While the station is licensed to Pembroke, Ontario, its main studios are located at 87 George Street in Ottawa. The station broadcasts on channel 5 in Pembroke and channel 43 in Ottawa, and airs on cable channel 6 in both cities. It has also been assigned the transitional digital channels 7 in Pembroke and 17 in Ottawa, although neither channel is currently on air as of May 2008.
In 1990, Baton Broadcasting acquired the MCTV stations. Because CHRO is carried by cable television companies in the Ottawa market, this was deemed an ownership conflict for Baton, who already owned Ottawa's CJOH, and would therefore have a twinstick in competition with the CBC's CBOT. However, the station's carriage in Ottawa was also deemed essential to its survival, since Pembroke was too small a market to support the station on its own. Thus, CHRO was disaffiliated from the CBC, becoming a CTV affiliate. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) also ordered strict controls on CHRO's programming, so that Baton could not gain unfair audience advantage in Ottawa by airing shows at different times on CHRO and CJOH. Baton eventually became the sole corporate proprietor of CTV.
In February 2005, CHUM announced plans to consolidate the master control departments for CHRO, CKVR, CFPL, CHWI and CKNX at 299 Queen Street West in Toronto, and to consolidate the traffic and programming departments at CFPL in London, resulting in the loss of approximately 19 staff members from CHRO. On June 3, 2005, at approximately 10:30 a.m., the Pembroke master control signal came to an end, as the new consolidated master control took to air.
On July 12, 2006, CTV owner Bell Globemedia (now CTVglobemedia) announced plans to purchase CHUM Limited for $C1.7 billion, with plans to divest itself of the A-Channel and Access Alberta stations. On the same date, CHRO cancelled its noon-hour lifestyles program and its 12:30 p.m. weekday newscast, citing low ratings and declining advertising revenues. A plan was announced to almost fully automate the station's news production system, which would see a few dozen staff members laid off by the start of the new year.
In January 2007, CHRO began producing its newscasts with a new system called "Ross Overdrive" - an automated production system that replaced the need for a switcher, VTR operator, graphics operator and many other staffers. Some 25 staffers were affected by the change, which had been announced some six months earlier.
On April 9, 2007, Rogers Media announced an agreement to purchase all of the A-Channel stations including CHRO, SexTV: The Channel, CLT, Access Alberta, and several CHUM owned over-the-air television stations. The deal was contingent on full approval by the CRTC of the CTVglobemedia takeover of CHUM. With CRTC approval being contingent on the sale of the Citytv stations instead, Rogers will instead buy these stations and CTV will keep the A-Channel stations. The takeover transaction was completed on June 22.
With the CHUM acquisition, CTV will (once again) become the only English-language private TV broadcaster offering Ottawa news coverage; it will own both CHRO and CJOH-TV, which compete only with the CBC's CBOT in offering local news. This is ironic given the media-diversity rationale for the sale of the Citytv stations; however it has already been approved by the CRTC on the basis of CHRO's financial situation and the stations' prior common ownership (until 1997)..
On July 26, 2007, CTVglobemedia named Richard Gray the head of news for the A-Channel stations. Gray will report to the CTVgm corporate group, not CTV News, to preserve independent news presentation and management. Gray will now oversee the news departments for CHRO-TV, plus CKVR, CFPL, CKNX, CHWI, CIVI-TV.
On July 16, 2008 – CTVglobemedia announced that Richard Gray, Head of News for A-Channel, has been appointed Vice-President of Ottawa Radio and A-Channel Ottawa. Gray takes over from Chris Gordon, who was appointed to President of CHUM Radio in April. Gray began his new position on September 1, 2008.
See also list of programs broadcast by A.