Quebecor's soon-to-be-launched TVA Sports specialty channel isn't just looking to RDS hockey analysts like Dave Morissette and Yvon Pedneault (or La Presse's Réjean Tremblay) for on-air talent. Their hiring spree has also poached CBC Montreal's sports anchor.
Michel Godbout confirmed Monday that he will be leaving the CBC to join the TVA Sports channel set to debut this fall.
His last day is July 30. (He was cut off early: see below)
Godbout (who is, as you can imagine, fully bilingual) worked for 15 years at Radio-Canada and then CBC Montreal - most famously as the evening news anchor between 2005 (when Dennis Trudeau retired) and 2009 (when Andrew Chang and Jennifer Hall took over a revamped newscast). He starts an anchoring job at TVA Sports on Aug. 22.
TVA Sports, which was approved by the CRTC in February 2010, has already signed deals to carry some Ottawa Senators games and most Montreal Impact soccer games, though it failed to get the government to break the deal the Canadiens have with RDS. Quebecor is also trying to get an NHL team to Quebec City, giving another big reason for fans to subscribe to this channel.
No word yet on who will replace Godbout permanently. CBC Montreal News Director Mary-Jo Barr is on vacation until August.
You can follow Godbout on Twitter at @GodboutSports (fortunately he won't have to change that name - but expect it to be a bit more francophone in the future).
UPDATE (July 21): Thursday was Godbout's last day. He says during an interview this morning on CBC Daybreak that he gave his two weeks' notice on Friday (July 15), but was told that Thursday would be his last day, being let go because he was leaving for a competitor.
Godbout had a brief goodbye on air with Debra Arbec (Andrew Chang was off):