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.
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.