Month: May 2011

liza fromer back on morning TV

More TV news for ya! I was thrilled when I learned (thanks to the folks at Global Television) that Liza Fromer will be back on morning TV as part of Global’s new Morning Show program.  She will be joined by co-host Dave Gerry and Kris Reyes also formerly of Citytv who will be covering morning news.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a new morning show debut here in Toronto.  The last one that made real waves was CP24 Breakfast which was lackluster to say the least during its first few months, but has since improved and become quite the show to watch — largely in part thanks to the shuffle that saw Steve Anthony become co-host.

It’s also been a while since we last saw Liza on the air — especially in the morning.  She left Citytv’s Breakfast Television five years ago when Dina took over and there were rumors flying up and down the halls (according to colleagues) that she wasn’t quite done with morning television just yet and would one day make her return.

Personally speaking, I felt that morning TV in Toronto was becoming stale again and it was time to shake things up.  Having a friendly face back on television is a welcome change. When I first moved to Toronto back in 2002, I used to watch Breakfast Television quite a bit, largely in part because of Liza who is down-to-earth and easy to relate to.

Naturally Global is promising The Morning Show will be different and “unprecedented” when it debuts.

citynews to launch news channel; ctv to launch ctv two

The summer season (filled with cast-offs, second-rate dramas and third-rate reality shows) hasn’t even begun, but major Canadian broadcasters announced yesterday the new fall line-up as well as some new networks that are coming down the pipe.

Rogers-owned Citytv announced that they will finally launch their CP24 clone called CityNews Channel that will be — as you may have guessed — exactly like CP24. There had been some rumblings about it launching a while ago, but that never got off the ground until now.

Of course, Rogers spins it differently than calling it a clone of the wildly popular CP24, but let’s be honest, after CTV and Rogers split up the once-mighty CHUM empire a few years ago, CTV (Now Bell Media) cleaned up when they acquired not only all the specialty channels like Much, Bravo and Space, they also netted CP24. If you didn’t know, CP24 is probably the most watched channel in the entire city of Toronto.  Don’t believe me? Go into any bar or restaurant that has a TV and tell me what they are showing. I can almost guarantee that at least one set somewhere in that bar is locked into CP24.

So now Rogers is banking on the fact that Toronto-folk will suddenly decide to make the switch over to CityNews Channel. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that old habits die hard – and finding a remote control in a bar is next to impossible. So I doubt that Rogers will get the numbers they are hoping for.

In case you’re planning to set your PVRs, CityNews Channel will simulcast the CityNews broadcasts, Breakfast Television and provide round-the-clock news coverage.

Bell Media, not to be outdone, is re-branding their A networks as CTV Two across the country. Not much will change and presumably most employees will keep their jobs, and the shows that the main networks didn’t want will still have a home.

I always like seeing new networks start up. It gives hard working people much needed jobs and broadens the landscape for TV viewers. I personally don’t watch a lot of television myself, but it’s still interesting to watch the ever-changing local and national media.

happy memorial day

I think, in addition to The 4th of July and Thanksgiving, Memorial Day is my favorite “American” holiday. For me growing up in Jersey, it was always a special holiday because it meant the end of the school year was just around the corner and it was the unofficial/official kick-off to Summer — especially for a tourist friendly town like Sea Isle City.

Actually, the entire shore enjoyed Memorial Day weekend because it mean increased summer rentals, beach traffic and support for local business. Unfortunately it also meant more car traffic on the Garden State Parkway as well as getting in and out of town and of course the occasional rowdy group of jerks who would treat my hometown as their own private litter box. (Thankfully, I can tell you that NO ONE in Jersey behaves like those ass-hats on that overly scripted “reality” show Jersey Shore. And why does nobody behave like that? Because the show is NOT REAL.)

Anyway, as soon as Memorial Day was done, it wouldn’t be long before the real summer season was in full swing and things really began to heat up. Tourists would come to town for the weekend, one week or two week stays and it would always be nice to meet new people and occasionally make new friends.

But before I knew it, the summer was over and I was looking at Labor Day weekend and the end of summer.  And really, there aren’t that many days in-between when you think about it.  Summer is all too short.

Of course Memorial Day is more than just fireworks and beach parties. It’s a chance for Americans to remember and salute the brave men and women who keep the United States free. And over the past ten years they, along with many brave soldiers from other countries, have been fighting a brave battle in the War on Terror. And even though bin Laden is dead, the war is far from over.

So hopefully those Stateside and those like myself who are Americans living in Canada,  take a moment to remember why we’re able to celebrate Memorial Day.

new toronto subway trains… finally

After strutting its stuff this weekend as part of Doors Open Toronto for the general public, the new Toronto Rocket train along with 69 of its fellow counterparts will finally enter service next month — possibly as soon as next week, I’m told.  The new Rocket was parked at Davisville Station for media to tour last week and then for everyone else over the weekend, in the same place the mock-up was parked close to FOUR YEARS AGO when the idea was first announced.

Yes, it’s taken almost half a decade to get these new trains built and delivered and finally Toronto transit users are getting to see what millions of dollars buys them.  In short,they are trains where passengers can walk from one end to the other without having to leave the train, handrails that supposedly repel germs and a whole bunch of flashy lights on the system maps inside and over the doors.

I’ll admit I’m not much of a transit user, despite having a station near my house.  I still find that the system is overcrowded and doesn’t extend to where it really needs to go. Mayor Rob Ford talks a good talk about expanding subway service to much needed areas, but really, how long will that take? And when it’s finally finished, will we be caught up to where we need to be or still behind?

i’m at it again

People get excited every time they see changes on this site.  They usually assume that I’m getting back into the whole internet thing and more posts will be on the way in the near future.  Truth is, I am very much aware of the internet and all that it can do.  In fact, it’s my bread and butter when you really think about it.

But as always, this site sometimes get neglected which is too bad because it’s been more or less a decade since I started it.  I would hate to give it all up now.

The changes, for the time being, are cosmetic.  A fresh coat of paint here, a little splash of color there and that’s about it. But who knows? Maybe all of this will inspire me to use the ‘net for something other than just work.  Maybe I’ll feel comfortable and inspired to return to blogging full-time.

We shall see.