CTV was founded in 1961 after a federal enquiry decided the CBC should not have a monopoly on television broadcasting in Canada. The original network management immediately ran into financial trouble, and in 1964 the original eight affiliates decided to buy the network and run it as a co-operative. The network expanded to cover almost all of Canada within fifteen years of its' founding.
CTV made a name for itself in news coverage when they convinced star Canadian Broadcasting Corporation news anchor Lloyd Robertson to switch networks in 1976. CTV has been Canada's highest-rated television network ever since. The network also has the country's only national morning news show, Canada AM.
In 1991, CTV became a regular business, where ownership was determined by how much of the country each affiliate served. This paved the way for Baton Broadcasting, original owner of the network's Toronto affiliate to take control of the network by buying up affiliate stations during the 1990s. In 1997, Baton gained effective control of the network, and now owns almost all CTV-affiliated stations. Only the stations in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Kenora, Ontario and Lloydminster, Alberta are owned by other companies.
CTV has attracted some controversy in recent years, with significant local news cutbacks in its smaller-market stations. The four Maritime stations, known collectively as ATV, and the four Northern Ontario stations, known collectively as MCTV, each had their local news production cut back to one centrally-produced single newscast for each region, with only brief inserts for news of strictly local interest. This was a controversial move in all of the affected communities, especially in Northern Ontario where MCTV's newscasts were the only locally-oriented television news programs in those markets.
Local stations that are part of the CTV network include: