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Breakfast Television

Breakfast Television (BT) is the branding used for morning shows broadcast by stations of Rogers Media's television network Citytv. As of September 2019, versions of BT are broadcast in Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary; versions used to be broadcast in Winnipeg, Edmonton and Montreal, but have been cancelled and replaced with alternative programming. The version broadcast by the Atlantic Satellite Network (which was owned by Citytv's former parent CHUM Limited, and is now owned by competitor Bell Media) continued to use the brand under licence from Rogers until 2011, when it was re-launched as CTV Morning Live upon the service's rebranding as CTV Two Atlantic.

Breakfast Television
Breakfast Television logo.svg
GenreBreakfast television
StarringVarious hosts
Country of originCanada
Original language(s)English
Production location(s)Toronto
(locally produced in each city)
Production company(s)Rogers Media
Original networkCitytv
Original releaseSeptember 9, 1989

September 12, 1992-August 25, 2011
(Atlantic Canada)

July 22, 2002
August 2, 2005
(Edmonton and Calgary)
August 2, 2005-January 6, 2015
August 26, 2013-September 5, 2019

External links

On September 5, 2011, each of the local editions of Breakfast Television across all of the Citytv owned-and-operated stations began starting a half-hour earlier, running from 5:30–9 a.m.[1] In April 2012, the Winnipeg edition reverted to the 6-9 a.m. runtime.

In September 2019, the Montreal version of the program was discontinued, while the Calgary and Vancouver versions were re-launched on September 23, 2019 using a "hybrid" format incorporating segments of national interest from the Toronto version.[2][3][4]

Toronto editionEdit

Breakfast Television premiered on September 9, 1989 with co-hosts Ann Rohmer and David Onley, with MuchMusic VJ Steve Anthony broadcasting from a different spot around the area each day.

Co-host Liza Fromer quit her job at BT in July 2006, days after the birth of her child. Kevin Frankish has blogged that her departure from the show was "on the absolute best of terms". BT has encouraged people to send audition tapes for consideration. During the summer of 2006, a number of CHUM personalities were invited to guest co-host with Kevin Frankish in the search for the next permanent host. The guest hosts included CityNews sports anchor Kathryn Humphreys, health specialist Laura DiBattista, consumer specialist Jee-Yun-Lee, former Citytv weather specialist Nalini Sharma, former reporter Melissa Grelo, etalk correspondent Tracy Melchor, BT's own Jennifer Valentyne, and Star!'s Dina Pugliese. On October 13, 2006, Dina Pugliese became the new co-host of the show.

Every August since 2005, BT has organized a "Viewer Appreciation Day", held in the BT parking lot.[5] Gates open at 6 a.m., and closed due to capacity crowds early into 7 a.m. Some people began camping out at BT at 5:30 p.m. the day before the 2006 Viewer Appreciation Day.[5] Breakfast Television has also held other events, such as a successful world record attempt and a Christmas party. The BT Viewer Appreciation Day has since been cancelled, with only the Christmas Party remaining.

Just as many people within the CityNews team started off on the CHUM phoneline, both Jennifer Valentyne and producer Kevin Forget started by working at "the BT Diner".[6]

Kevin Frankish has publicly discussed his panic attacks with viewers, on air.[7]

On April 1, 2016 just as the show finished airing, a post on the BT Toronto's Facebook page was made in regards to Jennifer Valentyne not being a part of the show anymore. With it being April Fool's Day many people thinking this was a joke but that was not the case. Kevin and Dina both addressed this over Twitter confirming that this was in fact true to fans asking. Later that evening, on Jennifer's Facebook page she released a statement confirming that it was in fact true. BT decided to eliminate all Live Eye's across the country to give fans more of what they wanted. Many offered love and support over various social media accounts including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to Jennifer and the rest of the BT crew.

Notable on-air presentersEdit



  • Roger Peterson - co-host
  • Dina Pugliese - co-host
  • Frank Ferragine - weather specialist; also fill-in host and Live Eye on-location reporter
  • Melanie Ng - news anchor and reporter
  • Nicole Servinis - Live Eye reporter


  • Jennifer Valentyne - Live Eye reporter from 1992 to April. 1, 2016 (now host of The Bachelor & Bachelorette Canada After Show on W Network and a co-host on Derringer in the Morning on Q107)
  • Steve Anthony - Live Eye reporter 1989 to 1994 (now co-host of CP24 Breakfast)
  • Hugh Burrill - sports/early morning talk (now sports reporter for CityNews)
  • Liza Fromer - co-host from 2001 to 2006 (left following end of maternity leave and later host of The Morning Show on Global Toronto until late summer 2016)
  • Russ Holden - traffic reporter for CHFI since 1967, late with 680News, Citynews and BT (retired September 2017)
  • Tracy Moore - reporter/fill-in news anchor from 2005 to 2007 (host of CityLine since 2008)
  • David Onley - news anchor from 1989 to 1994 (later became Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and now retired from broadcasting)
  • Ann Rohmer - host from 1989 to 2001 (moved on to CP24 after sale to Bell, briefly retired 2015 and now anchor with CP24)
  • Kevin Frankish - co-host from 1989 to 2018

Vancouver editionEdit

CKVU launched Breakfast Television in 2002. The original hosts of Breakfast Television were Michael Eckford and Fiona Forbes, then they were replaced by Shane Foxman and Beverley Mahood, and since 2005, Simi Sara and Dave Gerry hosted the program, but as of August 13, 2008, they were let go.

On January 19, 2010, the length of BT was shortened from four hours to three hours, and six employees laid off as a result of "severe financial issues" with the Citytv stations.

A new format for Breakfast Television debuted in September 2008, with a new traffic and TransLink reporter. As part of Rogers Media's May 3, 2012 renewal of its affiliation agreement with Jim Pattison Group-owned Citytv affiliates CKPG-TV/Prince George, CFJC-TV/Kamloops and CHAT-TV/Medicine Hat, the three stations will begin simulcasting the Vancouver edition of Breakfast Television on September 1, 2012 as part of an expansion of Citytv programming on the stations, which will follow the program grid of CKVU (with breakaways from the Vancouver program grid for their weekday evening and midday newscasts and other locally produced programs).[8]

On September 5, 2019, Rogers laid off 4 employees from CKVU and placed Breakfast Television on hiatus until September 23. At this time the program was relaunched with a new hybrid format, consisting of a mixture of local content with national entertainment and lifestyle segments produced from Toronto.[2][3][4]

Notable on-air presentersEdit


  • Riaz Meghji - Host
  • Tara Jean Stevens - Host (Trending, Live Eye, Weather)
  • Kyle Donaldson - News Anchor
  • Greg Harper - Reporter/News Anchor
  • Thor Diakow - Entertainment Host/ Traffic
  • Russ Lacate - Weather (also on News1130)


Calgary editionEdit

CHUM Limited purchased Craig Media in late 2004. The $265 million deal included, among other things, Craig's three A-Channel stations (CKAL-TV in Calgary, Alberta; CKEM-TV in Edmonton, Alberta and CHMI-TV in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

In February 2005, CHUM announced that the A-Channel stations would be relaunched as Citytv stations by that fall. The morning show on the original A-Channel stations, The Big Breakfast, was relaunched as Breakfast Television on August 2, 2005 alongside their re-branding as Citytv. The A-Channel brand was subsequently transferred to CHUM's NewNet stations, whose own morning programs were retitled A-Channel Morning.

As in Vancouver, Rogers made cuts to Breakfast Television in Calgary in September 2019, placing the program on hiatus and re-launching it on September 23 with the same, aforementioned format changes.[2][3][4]

Calgary presentersEdit

Current presentersEdit

Past presentersEdit

Former editionsEdit


CHMI-TV in Winnipeg, Manitoba produced a version of Breakfast Television from August 2, 2005 to January 6, 2015 - the station was purchased along with CKAL-DT in Calgary and CKEM-DT in Edmonton. The final hosts were Courtney Ketchen, Jeremy John, Jenna Khan and Drew Kozub. It was replaced with a simulcast of Wheeler in the Morning—the morning show of sister radio station CITI-FM—starting on January 12, 2015. Khan and Kozub were retained as co-hosts for news and entertainment segments shown during the program on television in place of music.[10]

Notable former presentersEdit

Atlantic CanadaEdit

From 1992 to 2011, the Atlantic Satellite Network (ASN) in Atlantic Canada, now known as CTV Two Atlantic, aired its own local version of BT. At the time of its launch, ASN and Citytv (Toronto) were both owned by CHUM Limited, and both channels had a similar overall movies-focused format. The Atlantic edition of BT was similar to the Toronto version, but with a greater emphasis on the culture of the region, as matters such as commuter traffic are typically less of a concern in Atlantic Canada.

ASN was acquired by Baton Broadcasting (predecessor of the present-day Bell Media) in 1997, but was permitted to continue using Breakfast Television as the title of its morning show. In August 2011, the program was re-branded as CTV Morning Live, in keeping with the launch (or relaunch) of local morning shows under the same title on CTV and CTV Two stations in various parts of Canada.


On May 7, 2015, Rogers announced the cancellation of Breakfast Television in Edmonton as part of cutbacks.[12] It was replaced by a spin-off known as Dinner Television, which was a two-hour weeknight newsmagazine which did not contain original news reporting. Encores of the previous edition of Dinner Television with an "L-bar" displaying updated news and weather information were broadcast during its former morning timeslot.[12][13][14] Dinner Television was subsequently cancelled and replaced by the newly-relaunched CityNews in 2017.[15] The morning timeslot is now filled by CityLine.

Notable former presentersEdit


Rogers was granted approval by the CRTC on December 20, 2012 to acquire CJNT Montreal and convert it from a multicultural station to a fully English Citytv station. As part of the approval, Rogers had until September 1, 2013 to produce local programming on the station, which included a three-hour Montreal edition of Breakfast Television.[16]

On June 6, 2013, Rogers announced that the Montreal edition of Breakfast Television would premiere on August 26, 2013, and would be hosted by Alexandre Despatie and Joanne Vrakas.[17] Despatie left the program in 2015, and was succeeded by Derick Fage.[18]

On September 5, 2019, Rogers Media announced the cancellation of Breakfast Television Montreal, effective immediately. Colette Watson, senior vice-president of television and broadcast operations at Rogers Media, stated: "This was a difficult decision, but at the end of the day, the show was not sustainable".[19]

Notable former presentersEdit

  • Joanne Vrakas - co-host
  • Derick Fage - co-host
  • Catherine Verdon Diamond - Weather and traffic
  • Alexandre Despatie - co-host


  1. ^ "Citytv Launches News at Five and Breakfast Television at 5:30 am". Archived from the original on 2012-03-19. Retrieved 2011-08-24.
  2. ^ a b c Thiessen, Connie (2019-09-05). "Breakfast Television shows in Vancouver, Calgary being 'reimagined'". Broadcast Dialogue. Retrieved 2019-10-09.
  3. ^ a b c "CityTV's Breakfast Television suspended in Calgary, 11 employees laid off". CBC News. September 5, 2019. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Brown, Scott (2019-09-06). "Rogers lays off four as it 'reimagines' Breakfast Television Vancouver". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2019-10-09.
  5. ^ a b Inside BT blog: "Second BT Viewer Appreciation Day A Smash Success Archived August 30, 2006, at the Wayback Machine", 11 August 2006.
  6. ^ CityNews: Inside BT
  7. ^ Inside BT blog: "Panic Attacks", 31 July 2006.
  8. ^ Citytv and Pattison Group Sign Affiliate Agreement Archived 2015-12-08 at the Wayback Machine, Broadcaster Magazine, May 3, 2012.
  9. ^ Flug, Shane (February 3, 2014). "On-Location with Breakfast Television's Jill Belland". Freq. Magazine. Archived from the original on May 12, 2014. Retrieved May 9, 2014.
  10. ^ "Wheeler in the Morning now on TV". Winnipeg Sun. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 6 July 2016.(subscription required)
  11. ^ Scurfield, Maureen (6 October 2010). "Popular host says sayonara to Breakfast Television". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg MB. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
  12. ^ a b "Rogers cuts 110 jobs, ends all OMNI newscasts". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  13. ^ "Get Ready to Have Breakfast For Dinner! City Edmonton Launches Dinner Television, Premiering May 19". Rogers Media. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  14. ^ "Rogers axes OMNI news programs, cancels Breakfast Television in Edmonton". CBC News. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  15. ^ "Forbes: CityNews replacing Dinner TV". Edmonton Sun. Archived from the original on 2017-10-08. Retrieved 2017-10-08.
  16. ^ Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2012-697, December 20, 2012.
  17. ^ "Alexandre Despatie named co-host of City Montreal’s morning show". The Gazette, June 8, 2013.
  18. ^ "Breakfast Television Montreal Welcomes New Co-Host" Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine. Broadcaster, December 23, 2015.
  19. ^ Faguy, Steve; September 5, Montreal Gazette Updated: (5 September 2019). "Citytv cancels Breakfast Television Montreal, eliminating 8 jobs | Montreal Gazette". Retrieved 22 September 2019.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)

External linksEdit