More than a year after it was announced that Citytv is creating local evening newscasts in markets including Montreal, we finally have a launch date: Sept. 3.
On that date, CityNews launches newscasts at 6pm and 11pm in Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary.
Rogers has also announced staffing for those newscasts. In Montreal, the anchorless newscasts will be staffed by the following reporters (bios from the press release):
- Akil Alleyne – Alleyne is a graduate of Princeton University and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he studied constitutional and international law. His previous experience includes stops at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) as a Research and Program Associate; and CBC where he assisted with production, and writing.
- Andrew Brennan – A newly-minted reporter with Breakfast Television Montreal, Brennan will continue to engage Montrealers with the local buzz on CityNews. For the last five years, Brennan has been a news anchor and reporter at CJAD 800. He graduated from Concordia University with a double-degree in Communication Studies and Journalism. (He announced his move last week.)
- Emily Campbell – Campbell is an experienced video journalist, most recently having worked in reporting and as an anchor with CJAD 800 News and her work has appeared on CNN.
- Giordano Cescutti – With a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Concordia University, Cescutti is a recipient of the Sportsnet Scholarship in Sports Journalism for excellence in journalism and sports reporting. His previous experience includes MAtv, Montreal Gazette and CJLO 1690AM, where he was co-host and producer of award-winning sports talk show The Starting Rotation.
They will work under Supervising Producer Melanie Porco, who has been with Citytv Montreal since its launch in 2013. Two people have also been hired to work behind the scenes with the newscast in Montreal, which will be directed out of a centralized control room in Vancouver.
Last fall, Citytv hired two reporters in Montreal in preparation for the new newscasts: Tina Tenneriello and Cora MacDonald. Tenneriello will be on both BT and CityNews, Rogers tells me. MacDonald left Citytv recently to join Global Montreal.
As previously announced, the newscasts will be an hour long, at 6pm and 11pm, seven days a week.
When the announcement was made, the plan was to have the newscasts running in the winter. Rogers wouldn’t say what caused the delay, beyond this: “The fall launch is reflective of our commitment to ensuring we are delivering a gold standard of local news in these markets.”
In Vancouver, the staff is:
- Ashley Burr, formerly of CKPG in Prince George, Alta.
- Kyle Donaldson, producer and on-air personality with Breakfast Television Vancouver
- Travis Prasad, formerly a news writer at CTV Vancouver
- Isabelle Raghem, formerly of CHEK News and CHCH
- Tom Walsh, Breakfast Television reporter since 2017
- David Zura, formerly of Roundhouse Radio in Vancouver
- Mary Cranston, Thor Diakow and Greg Harper, existing Breakfast Television Vancouver reporters
In Calgary, the newly announced staff is:
- Kristen Fong, formerly of Global News Radio
- Kendra Fowler, formerly of 660 News
- Crystal Laderas, formerly of 660 News.
- Michael Lumsden, reporter for Breakfast Television Calgary since 2017
- Jonathan Mumam, formerly of 660 News
- Brittany Rosen, formerly of CTV Regina
CityNews launched in Edmonton and Winnipeg last fall (those stations had dropped their Breakfast Television programs, so launching newscasts became a requirement to meet new local news quotas). Once the new newscasts are running, City will be able to meet its local programming and local news conditions of licence with just the evening newscasts, meaning Breakfast Television will no longer be required.
“There will be no changes to BT as a result of the launch of CityNews Montreal,” Rogers spokesperson Michelle Lomack tells me, repeating what has been said previously. But that could always change as the decline of ad revenue puts more pressure to cut costs.