Mike Finnerty leaving CBC Daybreak

Mike Finnerty giant ad outside Maison Radio-Canada

Mike Finnerty giant ad outside Maison Radio-Canada

Mike Finnerty, the host of Daybreak on CBC Radio One in Montreal, announced this morning that he will be leaving the show at the end of June and moving to London (England, the good London) to take a new job as multimedia news editor for The Guardian.

The reasons are mostly personal. Finnerty’s partner moved with him to Montreal when he took the Daybreak job in late 2006, but had trouble finding work here. Finnerty’s partner got a new job back in London, and Finnerty decided two and a half years was enough sacrifice to ask of someone else.

Mike Finnerty leaving CBC Daybreak (MP3, 6:05)

Both of them came here from London when Finnerty was tapped for the Daybreak job to replace veteran Dave Bronstetter. He worked at BBC World Services for 10 years, and before that he was a radio reporter for CBC in Quebec City and Montreal. Lest anyone question his loyalties, the Esterhazy, Sask. native told The Gazette’s Kathryn Greenaway in 2007 that he still wants to be buried in Montreal. I assume that sentiment still applies.

Among Finnerty’s legacies at Daybreak are the Daybreak Daily Podcast (a daily “best of” featuring interviews from that morning’s show), the Daybreak Twitter account and the guest editor series.

Who wants to host a morning talk show?

Finnerty says that although the Daybreak crew has known about this departure for months, they don’t know who will be replacing him in the show’s anchor chair.

The job has a lot of exposure, but also involves a lot of work. Getting up at 3:30 every weekday morning is a deal-breaker for me (you know, in case they were considering me for the job).

So who should jump into the big chair now? With the budget crunch hitting the corporation, acquiring a high-paid external candidate would probably not look too good, and there are plenty of capable people from within the organization.

Two names that jump immediately to mind are Steve Rukavina, who has been a temporary host of Radio Noon and seemed to connect with some listeners until Sue Smith was given the job, and Sonali Karnick, who has been the hardest-working person in that office for years now and is currently on the sports beat for Daybreak. Both are young, dedicated, and most importantly adorable.

UPDATE: Brendan Kelly (who double dips as a Daybreak columnist) writes about Finnerty’s decision in The Gazette.

14 thoughts on “Mike Finnerty leaving CBC Daybreak

    1. Fagstein Post author

      Bernard would be a good choice (his soothing voice might be nice to wake up to), but then you have the problem of who takes his chair on Homerun.

  1. Dominique J-S

    I say Steve Rukavina all the way. Or maybe Sue Smith in the morning, Steve at lunch and keep Bernard for Home Run?

  2. Bryan

    Do they *really* need to start the show at 5:30am?? I mean how many people are tuned in at that ungodly hour?

    I’d like to see Steve hosting daybreak (or Homerun) as you mentioned, he does connect with listeners. Great interview skills, local knowledge, music aficionado and he embraces and fully utilizes their 22222 text line to quickly interact with the population.

    Bernard’s voice is soothing when he isn’t choking on the words that often fail him during live interviews… his taped interviews are fine but that will not suffice in that host’s chair.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      You would be shocked how many people are already commuting to work at 6am. Even those who leave at 6:30 or 7 might need to get up at 5:30, and the first thing they hear is their radio going off.

  3. Sid

    Sue smith is NOT my fav cbc host, she comes across as ditzy (although she does appear to have smarts, but she did do a botox 101 on the lifestyle cbc tv show she hosted previously, not a good sign!), and the lunch time show has had so many really great hosts, she is not on that list. Steve is a little too friendly and folksy sounding. Sonali has one of the nicest voices on radio, and that goes a long way… plus she laughed at the joke in my read-on-air email this week. Daybreak could and should ditch the bizness reporter to save some $.

    One thing I really miss was the reading of the french papers news stories and editorials that they used to do.

    Now if I could just get the show on my bike when I commute noncar in spring/summer/fall!

  4. Peter

    Please!!! Anyone but Bernard St. Laurent!! He’s barely coherent at 3:30 PM and will be even less so 12 hours earlier.

  5. Dominique J-S

    I kind of liked Steve Puddicombe who was hosting at the end of this week. He sounded relaxed and was able to laugh at himself when he made mistakes.

  6. Maria Gatti

    Although I like Bernard St-Laurent, his almost over-relaxed style is not dynamic enough for a morning show. Ole’ Bernard has a beautiful voice in both official languages, but is more than a bit wheezy.

    I’ll really miss Mike Finnerty, who has depth, media and public affairs knowledge, and a beautiful voice.

    But the voice I’m missing most right now is Chantal Jolis, who pretty much started the world music show at Espace-Musique, because she isn’t going on to the Guardian, Le Monde or whatever, but being shelved because she has Parkinson’s disease and it is starting to cloud her voice, one of the richest since the late Myra Cree.

    And I’m often up at 5:30 a.m. I work at home mostly, but have several clients in Europe, and it is already 11:30 am where they are. I like working early in the morning.

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  8. mair verthuy

    Nancy Wood has never been my favourite anchor but she was and is at least very dynamic early in the morning. Could they please put her on Radio Noon to replaceSue Smith, who, instead of imitating a light-headed teenager’s voice, would be better advised to speak according to her age. With Nancy, we would have more French, more knowledge, more experience.

    Daybreak. With all his faults, Steve Rukavina is still one of the best journalists on CBC. He is clearly extremely well prepared for all his interviews — and it can’t all be the effect of good researchers — ; he takes criticism really well, has a great sense of humour and generally leaves the public well satisfied with his performance. Steve please, although the CBC will probabl bring in someone who is not as good as he is.

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