A transmitter in Red Deer rebroadcasts the station on channel 4.
The station was established by Craig Media Inc., and went on the air for the first time on September 18, 1997 as A-Channel. It promoted itself as a very locally-oriented station, with the slogan "Very independent, very Edmonton!"
In 1999, a letter bomb exploded in the A-Channel Newsroom, injuring the assignment editor and one of the general assignment reporters. A-Channel Edmonton simulcasted the Calgary editions of Live@Five and News@Six while police investigated the bombing. Local Edmonton newscasts resumed later on in the evening. Raymond Neal Best was charged with attempted murder and possession of explosive substances, in connection with the A-Channel letter bomb, and the attempted letter bombings aimed at both Calgary and Edmonton police chiefs.
On September 17, 2003, several employees who were members of the Canadian Energy and Paperworkers Local 1900 went on strike over worry of jobs being lost, wages, and jobs being moved to Calgary (including Master Control operations). The strike lasted 166 days.
In 2004, Craig Media announced a deal to sell the A-Channel stations to CHUM Limited. The sale was approved by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission on November 19, 2004, and became official on December 1. On February 3, 2005, CHUM announced that the A-Channel stations would be relaunched as Citytv by that fall; the changes took effect on August 2.
On July 12 2006, the station's local newscasts (with the exception of CityNews at Noon) were immediately cancelled when Bell Globemedia (now known as CTVglobemedia) announced plans to take over CHUM Limited. The local newscasts were replaced by a half-hour news magazine program called Your City at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., along with a national and international newscast called CityNews International (produced in the Citytv's CityNews studios in Toronto, Ontario) . Following the cancellation, many of the CityNews@6 members have moved to other local television stations or accepted other jobs. ,
On June 8, 2007, the CRTC announced its approval of CTVglobemedia's purchase of CHUM Limited, but added a condition that CTVglobemedia must sell off CHUM's Citytv stations (including CKEM) to another buyer while keeping the A-Channel stations. The following Monday, it was announced that Rogers Communications would buy the stations of the Citytv system. The sale was approved by the CRTC on September 28 2007. The sale was finalized on October 31, 2007.