City TV Montreal to launch local culture/lifestyle show this summer

Tamy Emma Pepin

Tamy Emma Pepin will be one of three hosts for a new local weekly series on Montreal city life

I don’t know why they made this announcement on a Friday afternoon, but even before their first local program goes to air, City Montreal is expanding its slate of local programming.

According to the press release, which I regurgitated into Tuesday’s Gazette, Rogers-owned City has greenlighted a half-hour weekly “magazine-style” series on local culture, to be hosted by three fresh faces to the local television scene: Tamy Emma Pepin, the former Tourism Montreal ambassador, HuffPost Quebec editor and prolific tweeter; screenwriter and producer Matt Silver; and Dimitrios Koussioulas, whose name I hadn’t heard at all until he came onto the scene with his own Mile End web video talk show Parc Avenue Tonight.

“Only In Montreal takes viewers into the kitchens of the latest restaurants, feature humourous portraits of famous locals and Montreal-loving celebrities, and informative stories on local hidden gems,” the press release says.

CJNT, which officially became a City TV station in February, had promised to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission that it would produce a local three-hour morning show and a weekly half-hour sports show to fulfill its mandate for local programming. It decided against a 6pm local newscast mainly because CTV, Global and CBC already have those, and going up against all of those would be asking for failure.

But those programs fulfill the requirements, and there was no talk of a culture/lifestyle show before now, so there’s no reason that Rogers has to do this. Unless … unless it actually thinks it could make money with it.

Imagine that.

English Montreal hasn’t had programming like this in years. CBC cancelled Living Montreal as part of severe budget cuts in 2009. CTV had cancelled Entertainment Spotlight along with Sportsnight 360 a few months earlier, incorporating their features into expanded weekend newscasts.

Put simply, this is exciting news, and I’m anxious to see how it’ll turn out. Without specifying a date, City says the show will begin airing in the summer, which means it would be the first local show to begin on the station since Rogers bought it from Channel Zero and changed it from an ethnic station into an English one.

The biggest question will be what time slot City gives this show. It’s one thing to put it at, say, 7pm on Thursdays, when a lot of people might watch it (provided it’s also properly marketed). It’s another to sandwich it between two infomercials on Sunday morning, or to put it against the top-rated 6pm local newscasts it has already decided it doesn’t want to compete with.

The show will be produced by Whalley-Abbey Media, the Montreal-based production house behind everything involving Chuck Hughes and Debbie Travis.

9 thoughts on “City TV Montreal to launch local culture/lifestyle show this summer

  1. Lorne

    In terms of CTV and Sportsnight 360, I don’t find that this has been incorporated into the local news at all, I think that the sports on the newscast is just like any other sportscast. I don’t think they would go to all this trouble to introduce a new show and then give it a horrible time slot.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      I think that the sports on the newscast is just like any other sportscast.

      Saturday’s 6pm newscast includes a Sports Extra segment that’s a panel discussion. It’s not nearly what 360 was, but it’s something.

      1. Steve W

        The Sports Extra segment that’s a panel discussion on CTV Montreal is only when the Canadiens are playing Saturdays. Otherwise they don’t do it. Not too much of a commitment from them.

      1. Michael D.

        I look forward to seeing this show as well Tamy..two questions though. Do you know when the show launches and time and day..hopefully at some prime viewing hour and not like Steve says here sandwiched between two commercials..

        The other question is, is there an email address to contact you, as I have great program ideas and subjects to share with you..THanks.

  2. Michael D

    This could get interesting, first with the upcoming Breakfast show, Global has to get their morning act together before the fall and hire some technicians. like in Montreal and beef up its ” street reporting” so to speak with paid staffers, not blog columnists..

    And now with their two announced weekly shows, the Sports show and this local arts will be interesting what the others two and not just a little report of last night’s rock concert at the Bell and talking to adoring fans ( why wouldn’t they be if they were there spending a few hundred bucks)

    CTV ( CFCF) used to crank out shows like this every week as every one knows, but know Bellmedia is just concerned with counting the advertising dollars from US shows.

  3. Pingback: Review: Only in Montreal is an entertaining window into the city’s life (but it needs a better timeslot) | Fagstein

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