Jay Onrait

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Jay Onrait
Jay Onrait.jpg
Onrait with SportsCentre
Born (1974-08-29) August 29, 1974 (age 47)
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
OccupationSports anchor and Author
Known forSportsCentre, Fox Sports Live, The Jay and Dan Podcast, and writing the books Anchorboy and Number Two
Height198 cm (6 ft 6 in)[1]

Jay Michael Onrait (born August 29, 1974) is a Canadian television personality and sports anchor who hosts Jay on SC on TSN. From 2003 to 2021, he has been frequently paired with fellow Canadian broadcaster Dan O'Toole.[2]

In his first stint with TSN, he and O'Toole co-anchored the daily 1:00 am (ET) edition of SportsCentre and were regarded as the lead anchor team for the network.[2] Onrait was hired by the USA sports network FS1 to be its lead co-anchor in 2013 and his final SportsCentre broadcast for TSN aired June 28, 2013.[3] His final Fox Sports 1 show aired February 22, 2017. It was announced that Onrait and O'Toole would be returning to TSN to host a new show, SC with Jay and Dan, on March 1, 2017.[4]

Career[edit]

Onrait first joined TSN in 1996 as an editorial assistant while attending Ryerson Polytechnic University.[5] He later went on to become sports director at CFSK-TV in Saskatoon and then spent two years as the host of The Big Breakfast on the A-Channel in Winnipeg. Onrait then joined NHL Network in 2001 as host of both the network's flagship show NHL on the Fly and Molson That's Hockey 2. He moved to TSN in 2002 and in 2003 began co-hosting SportsCentre alongside Dan O'Toole. In 2006, Onrait began blogging at TSN.ca. Topics have included the Stanley Cup and the NBA, as well as an all-day blog about the NHL trade deadline. His blogs are usually spiced with references to pop culture. In October 2010 he also became the host of the Sportscentre Morning Rush on TSN2 until it was taken off the air in October 2011.

During the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver Onrait served as co-host of Olympic Morning alongside Beverly Thomson. During the 2012 Summer Olympics in London Onrait co-hosted daily live editions of SportsCentre from London alongside O'Toole.[citation needed]

On May 3, 2013, TSN announced that Onrait and his broadcast partner Dan O'Toole would be leaving SportsCentre for broadcast opportunities on U.S. television at the newly formed Fox Sports 1 in Los Angeles.[3] They continued to host SportsCentre until June 28, 2013.

Fox Sports Live debuted on August 17, 2013 with Onrait and O'Toole as hosts and aired its final episode on February 22, 2017, when the show was canceled and the two broadcasters' contracts were not renewed.[6]

On March 1, 2017, TSN announced that Onrait and Dan O'Toole would be returning to Canada to host a new show SC with Jay and Dan, which would premiere in Fall of 2017.[4] Its first episode aired September 4, 2017 at 12:00am EST.

Podcast[edit]

The Jay & Dan Podcast was started while Onrait and O'Toole were at TSN with Mike Gentile as producer and Krzysztof Mamona as board operator. It almost immediately became the number one sports podcast in Canada. Memorable episodes included the "Big City Ken" episode and the "Stranger Danger" episode. Former Our Lady Peace drummer Jeremy Taggart became a regular.

The podcast moved to Fox Sports 1 when Onrait and O'Toole joined the network in 2013. The podcast was now produced by Mike Botticello and Pat Muldowney with "Engineer" Jim Mitchell working the boards and participating in the "Six Degrees with Engineer Jim" segment. Memorable episodes included the first Christmas episode and the "Mike Can't Read" episode with guest Fox NFL Rules expert Mike Pereira. Regulars included Taggart, Fox NFL writer and sideline reporter Peter Schrager and later, FS1 Producer Bernie Kim.

In 2016, Rich Cooke and Ben Teller took over producing duties on the podcast. In a later episode of the podcast in 2018, Muldowney revealed that he was fired because Teller informed him that Onrait and O'Toole were apparently fed up with his frequent tardiness and absences. Onrait and O'Toole denied the allegations, which later made Teller a controversial recurring guest.

When Onrait and O'Toole returned to TSN in 2017, the podcast returned as well with Coors Light as the sponsor.[7] In 2019, Coors announced it would shift its advertising focus to the duo's SportsCentre show, which was later succeeded by McDonald's.

After O’Toole was laid off by TSN in 2021, Onrait announced the podcast would be on an “extended hiatus”. The final four episodes were dedicated to O’Toole.

Personal life[edit]

Onrait is a native of Athabasca, Alberta[8] and briefly attended the University of Alberta upon graduating from high school in 1992, planning to study pharmacy to follow in his father Dale's footsteps.[2] He describes these 2 years as "The Lost Years". Following in his interest in broadcasting, he obtained a volunteer internship at Edmonton TV station ITV,[2] later attending and graduating from Ryerson University in Toronto in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts in Radio and Television Arts.[8]

Onrait has released two books.[2] Anchorboy, which doubles as his autobiography, was released on October 1, 2013, and Number Two: More Short Tales from a Very Tall Man followed on October 27, 2015. Both were Canadian bestsellers and were released in paperback in November 2016. In them, he talks about what it was like for him growing up in his small hometown of Athabasca, Alberta and includes a behind the scenes look at the jobs he's had throughout the years.[citation needed].

Since 2011,[9] Onrait has compiled a best albums year-end list with TSN sports personality Dave Hodge.

Onrait married Chobi Liang, a former TSN PR, in October 2013,[10] after splitting with Darcy Modin in 2002. Their daughter was born on May 27, 2015. Their son was then born 3 years later on November 27, 2018.

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
2014 Corner Gas: The Movie Denizen Jay
Television
Year Title Role Notes
2003-2013 SportsCentre Himself/Co-Anchor
2010 Olympic Morning Himself/Co-host 2010 Winter Olympics
2013 But I'm Chris Jericho! Season 1 episode 1: "Sausage & Eggs"
2015 Weird Loners Himself Episode 3: "Weirded Out"
2013-2017 Fox Sports Live Himself/Co-host
2020 Corner Gas Animated Kyle Season 3 episode 7: "Give Pizza Chants"
2017-2019 Letterkenny Himself 2 episodes
2017-2021 SC with Jay and Dan Himself/Co-host/Anchor
2021-present SC with Jay Onrait Himself/Host/Anchor

Awards[edit]

Onrait was nominated for a Gemini Award in 2010, and won the award in 2011 for Best Sportscaster for his work on Sportscentre.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Onrait, Jay (February 18, 2010). "Jay Onrait on Twitter". Twitter.com. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e Mroczek, Breanna (May 2016). "Still Number One: Though his broadcasting career has taken him from Edmonton to Toronto to L.A., Jay Onrait is still a favourite with Canadian sports fans". Avenue Edmonton. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Best wishes to Onrait, O'Toole as they head to Los Angeles". TSN.ca. May 3, 2013. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Beloved prodigal sons Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole return to TSN". TSN.ca. March 1, 2017. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  5. ^ Granatstein, Lisa (April 2001). "TSN Got Game". Media Week: 31.
  6. ^ Mudhar, Raju (February 24, 2017). "Fox pulls plug on Onrait and O'Toole". Toronto Star.
  7. ^ "Coors Light becomes title sponsor of Jay and Dan Podcast". TSN.ca. August 11, 2017.
  8. ^ a b "TSN Talent - Jay Onrait". TSN.ca. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  9. ^ "ONRAIT: JAY AND DAVE HODGE'S TOP 25 ALBUMS OF 2011". TSN.ca. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  10. ^ Leeder, David (November 7, 2013). "Former TSN anchor Onrait turns attention to printed word". The Globe and Mail.
  11. ^ "CBC News wins several Geminis". CBC.ca. August 30, 2011. Retrieved June 29, 2013.

External links[edit]