The original Citytv, founded in Toronto in 1972, and broadcasting for the first time on September 28 of that year, is best known for its unconventional approach to news and local programming. With a lack of a news desk (anchors read the news standing up) and laid-back, hard-hitting presentation, Citytv has developed a following, and other stations have tried to imitate its format to varying degrees of success.
Citytv originally broadcast on the UHF band with a 31 kW signal on channel 79, since all the VHF licences in the Toronto area were taken. This makes Citytv Canada's third oldest UHF TV station. In 1976, Citytv began broadcasting a 208 kW from the CN Tower. Citytv was bought completely by CHUM Limited in 1981. The channel Citytv broacast on was changed from channel 79 to channel to 57 in July 1983, due to complaints that the station was interfering with CB radio broadcasts in the Toronto area.
Moses Znaimer, head of Citytv for many years, once described the station's philosophy by saying, "It's not the show, it's the flow."
Citytv also produces more local programs than any other television station in Canada, such as Speaker's Corner, CityLine and Fashiontelevision.