Breakfast Television (City Toronto)
|Country of origin||Canada|
|Camera setup||Videotape; Multi-camera setup|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Original run||September 6, 1989 – present|
Breakfast Television, also known as BT, is a Canadian morning news and entertainment program produced by CITY-DT. The program airs from 5:30 a.m. until 9 a.m. ET each weekday, except holidays. Since October 3, 2011, it is also simulcast on cable-exclusive CityNews Channel, with a half-hour extension aired exclusively on the channel that runs from 9-9:30 a.m.
Four other Citytv owned-and-operated stations use the name and the format (see Breakfast Television), creating content relevant to their own local audiences. A stations produced their own similar morning shows under the name A Morning, although due to budget cuts, many of them have been canceled as of 2009 (though CHRO-TV/Ottawa edition of that program, along with a local version of Breakfast Television on A Atlantic, have since been rebranded under the CTV Morning Live banner since A rebranded as CTV Two in August 2011).
BT tends to be more relaxed and spontaneous than American morning shows. Unlike American morning shows, it does not have pre-taped segments that are focused on current events or socio-political issues. The guests tend to be more human interest, informational, and promotional in nature and there is less of a focus on celebrities.
The show has a segment called "LiveEye", in which Jennifer Valentyne tours around the Greater Toronto Area, to businesses, tourist attractions, etc. Valentyne has also broadcast from Walt Disney World, Jamaica and Newfoundland.
Breakfast Television debuted on September 6, 1989, with host Ann Rohmer and news anchor David Onley; for its first few years, the program ran for two hours from 7-9 a.m. In 1994, Onley left the show to focus on CityPulse, being replaced by Kevin Frankish, who up to that point was BT's traffic specialist and previously was a reporter for Barrie's CKVR. Liza Fromer replaced Ann Rohmer in 2001, but then left the show in July 2006 to prepare for the birth of her child. Kevin Frankish blogged that her departure from the show was "on the absolute best of terms." On October 13, 2006, Dina Pugliese became the new co-host of the show, after a summer of guest co-hosts.
Jennifer Valentyne (née Peck) was previously the singing weather girl; she replaced Steve Anthony on the LiveEye segment after he left the station. Hugh Burrill presented the sports segment and also took part in early morning host chats before being assigned to a later time slot.
With the absence of Hugh Burrill, Nalini Sharma joined the BT team as a weather presenter. She went on maternity leave in 2005 and returned that September, before being reassigned to a different time slot. Frank Ferragine, the fill-in presenter during her maternity leave, returned.
Roger Petersen was a news reporter on BT before moving to Citytv Vancouver in 2004 (he has returned to Citytv Toronto as weekend anchor starting October 2008 after a stint at CFTO-TV). His replacement, Dave Pinton, left in 2005. Meanwhile, Tracy Moore held the same post until she went on maternity leave in 2007. She was slated to return to the show full-time but eventually became the new host of CityLine in September 2008.
Sharon Posius had been the morning news anchor on BT for A-Channel News until September 5, 2008, when A Barrie owned by CTVglobemedia as of 2007 and (Bell Media as of 2011) dropped its simulcast of BT and launched its whole new morning show A Morning on September 8, 2008.
BT also aired on Citytv's spinoff all-news channel CablePulse24 from its launch in 1998 until March 25, 2009, when the cable channel dropped its simulcast of BT and launched its whole new morning program (CP24 Breakfast). BT was the last remaining programming connection between the two channels since the cable channel abruptly preempted its simulcast of all CityNews programming in December 2008, which had fallen under separate owners (Citytv by Rogers Media, CP24 by CTVglobemedia now Bell Media) in 2007. Some hostility had become apparent in the weeks running up to the final split; BT had begun using the Citytv logo heavily in its graphics directing viewers to watch on that channel (e.g. BT only on Citytv Cable 7), while CP24 began to edit the program with its own news inserts known as More on CP24.
On September 5, 2011, CITY-TV's Breakfast Television program expanded to 3½ hours, pushing its start time a half-hour earlier from 6 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. The move was part of Citytv's systemwide expansion of its owned-and-operated stations' local editions of the Breakfast Television franchise to the 3½ hour time length. The 5:30 half-hour, which is broadcast from the newsroom at CITY-DT's 33 Dundas Street East studios, is more news-focused than the remainder of the program, and follows a general news/weather/traffic format.
When it launched on October 3, 2011, CityNews Channel, a 24-hour regional news channel for the Greater Toronto Area operated by CITY-DT, began simulcasting the program (along with Citytv Toronto's local evening news programs). On that date, a half-hour extension of Breakfast Television began airing exclusively on CityNews Channel weekdays from 9-9:30 a.m. (the program continues to run from 5:30-9 a.m. on Citytv Toronto). The 9 a.m. extension on CityNews Channel includes fewer references to being part of the main BT program itself and is formatted similarly to the previously-added 5:30 a.m. half-hour; though, "Live-Eye" reports are included as with the 6-9 a.m. portion of the main program.
Like CTV-owned MuchMusic, the Breakfast Television studio had windows facing Queen Street West. The same is true in the new studio BT moved to in September 2009 at Yonge-Dundas Square. As a result, passers-by are shown on camera, behind the hosts and guests. While many American morning shows now have similar storefront studios, Citytv was the first to have such a layout. As a result, area employees are repeatedly seen, as well as people marketing nearby businesses while wearing chicken costumes. A topless street performer, "Zanta", was so much of a visual distraction that CHUM filed court documents to have him banned from the building's area. Sixty minutes after BT ends, the studio is used for another series, CityLine.
On October 22, 2007, Rogers Media announced plans to move its television stations in Toronto (Citytv, OMNI.1 and OMNI.2) to 33 Dundas Street East, the former Olympic Spirit building on Dundas Square. The move is scheduled for September 8, 2009. Citytv has indicated that the program will continue with its traditional streetfront studio format in its new location. On January 18, 2008, BT held its first-ever live broadcast from that location. On June 4, 2012, a new streetfront studio set for the program was unveiled.
Every August since 2005, BT has organized a "Viewer Appreciation Day", held in the BT parking lot. 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.
- Main anchor: Kevin Frankish (1994–present)
- Co-host: Dina Pugliese (October 13, 2006–present)
- Weather: Frank Ferragine (September 26, 2005–present)
- LiveEye host: Jennifer Valentyne
- Entertainment Reporter: Brad Smith
- Ann Rohmer (host, 1989–2001)
- David Onley (news, 1989–1994; now Lieutenant Governor of Ontario)
- Steve Anthony (LiveEye; now with CP24 and CP24 Breakfast)
- Roger Petersen (top story reporter, LiveEye; still with CityNews as a reporter/weekend anchor)
- Hugh Burrill (former news producer and sports reporter; still with CityNews as weekend sports specialist)
- Liza Fromer (host, 2001 – July 2006; later on Slice TV), CFRB Newstalk 1010 radio, and now hosts The Morning Show at Global Toronto News.
- Tracy Moore (Top story reporter 2005–2008), now hosts CityLine.
- Francis D'Souza, (top story reporter, fill-in for Kevin Frankish, now anchorman on CityNews 5pm weekday show)
- Test co-hosts: Kathryn Humphreys (July 2006), Traci Melchor (July 2006), Frank Ferragine (31 July-4 August 2006), Merella Fernandez (5–8 September 2006), Melissa Grelo (September 2006), Dina Pugliese (September 25–28, 2006)
- Jennifer Valentyne (fill-in for Dina Pugliese, Frank Ferragine)
- Tracy Moore (fill-in for Dina Pugliese)
- Frank Ferragine (fill-in for Jennifer Valentyne)
Note that this list is purposely incomplete, and only includes crew that Frankish's "Inside BT" blog has devoted an entire post to.
- Producer: Kevin Forget. Kevin's last day at BT Toronto was Friday, November 1, 2013.
- Floor director: Jessica Vander Kooij, who appeared semi-regularly on camera. Jessica has taken a position @ BT in Vancouver in a production role.
- BT Diner operator, BT contest line operator: Angelica Montesano (Off BT, Montesano is a singer and actress, who has a lead role in The Adventures of Fuming Chu.)
- In July 2006, Frankish blogged that producers were considering facilitating a studio audience. The renovated set did not include this.
- 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".
- Kevin Frankish has publicly discussed his panic attacks with viewers, on air.
- Frankish lives in Barrie with his family. He generally wakes up at 2 am to get to the studio on time for the early morning show, often filming early morning incidents along the way.
- "CITYTV gets the jump on news with Launch of CITYNews at Five, and an Early Morning Wake Up from Breakfast Television at 5:30am, starting Sept. 5". Rogers TV Sales. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
- Inside BT blog: "Jenn's Disney Trip", 10 November 2006.
- Inside BT blog: "A Visit from J.D. FORTUNE & Getting Ready for VIEWER APPRECIATION DAY", 11 August 2006.
- Miss us on CP24?
- Citytv Launches News at Five and Breakfast Television at 5:30 am
- Rogers Media announces launch of new Toronto 24-hour CityNews Channel, Fall 2011
- CityNews: Inside BT
- Inside BT blog: "Why Did The Chicken Cross Queen Street", 22 November 2006.
- Burnett, Thane (2005-11-07). "Zanta's claws pulled by a court". The Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2006-12-06.
- "Preview Citytv's New Home", CityNews.ca, January 11, 2008.
- NEW BT Studio Revealed!!, Citytv, June 4, 2012.
- Inside BT blog: "Second BT Viewer Appreciation Day A Smash Success", 11 August 2006.
- Inside BT Blog: "Dina is the one", 13 October 2006.
- Inside BT blog: You Asked about..."JESSICA", 20 July 2006
- Inside BT blog: "The Contest Phone", 18 July 2006.
- Inside BT blog: You Asked About..."The Diner Girl", 10 July 2006.
- Myspace: Angelica Montesano
- CityNews: Inside BT
- Inside BT blog: "Panic Attacks", 31 July 2006.
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- Breakfast Television Toronto