CICT-TV first signed on the air on October 8, 1954 as CHCT, and was the first television station in the province of Alberta (as a result, it is also the oldest television station in the country that is part of the Global Television Network). The station was originally an affiliate of CBC Television. Its studios, offices and transmitter facility were located on a hill seven miles (11 km) west of the city. The station was owned by Calgary Television Ltd., a consortium of Calgary radio stations CFCN, CFAC and CKXL. The "CT" in CHCT stood for "Calgary Television".
During the construction of the transmitter, the 70-foot, 5 ton antenna was being hoisted on the top of the 600-foot (180 m) tower when the cable snapped and the antenna fell all the way down the tower to imbed itself 15 feet (4.6 m) in the ground. No one was injured in the accident, and the antenna was able to be repaired, but the station's launch was delayed by 10 days. A year later, CHCT moved its studios and offices from the transmitter site on Old Banff Coach Road, to a renovated badminton club/sea cadet drill hall on 955 Rideau Road S.W. Calgary.
Notable programs that were produced at the original studio include Klara's Korner, a cooking show that was in national syndication for many years; Yan Can Cook, a cooking show hosted by Martin Yan which later aired for many years on PBS in the United States; Stampede Wrestling, which was produced for over 20 years, finding loyal audiences worldwide; and It Figures, which originated at the station and was produced for nearly 20 years.
In 1957, CKXL Ltd. sold its share in Calgary Television Ltd. to Fredrick Shaw, who had recently sold his share in CKXL-AM to Tel-Ray Ltd. CFCN sold off its share in 1961 when it opened its own station, CFCN-TV. In 1968, Tel-Ray sold its stake to Selkirk Communications, who changed the callsign to CFAC-TV to match CFAC radio, of which Selkirk was part-owner (and full owner from 1971). On September 1, 1975, after the CBC launched its own station in Calgary, CBRT (channel 9; prior to its sign-on, Calgary was the largest TV market in Canada without a CBC owned-and-operated station of its own), CFAC-TV disaffiliated from CBC and became an independent station. In 1979, the station branded itself as "2&7", the latter channel number referring to both its cable location and to sister station CFAC-TV7 in Lethbridge (now CISA). For a number of years afterwards, it continued to use the old CFAC "star" logo alongside the 2&7 logo.
In 1981, the station moved to its new home, the Calgary Television Centre, a move reflecting its growth since its disaffiliation from the CBC. After obtaining the television rights to the (then-newly relocated) Calgary Flames National Hockey League franchise the year before, the station purchased a seven-camera mobile unit soon after. The station has been the Flames' television partner since 1980. In the fall of 1982, the station became the first station in Calgary to begin broadcasting a 24-hour schedule. Programs seen during the overnight hours consisted of movies and reruns of The Jackie Gleason Show, among other shows.
Although it continued to nominally be an independent station, in 1988, CFAC-TV began airing some programs from the Global Television Network. In 1989, Maclean-Hunter purchased Selkirk Communications, but due to CRTC ownership regulations at the time (Maclean-Hunter already owned CFCN-TV), CFAC-TV was sold to Western International Communications (WIC). A year after WIC bought channel 2, it changed the call letters to CKKX-TV. In 1992, CKKX's news operations were expanded with the acquisitions of a satellite uplink truck and a fleet of electronic news gathering microwave trucks.
Logo used while Calgary 7, used from 1993 to 2000. For logos used while as Global, refer to the Global Television Network article.
On September 7, 1993, CKKX changed its callsign to CICT-TV, and also took on the brand of "Calgary 7", referring to the station's cable channel. WIC's properties were split between Shaw Communications and Canwest in 1998. This move required Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approval, the plans for which were filed in 1999 and approved in 2000. Canwest acquired WIC's television assets, including CICT; incidentally, Shaw later bought Canwest's assets amidst the latter company seeking creditor protection in 2009, with the properties becoming the present-day Shaw Media (which is based in the same city).
On September 4, 2000, CICT joined the Global Television Network full-time as an owned-and-operated station, along with fellow Alberta stations CITV-TV in Edmonton and CISA in Lethbridge. By 2001, CICT-TV began relays in Drumheller (CICT-TV-1) and Banff (CICT-TV-2).
Frank Gari's "Hello Calgary" jingle package & news bed for CFAC TV, channels 2 & 7 in Calgary. I believer this was the 3rd or 4th market to get this campaign in 1980. Very popular in Calgary. Stayed on TV for over a decade, and had a bit of a comeback around 2000.