Thursday 30 May 2013

City Montreal makes key behind the scenes hire in Feldman

When City Montreal's new Breakfast Television program debuts at the end of August,  head man Bob Babinski promises a show with lots of fun. Well, he has just made one heck of a hire in Jeffrey Feldman as a supervising producer.
Jeffrey Feldman

Feldman has spent the past nine years as a  producer for CTV's eTalk, using his endless array of contacts to bring the show everything and anything occurring in Montreal.    "During my time on the show, I have had the great fortune of working with outstanding people both at CTV Montreal and, of course, the dynamic team behind Canada's number one entertainment show," he said in an email to friends and family. " Not a single day passed when I didn’t consider myself tremendously fortunate to be in a position to meet such interesting people from all walks of life and all over the planet.  I still can’t believe I was able to work with, and get to know, members from two former Canadian Prime Ministers’ families."

Of course Feldman is talking about eTalk co-host Ben Mulroney and former Quebec correspondent Sophie Gregoire, the wife of Justin Trudeau.

Feldman says he met just about every A-lister, living legend,  actor , Olympian, singer, comedian, super model  - even royal family members.   " I have infinite appreciation for the publicists, agents, directors of marketing,  assistants,  interns plus the other unsung heroes who surround all these personalities and big ticket events on a daily basis to make things actually happen.  I will be forever enriched and humbled having experienced these moments." 

Feldman is actually a Torontonian who came here as a publicist, moved back to his hometown,  and then returned in September 2006 to take the eTalk gig.

Babinski has signed a star. 

We can now report that Olympic diving champion Alexandre Despatie and CBC's Joanne Vrakas will co-host the show, with  Beaconsfield's Wilder Weir serving as the roving reporter, He also a co-host of the Montreal Connected sports program. Here are all of the details courtesy of the magnificent Fagstein blog.

Canada AM set for June 6 and 7 Montreal broadcasts: homecoming for show's boss Travers

Lis Travers
CTV Montreal has a recent history of hiring some of the nicest and most professional individuals to carry out the key position of Director of News and Public Affairs. Jed Kahane fulfills that role today. His predecessor, Mike Piperni, a prince of an individual is now with RDS. Lis Travers was the news boss before Piperni. NIne and a half years ago she was offered the chance to move to Toronto and become executive producer of Canada AM , our country's  national morning newsmagazine. Since its launch in 1972, the show  has brought Canadians a unique blend of hard news and lifestyle stories, featuring in-depth interviews with top newsmakers, celebrities and musical stars.

It was a tough decision, even though this  was a post she had always looked upon as a great career opportunity. Her husband, Steve Hayward, was a CTV Montreal cameraman and their two daughters, Ingela and Mia, were teens at the time. Nonetheless, they agreed that this was a wonderful opportunity, sold their Pointe Claire home and headed down Highway 401.   Ingela, 28,  is now working in the TV industry while Mia, 23, is in the travel business. Steve has turned to writing.

Travers also worked for  CBC and Global here , actually starting up the latter's newsroom in 1998. She puts in long hours at Canada  AM, often coming in towards 6:30 a.m. and not leaving for another 12 hours. "We've done a lot here," she says. "I felt that one of the reasons they brought me in was to attach a sense of community to the show."

I worked very closely with Lis during his days here, but kind of lost touch since she became the vice-president and executive producer of Canada AM. We reconnected today to discuss the exciting live broadcasts of the show planned for Montreal June 6 and 7.

Hosts Beverly Thomson, Marci Ien, and Jeff Hutcheson are  heading to Montreal  for these
Ien, Hutchison and Thomson
two special broadcasts . Montrealers are in fact being invited to be a part of the live, outdoor audience on Thursday, June 6 at Place des Arts, and Friday, June 7 in the heart of Old Montreal in Place Jacques Cartier. From 6-9 a.m. ET, Canada AM will  host  an array of special guests as they celebrate Montreal and help launch the city’s festival season. Montreal viewers are invited to “venez en grands nombres,” and should arrive at Place des Arts early to get a good spot for the free, non-ticketed broadcast.

The Montreal remote actually came about following a chat between Travers and Tanya Churchmuch, a former Global reporter now working for Tourism Montreal. "I am really excited about this," says Travers."There is a great lineup viewers can look forward to."

Highlights include:

Thursday, June 6

•    MONTREAL’S LIVING HISTORY: Documentary filmmaker, columnist, and life-long Montrealer Josh Freed  gives Bev a tour of his Montreal, sharing why he would never live anywhere else.
•    A CITY OF SPORTS FANS: From Les Canadiens and the Alouettes, to countless Olympic champs – the show looks at the depth of love Montrealers have for their sports heroes.
•    AISLIN’S MONTREAL – Canada’s best-known political cartoonist, Terry Mosher - better known as Aislin - has sketched his way through the history of the city, province and country. He shows his favourites and explains why Montreal is such fertile ground for a political cartoonist.
•    FASHION FANTASTIQUE – Marci goes on a whirlwind visit of Montreal’s fashion hot spots with the queen of fashion herself, Jeanne Beker. Jeanne gives Marci the inside scoop on top fashion and top deals.
•    STREET MEAT GETS AN UPGRADE – Montreal is finally joining the world of food trucks… but not just any food trucks. Jeff, Marci, and Bev get to sample Montreal’s brand new fleet as it gets ready to hit the street.
•    ALL THAT JAZZ AND TICKLING THE FUNNY BONE – They put Montreal on the festival map. The founder of Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, André Ménard, and the COO of the Just for Laughs festival, Bruce Hills, join Canada AM. Together, they reminisce about the huge acts that got their start at these landmark festivals, and preview what’s coming up at this year’s events.
•    LES 7 DOIGTS DE LA MAIN – The unique circus group getting rave reviews from around the world, Les 7 doigts de la main, perform in front of the live  audience.
•    98 DEGREES – Nick Lachey and his hit 90s boy band are back! Grammy-nominated 98 Degrees performs three songs live on - a warm up to their performance at Montreal’s Bell Centre that night. The band will give away one set of tickets one lucky audience member.

Friday, June 7

Jeff Hutcheson sticks around, keeping the Montreal festivities going:
•    GREGORY CHARLES – This dynamic performer has sold out the BELL Centre for multiple nights before bringing his Vintage Experience performance to Montreal’s Old Port for the summer. This morning, he performs live from his repertoire that will astound, while taking requests from the audience.
•    SCHWARTZ’S DELI – Jeff not only gets a taste of the Montreal landmark, but he’ll also slap on a uniform and an attitude, and get to work.
•    A SPACE FOR LIFE – Mosaïcultures International Montreal displays a Space For Life – a fantastic display of horticultural art from around the world. It opens June 22, but Jeff gets a behind the scenes preview while these green-thumbed artists are setting up.

There are no politicians listed,  but Travers confirmed that she hopes to get Mayor Michael Applebaum to come on the air.