City Montreal is barely a year old (and none of its local programs have even reached that anniversary) but it has already lost its first personality.
Alyson Lozoff, who was the Montreal reporter for Rogers Sportsnet and also the co-host of City TV’s local sports magazine show Montreal Connected, “is no longer with the company,” a Rogers Media spokesperson confirmed to me today.
She wouldn’t comment on why this is, and my attempts to reach Lozoff and City Montreal have failed to generate any response. Her Twitter account has been silent since March 22.
Lozoff’s departure was not addressed at all on the air. She last appeared on Montreal Connected on March 20 with co-host Wilder Weir as if everything was normal, without a hint that it would be her last show. During the week, the show’s Facebook and Twitter accounts were changed to list only Weir as the host.
Weir hosted this week’s episode solo, never explaining why his co-host from the previous week had suddenly disappeared.
This type of disappearance usually indicates a firing or unamicable resignation (say, to join a competitor). I have no idea which of these is the case.
Lozoff’s disappearance is curious because if anything Rogers should be hiring more people to be covering hockey in places like Montreal where it currently doesn’t have any broadcasting rights but will gain them starting this fall. On the other hand, it could be that in the process of re-evaluating its staffing across the country, the company has decided that Lozoff shouldn’t be part of the team.
Or maybe we’ll find out soon that she got hired by TSN or something. I really have no idea.
All I know is that the teeth on City Montreal just got a little less white.
City Montreal staff (so far). Seated: Montreal Connected Executive Producer George Athans (left), City Montreal Executive Producer Bob Babinski (right). Standing, from left: Montreal Connected hosts Wilder Weir and Alyson Lozoff, New Media Producer Elias Makos, Montreal Connected Associate Producer Kelly Greig, Montreal Connected Director of Photography and editor Ian Graham
After years of wanting to get into the Montreal market, and months after acquiring a station here, City television is finally ready to dip its toe into local programming. It announced last week that May 30 would be the premiere of Montreal Connected, the station’s weekly half-hour sports show, and named its two hosts.
I spent Monday afternoon with the staff at the station for a story that appears in Thursday’s Gazette that introduces the anglo community to the show and its two hosts, Wilder Weir and Alyson Lozoff.
As is usually the case, I learned plenty more about them, the staff behind the camera and the station that I couldn’t cram into that story, so I’ll lay it all out here.
Montreal Connected hosts Wilder Weir and Alyson Lozoff (Photo: Rogers Media)
CJNT, which officially became City Montreal in February after it was bought by Rogers, will launch its first local program a week from now.
Rogers Media announced on Wednesday the details of its new weekly sports show called Montreal Connected (formerly “Connected Montreal”), which starts May 30. Here they are in point form:
- Schedule: Half an hour a week, Thursdays at 7pm, with repeats Saturdays at 3:30pm and 7:30pm and Sundays at 6pm. The show will also air on Sportsnet East on Saturdays at noon.
- Hosts: Alyson Lozoff, the Sportsnet reporter for Montreal (did you know she’s also a lawyer?), and Wilder Weir, a producer and former hockey reality show star
- Contributors: Include Sportsnet personality Stephen Brunt, Globe and Mail Quebec sports reporter Sean Gordon, Gazette Alouettes reporter/columnist Herb Zurkowsky, and LNH.com managing editor Arpon Basu
- Behind the scenes: As previously announced, former water ski champion George Athans will be the show’s producer, with Kelly Greig, formerly of CBC Montreal. They will work under Executive Producer and Local Content Manager Bob Babinski
The show promises to be “an in-depth look at the city’s professional and amateur teams, along with athlete profiles and feature stories on local, national and international sports.”
City Montreal is also launching a culture/lifestyle show in July, and its main local programming, a three-hour local morning show, in August.