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In 1953, Roy Hoffstetter, manager of CKWS Radio, announced his company was ready to enter the television field as soon as permission was forthcoming from the CBC. The Brookland Co. Ltd. applied for TV licences in Kingston (CKWS) and Peterborough (CHEX). CKWS would use channel 11. The Kingston application was approved - channel 11 with an effective radiated power of 99,000 watts video and 54,000 watts audio. Antenna height would be 419 feet above average terrain. The CBC Board approved the transfer of CKWS from the Brookland Co. Ltd. to Frontenac Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (no change of control). and on December 18, 1954, CKWS-TV was on the air as an affiliate of the CBC network. It was originally a joint venture between Roy Thomson and the Davies family, owners of the Kingston Whig-Standard (the source of its call letters). The early program schedule started at 4:30 p.m. and ran to midnight.
The station has been sold three times: to the Kanatec Corporation, bought by Power Corporation in 1977 and to Corus in 1999. From 1954 through 2015, CKWS was an affiliate of CBC Television. CBC chose to end its affiliations with Corus' privately owned affiliates effective August 30, 2015. Beginning the following day, CKWS began carrying programs from the CTV Television Network. On August 14, 2018, it was announced that CKWS' affiliation agreement with CTV would expire on August 27; the station subsequently became a Global owned-and-operated station, rebranding itself as Global Kingston.