In November 2000 the CRTC approved the awarding of a licence to Craig Broadcast Systems for a specialty channel to be known as Retro, which would be devoted to classic television programming. By the time the channel launched in September 2001, Viacom International had acquired a minority interest in the channel, and it was titled TV Land, mimicking Viacom’s similar U.S. cable service.
Majority ownership in the channel changed when CHUM acquired Craig Media in 2004, and yet again in June 2007 with the sale of CHUM Limited to CTVglobemedia (see below). On July 12 it was announced that Bell Globemedia would pay C$1.7 billion for CHUM Ltd., in a deal that would see the company become part of the BCE-owned media conglomerate, subject to CRTC approval.
A CRTC hearing on the CTVglobemedia application to acquire the assets of CHUM Limited was held on April 30th 2007. On June 8 the CRTC approved the acquisition of CHUM Ltd. by CTVglobemedia, on condition that CTV sell off its five City-TV stations, CITY-TV Toronto, CHMI-TV Portage La Prairie/Winnipeg, CKEM-TV Edmonton, CKAL-TV Calgary and CKVU-TV Vancouver. Rogers Communications announced on June 25th that a deal had been reached for them to buy these stations from CTV, subject to CRTC approval.
Among the CHUM assets acquired by CTVglobemedia in the deal were seven television stations, 21 specialty channels including TV Land, and some 33 radio stations.
On June 22nd, CTVglobemedia announced that TV Land would be rebranded as Comedy Gold, and would be built around television sitiuation comedies of the '70s, '80s and '90s.