Thursday, June 02, 2016

Canada AM fades to black

Nothing lasts forever, and that is likely more true in broadcasting than it is in any other industry. Even when you're the top morning show in the country with seven-figure audiences and a 43-year legacy, nothing is ever guaranteed.

Bell Media announced today that CTV's flagship morning show, Canada AM, will sign off for good after tomorrow's show. Its hosts, Marci Ien and Ben Thomson, will remain with Bell Media and work on other projects, while Jeff Hutcheson will retire as previously announced.

I'm deeply honoured to have appeared on a show that was not so much a television show as it was a Canadian institution. Canada AM always stood out not only for the remarkably polished on-air product that millions of Canadians woke up to and relied on, but for the endlessly gifted and caring broadcast professionals in front of and behind the camera who made it happen every single day.

Whenever I drove through the dark, early-morning streets and walked into a quiet studio for a scheduled interview, it was with a certain sense of reverence. I do a lot of on-air work, but Canada AM operated on its own special level, and it was a serious win to be a regular contributor. The people who built the show and produced it day-to-day are more than just colleagues. They're family, and it was an amazing privilege to get to work with them.

What comes next? Good question. This is an industry in transition, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about what the future holds. But here's the thing: Sometimes that funny feeling in the pit of your stomach is a good thing, a precursor to something even bigger and better. I know the folks who made Canada AM so great for so many will find ways to bring light to others in other ways. I'm just going to miss hearing their voices in my ear as I wait for the red light to go on.

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