “This isn’t something that’s new for us,” said Keith. Pelley, the President of Rogers Media at the launch of the new all-news network in October 2011. “We have the history of City News Everywhere, and we thought, let’s start with Toronto and, fingers crossed, we’ll expand across the country.”
So far, the new all-news station has been particularly well received in Toronto by listeners and journalists alike. It was voted as the Best Local News Broadcast for 2012 by the Radio and Television News Directors Association and awarded the Edward R. Murrow Award also for the best local news coverage. See the flagship of their City News website at http://www.citynews.ca.
In addition to the new all-news channel set to expand across Canada, Rogers already runs a 24-hour news radio network – 680 News – in markets such as Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver, as well as five City television stations across Canada which broadcast the hyper-local Breakfast Television from 5:30am to 9:00am weekdays in Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto and Vancouver. On February 4, 2013, the newest City station in Canada will sign on in Montreal with Breakfast Television.
Rogers also operates the five multicultural OMNI television stations in Canada, two in Toronto, one in Vancouver and two in Alberta along with the multicultural radio station CKER/World FM in Edmonton. In all, Rogers operates five OMNI stations, five City stations and 54 radio stations across Canada, (45 FM and 9 AM radio stations) which makes them the third-largest radio broadcaster behind Astral Media and Newcap.
Rogers is also the largest publisher of trade, business and consumer magazines in Canada with more than 70 business and consumer properties including Maclean’s, Chatelaine, L’actualité, Hello!, Canadian Parent and Canadian Business, and is the leading publisher of a number of industry, medical and financial publications. In a world where content is king, they reign. Existing staff at their brands will likely be expected to do on-air news reports or commentary on the new all-news station. Sports news will come from Rogers Sportsnet staff.
City has started debuting primetime shows online prior to their television debuts, for example, and ran a series of successful online engagement campaigns during The Bachelor. Dale Hooper, Sr. VP of Marketing, said the network will “continue to push social media connectivity” using co-viewing apps. “We’re just reframing what we already are,” he added. “A brand that engages with people across multiple platforms.”
Saskatchewan and Winnipeg re-branded as “City” in October. City stations in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton are now following suit. City Montreal will launch on February 4, 2013 with the new brand.