Britt leaves CTV Montreal

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.

18 thoughts on “Britt leaves CTV Montreal

  1. Frank

    Wow real bummer. I’m just listening to Wilson’s weekly tirade as I loaded your page. No mention of Mr Britt leaving on the midday thus far (12:22 PM)
    Pergpas that’s the reason Mitz does not start the broadcast with “Todd’s on vacation”; he’s being prepped as Mr Britt’s replacement?

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  2. Marc

    I’ll miss Brian. Sad to see him go so suddenly. Where is Herb Luft these days? The 6:00 AM newscast hasn’t been on in over a month.

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  3. Lewis

    That’s too bad. I saw the first 5 minutes of the news last night and missed Brian’s announcement.

    Herb usually doesn’t do the news in July. Probably next month the 6AM newscast will return, or maybe only in September, or maybe never! lol

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  4. Marie

    Sad to see Brian leave so suddenly without an appropriate send off from CTV.

    If Todd gets the job, is the ice queen going too ?

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  5. Amy

    Herb is off cottaging with his wife and their dog, Ocean (and occasionally their kids, of which I am one). He’ll be back Monday – but I always found it funny how the morning news ceases with his vacation.
    No fear though, he’s been diligently kayaking around the lake reporting the latest events to the other cottage-goers. He’s a consummate professional. :)

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  6. Steve

    This appears classless by CTV – just a quick ‘goodbye’ in the last seconds of the newscast.
    Then again, perhaps Britt chose to do it that way.

    It does seem that he was pushed out the door, though, rather than walking out voluntarily – more of a marketing decision (Van Der Heyden has the non-grey hair and youth).

    I hope that we can find out whether it was a voluntary departure or not.

    Either way, it’s sad. Britt was good.

    Hopefully, he’ll still do his unique style of reporting, with that quick wit of his. The wit was stifled in the anchor’s chair anyway.

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  7. George Gervin

    Sad to see Britt leave. I am actually glad about Orla leaving CTV, I could not stand her on Entertainment spotlight.

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  8. Clifford

    Wow, the last 10seconds of the show and a pat on the hand from the sports news caster, and thats it. No Mitso there to say anything. You know this was a push, and they probably offered him some B.S. special assingnment job which they knew he wouldn’t except. I met Brian Britt at my restaurant 8 years ago loved my smoked meat sandwiches, he was as nice in person as he was on T.V. It’s a shame we lost a respected news broadcaster as Mr. Britt, a real shame he could’ve been Montreals Walter Cronkite, with a sence of humor. I wish him the best of luck and maybe Global will pick him up or CJAD!

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  9. Allan

    For what it is worth, I have been around long enough to remember a slew of CFCF Pulse and CTV Montreal news, sports and weather anchors of various vintage: Bert Canning, Andrew Marquis, Jim Bay, Jim Curran (to name but a few). I continue to watch the ‘cast even though I no longer live in Montreal. Keeps me closer to home.

    Of course, no one topped Bill Haugland’s delivery but Brian Britt did an astounding and admirable job on the desk, reporting the news and fronting various human interest bits. His flexibility and warm delivery was his hallmark. While I was surprised when he signed off last Thursday for the last time, the second thing through my mind was that he probably wanted to avoid the same kind of send-off and attention Haugland received.

    That said, CTV Montreal is Canada’s #2 English-speaking market and it is good to see (although belatedly) the executive producer step up to the plate and provide some kind of tribute to a long-standing top performer.

    It was the least they could do. But yes, they could have done better.

    Keep up the fine blog.

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  10. Jen

    Hey have you seen the new guy on Entertainment Spotlight? Jeremy Szafron i think, yum, lets get him in there!!! Or at least doing more!!!

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  11. Ashley

    No no, this is a different Jeremy Szafron, the last name is spelt way different, he is new in Montreal, and he is making Sunday nights a lot better!

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  12. Edward Thomas

    Brian Britt is 65 years old, and despite the fact that obligatory retirement is illegal in this country, CTV has such a policy. Don’t kid yourselves, he was forced out. Why do you think that he didn’t show up for work on Friday? Barry Wilson shoveled the crap and the Gazette reported it without any attempt to verify.

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  13. Alba

    Brian, honey… I will miss you….. Those RAB have no idea who they lost. What has news reporting become??? A beauty pageant??? If so, WTF is Mitz still doing there????

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  14. marflan

    Decided to research why Brian Britt left. It always bothered me not knowing what happened. I am very disappointed that he didn’t get a “classy” farewell. He was a great anchor and there should of been a respectable goodbye to him. The viewers were really left in the dark about his departure. CTV let their viewers down by not explaining the situation.

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    1. Fagstein Post author

      I am very disappointed that he didn’t get a “classy” farewell. He was a great anchor and there should of been a respectable goodbye to him.

      Me too. From what I understand it was Britt’s decision not to make a big deal of his departure.

      Reply

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