CTV Montreal announced Thursday on the air that veteran Brian Britt is leaving his anchor chair, retiring from TV journalism less than two years after taking it from the only man more gravitasial than him, Bill Haugland.
Naturally, this being CTV Montreal, the news didn’t appear on their website until Monday. The news came suddenly to viewers and even some of Britt’s coworkers. Britt didn’t want anything announced ahead of time and didn’t want any big fanfare as was done to Haugland. He simply said his goodbyes a the end of Thursday’s broadcast.
Unsubstantiated rumours that would be journalistically irresponsible to report without verification suggest he was pushed out the door a bit earlier than he would have wanted, but they don’t seem to have any real traction. Prevailing opinion is that this was Britt’s decision.
For those who had Britt as the next off the island, give yourself a pat on the back:
Kristian Gravenor has Todd van der Heyden being promoted to the top anchor spot. That makes sense, since he has all the manufactured gravitas and the boyish looks. But I’m still pulling for ol’ Herb Luft, who’s felt at home in the anchor chair since back when he had hair.
UPDATE (July 28): CTV announced today (video) that van der Heyden will indeed replace Britt and will co-anchor both the noon and 6pm newscasts. Executive Producer Barry Wilson finally got around to giving Britt’s career the obit it deserved.
July 29: The Gazette has a story about the anchor change.