CFPL was founded by Walter Blackburn, who also owned London's major newspaper, the London Free Press. The television station first came on the air on November 28, 1953, with four hours of programming per day. That night there was a major fire in London, on which CFPL's news program was able to report almost immediately during its first news hour.
CFPL was the second privately owned station in Canada (a station in Sudbury, Ontario was the first). Its news program was the first to be scheduled at 6:00, during "the supper hour," which set the standard for other stations in Canada. CFPL also later became one of the first in Canada to broadcast in colour.
In 1993 the station was bought by Baton Broadcasting. In 1994 the various Baton stations, including CFPL, merged to form the BBS network. In 1997 Baton sold CFPL and some of its other television stations to CHUM Limited. Under CHUM, CFPL was renamed to The New PL.