City Montreal's Breakfast Television made its much anticipated debut on Monday, August 26 and I must say it was very impressive. Co-hosts Alexandre Despatie and Joanne Vrakas looked as if they had been on the air together forever; Laura Casella was on the scene of a fire and reporting like a grizzled veteran; Catherine Verdon-Diamond showed all of her charisma and beauty, delivering solid weather and traffic updates; the handsome Wilder Weir was on the street, handing out gifts to viewers and interviewing the likes of Alouettes defensive star Kyries Hebert and Patrice Bernier and Jeb Brovsky of the Montreal Impact; and Elias Makos did a series of sportscasts with Despatie and kept on top of the social media scene. The team concluded the broadcast by accepting a large cake from the Sheraton Montreal on Boulevard René-Levesque.
|Despatie and Vrakas|
I must say I was surprised how much at ease Despatie was in this his first show. Yes, he has a lot of on air experience from doing interviews, serving as an analyst and acting roles, but this is different. He and Vrakas bounced off each other with ease. I particularly liked to see Vrakas reading tweets from her Ipad and there appeared to be lots of traffic.
"I am delighted by how quickly and cleanly the team came out of the gate," said executive producer Bob Babinski. "The chemistry that was so evident in rehearsals immediately resurfaced when the clock struck 6. Alex is confident and charming. Joanne's range is ridiculous, and she's funnier than I thought. And a shout out to Catherine, who handled our one technical mistake with aplomb- underscoring how comfortable she is in this new environment."
Over at the Global Morning News, there was a significant new development. Co-anchor Richard Dagenais wore a tie for I believe the first time since the show went on the air last January. He was rejoined at the desk by Camille Ross, who looked smashing and rested in a red dress following a brief holiday. Noticeably absent is weather specialist and correspondent Jessica Laventure, who returns from holiday September 3.
My recommendation to the anglophone television viewing community is to watch both shows like I do. Give them your support. At a time when the minority Parti-Québecois government is preaching intolerance and threatening the rights of the anglophone community, we should consider ourselves lucky that not one but two national networks have decided to grace us with local morning shows. Turn the TV on at breakfast. In the case of City, you can even watch BT streamed live on your computer. Global Montreal posts highlights of its show online.
If the Global Morning News team wants to do something cool, bring Montreal favorite Leslie Roberts back to broadcast his new 30 minute (9 a.m.) morning show from his old stomping grounds. And of course, have him join Richard, Camille and Jessica for a few hours.
Everyone in the media will tell you that competition is good. That is why it will be fun to watch these two shows square off against each other.