|Launched||January 1, 1993|
|Closed||December 31, 2019|
|Owned by||Nexstar Media Group|
|Slogan||Continuous Coverage - Around Chicago, Around The Clock|
|Broadcast area||Chicago metropolitan area, parts of northern Illinois and northwestern Indiana|
The channel was formerly owned by Tribune Media (through its Tribune Broadcasting subsidiary) since its debut; it was one of three flagship media properties owned by the company, alongside radio station WGN (720 AM) and CLTV's news partners, independent station WGN-TV (channel 9) until 2019 after Nexstar Media Group acquired Tribune Media. The Chicago Tribune, owned by Tribune Publishing since Tribune's publishing assets were spun-off in summer 2014, along with Tribune's suburban partners, continued to contribute some CLTV content until its closure. CLTV operated from the studios of WGN-TV on Bradley Place in Chicago's North Center neighborhood.
The channel began operations on January 1, 1993, originally broadcasting out of studios located in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook. On February 4, 2009, the Tribune Company announced that it would combine CLTV's operations with the company's flagship television station WGN-TV, though CLTV would continue to operate as a standalone cable news channel. As a result of the integration of the channel's operations, CLTV relocated from its Oak Brook studio to WGN's Bradley Place studios on the northwest side of Chicago. The move became official on August 28, 2009, when editorial control of the cable channel was also turned over to WGN-TV's news department.
Prior to this, Tribune integrated CLTV's weather operations with channel 9, and WGN radio entered into a content agreement with WGN-TV to provide weather forecasts for that station. Upon the completion of the merger, CLTV received a new on-air logo, implemented new graphics based on those used by WGN-TV for that station's newscasts and upgraded to high definition broadcasts.
At the time of its closure, CLTV aired live news on weekdays continuously 4:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., and 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. (also weekends), with half-hour updates at 10:00 a.m. (also weekends), 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. (also weekends). On weekends live news aired from 4:00 a.m. to 5:30 a.m., 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., and 10:00 p.m. to midnight. All news broadcasts were structured into a traditional wheel format of news, traffic and transit, weather, sports, entertainment and feature reports. Any programming was subject to interruption due to breaking local news events or significant national events that necessitated longer-form coverage.
Other programs featured on CLTV included:
Some sports programming also has been featured on the channel including:
In addition, the channel was used in the past as an overflow feed for regional sports network Comcast SportsNet Chicago (now NBC Sports Chicago; branded technically as CSN+ in order to alleviate sports overflows with CSN Chicago's properties). CLTV was also used during the existence of SportsChannel and Fox Sports Net Chicago as the overflow feeds of those channels before the launch of CSN Chicago. By the second quarter of 2010, Comcast's Chicago systems transitioned to digital-only transmission of its channel lineup (requiring a digital converter box or CableCard-compliant receiver to receive programming), and NBCSC+ has been transitioned to its own channel, along with a NBCSC+HD feed.
Due to CLTV's ownership by the Tribune Company (and it's successor, Nexstar), the channel shares content and reporting from other news operations run by the company. News footage is shared extensively between CLTV and WGN-TV. All of CLTV's weather coverage is provided by WGN-TV. Columnists from the Chicago Tribune (as mentioned above, now separately owned since mid-2014) also provide in-depth reporting for many feature stories seen on CLTV. Metromix, a joint venture between tronc and the Gannett Company that provides local arts and cultural coverage and is available as the cultural section in the Tribune, produced Metromix Weekend for CLTV. The primetime program initially aired on a nightly basis until 2008, when it was relegated to Thursdays and Fridays, with repeats during the weekend (the program is currently on hiatus).
Before its closure, CLTV reached an estimated 1.8 million households, making it one of the most widely distributed regional cable news channels in the United States. The channel had been exclusively available on Comcast (and its forerunners AT&T Broadband, MediaOne and TCI) until October 2009, when RCN started to carry CLTV after Tribune struck a new carriage agreement with Comcast that removed the channel's exclusivity to that provider, enabling CLTV to appear on additional providers in the Chicago area. Three months later on January 19, 2010, Comcast began offering CLTV on digital cable in the company's Rockford and South Bend service areas. The SportsChannel/Fox Sports Net and Comcast SportsNet overflow content was not exclusive before October 2009, and was used on other systems that did not carry CLTV. CLTV was unavailable to WOW!, AT&T U-verse, Dish Network and DirecTV subscribers in the Chicago market.