a media industry resource

Rogers Group: landmarks


This chronology is indicative only. It covers -

  • antecedents (1905)
  • beginnings (1960)
  • expansion into telco (1984)
  • and into print (1994)
  • consolidation (2000)

Context is provided by the broader communications and media timeline on this site.


1887 John Bayne Maclean founds Canadian Grocer

1907 founds Financial Post

1910 founds Farmer's Magazine

1911 launches Macleans magazine

1925 founds Canadian Homes & Gardens

1927 founds Mayfair

1927 Canadian inventor and radio manufacturer Edward Rogers launches CFRB (Canada's First Rogers Batteryless) radio station

1927 Maclean establishes branch in US

1928 Maclean founds Chatelaine

1930 Maclean establishes branch in UK

1931 Rogers awarded experimental TV licence

1945 Maclean-Hunter established


1960 son Edward and associates launch commercial television station CFTO in Ottawa

1961 founds Rogers Radio Broadcasting, which buys Ottawa FM station CHFI-FM

1962 founds CFTR-AM in Toronto

1962 Great Lakes Broadcasting (Maclean-Hunter, Clare Chambers and Donald Hildebrand) buy CFCO

1965 Great Lakes Broadcasting (CFCO and CFOR Orillia) and Kitchener-Waterloo Broadcasting (CHYM-AM/FM) merge as Great Lakes Broadcasting System

1967 Maclean Hunter buys out Hildebrand and Chambers

1967 Rogers buys Bramalea Telecable

1967 awarded cable television licenses for Toronto, Brampton and Leamington

1974 Rogers Cable TV becomes first Canadian cable company to expand past 12 channels

1978 Maclean-Hunter buys CKBY-CKOY

1978 amalgamation of Toronto Sun Holdings and Toronto Sun Publishing

1979 Maclean-Hunter buys Canadian Cablesystems

1980 buys Premier Communications, doubling subscriber base to become largest cable tv network in Canada

1982 Great Lakes Broadcasting System becomes Key Radio

1982 Maclean Hunter buys 50% of Toronto Sun for C$54m

1983 Toronto Sun buys Houston Post for US$100m

Expansion into telco

1984 buys 40% of CNCP Telecommunications, national telco formed by Canadian National railway and Canadian Pacific railway

1985 founds mobile telephone network Rogers Cantel (later renamed Rogers AT&T Wireless) in partnership with First City Financial Corporation and Telemedia Enterprises Inc

1987 Toronto Sun sells Houston Post to Singleton's Media News for US$150m

1987 buys Financial Post weekly from Maclean-Hunter

1987 Timothy Benn sells UK Press Gazette to Maclean-Hunter

1988 launches daily Financial Post

1988 Rogers Video rental chain founded

1988 Toronto Sun acquires Bowes Publishers (small dailies, weeklies and special interest magazines)

1988 launches Ottawa Sun

1989 buys Florida chain of papers for US$14.5m

1989 Rogers Communications sells US cable interests for C$1.6bn

1989 Maclean-Hunter buys CFNY-FM

1989 buys Selkirk Communications

1989 sells CFAC-TV to Western International Communications

1990 CNCP Telecommunications renamed Unitel Communications

1992 Canadian regulators allow Unitel to compete with BCE and other national long-distance services

1993 20% of Unitel sold to AT&T, with Rogers Communications stake reduced to 32%

And into print

1994 Rogers Communications buys publisher Maclean Hunter, which becomes Rogers Media, for C$3.1bn

1994 gains control (66.5%) of Toronto Sun Publishing through Maclean-Hunter acquisition

1994 sells Maclean Hunter European Publishing to EMAP for £60m

1994 sells Bluewater Broadcasting (CFCO, CHYR Leamington and CKTY-CFGX Sarnia) to Blackburn Radio for C$2.6m

1995 Rogers Communications sells out of Unitel Communications

1995 Toronto Sun sells commercial printing business in Washington for C$12m

1996 sells its 62% stake in Toronto Sun Publishing (later acquired by Quebecor) for C$411m

1999 Microsoft invests US$400m in Rogers


2000 Rogers buys Cable Atlantic cable tv network

2000 abortive C$5.6bn takeover bid for Vidéotron cable network

2000 buys US Physician Financial News

2000 buys Heating, Plumbing & Air Conditioning magazine

2000 buys Toronto Blue Jays and majority interest in Toronto Phantoms football team

2001 buys 40% of Sportsnet from BCE

2001 buys 13 radio stations in Toronto and Ontario from Standard Broadcasting for C$100m

2004 buys 50% of CTV's mobile production and distribution business (rebadged as Dome Productions) for C$21.3m