Breakfast Television (Citytv Toronto)

Breakfast Television (Citytv Toronto)

"Breakfast Television", also known as BT, is a Canadian morning news and entertainment program produced by Citytv Toronto.

Four other Citytv stations and the cable-only A Atlantic uses the name and the format (see "Breakfast Television"), creating content relevant to their own local audiences. All other A stations produce their own similar morning shows under the name "A Morning".

"BT" tends to be more relaxed and spontaneous than American morning shows. Unlike American morning shows, it does not have pre-taped segments that are focused on current events or socio-political issues. The guests tend to be more human interest, informational, and promotional in nature and there is less of a focus on celebrities.

The show has a segment called "LiveEye", in which Jennifer Valentyne tours around the Greater Toronto Area, to businesses, tourist attractions, etc. Valentyne has also broadcast from Walt Disney World [Inside BT blog: " [ Jenn's Disney Trip] ", 10 November 2006.] and Newfoundland. [Inside BT blog: " [ A Visit from J.D. FORTUNE & Getting Ready for VIEWER APPRECIATION DAY] ", 11 August 2006.]


"Breakfast Television" debuted on September 6, 1989, with host Ann Rohmer and news anchor David Onley. In 1994, Onley left the show to focus on CityPulse, being replaced by Kevin Frankish, who up to that point was BT's traffic specialist and previously was a reporter for Barrie's CKVR. Liza Fromer replaced Ann Rohmer in 2001, but then left the show in July 2006, after the birth of her child. Kevin Frankish blogged that her departure from the show was "on the absolute best of terms." On October 13, 2006 Dina Pugliese became the new co-host of the show, after a summer of guest co-hosts.

Jennifer Valentyne (nee Peck) was previously the singing weather girl; she replaced Steve Anthony on the LiveEye segment after he left the station. Hugh Burrill presented the sports segment and also took part in early morning host chats before being assigned to a later time slot.

With the absence of Hugh Burrill, Nalini Sharma joined the BT team as a weather presenter. She went on maternity leave in 2005 and returned that September, before being reassigned to a different time slot. Frank Ferragine, the fill-in presenter during her maternity leave, returned.

Roger Petersen used to be the morning reporter on BT before moving to Citytv Vancouver in 2004 (he is currently at CFTO-TV). His replacement, Dave Pinton, left in 2005, and Tracy Moore is currently the live reporter for BT.


Like CTV-owned MuchMusic, the "Breakfast Television" studio has windows facing Queen Street West. As a result, passers-by are shown on camera, behind the hosts and guests. While many American morning shows now have similar storefront studios, Citytv was the first to have such a layout Fact|date=September 2007. As a result, area employees are repeatedly seen, [ [ CityNews: Inside BT ] ] as well as people marketing nearby businesses while wearing chicken costumes.Inside BT blog: " [ Why Did The Chicken Cross Queen Street] ", 22 November 2006.] A topless street performer, "Zanta", was so much of a visual distraction that CHUM filed court documents to have him banned from the building's area.cite news |last=Burnett |first=Thane |title=Zanta's claws pulled by a court |publisher=The Toronto Sun |date=2005-11-07 |url= |accessdate=2006-12-06 ]

Sixty minutes after "BT" ends, the studio is used for another series, "CityLine".

On October 22, 2007, Rogers Media announced plans to move its television stations in Toronto (Citytv, OMNI.1 and OMNI.2) and its sports radio station The Fan 590 to 35 Dundas Street East, the former Olympic Spirit building on Dundas Square. The move is scheduled for March 2009. [ [ "Preview Citytv's New Home"] ,, January 11, 2008. ] Citytv has indicated that the program will continue with its traditional streetfront studio format in its new location. On January 18, 2008, BT held its first-ever live broadcast from that location. []

In 2008, CTV's eTalk moved its base of operations to 299 Queen Street West and took up residence in the same studio as BT/CityLine. One wall and several pillars have been fitted with video screens and a red and white colour scheme displaying the eTalk logo. Citytv covers this up with a blue curtain for Breakfast Television and CityLine. CTV-owned Star! sometimes uses this set for its weekly film based program, "Star! at the Movies" as well as for "Star! Update" on CTV-owned Star! and CP24.


Every August since 2005, "BT" has organized a "Viewer Appreciation Day", held in the BT parking lot.Inside BT blog: " [ Second BT Viewer Appreciation Day A Smash Success] ", 11 August 2006.] Gates open at 6 a.m., and closed due to capacity crowds early into 7 a.m. Some people began camping out at "BT" at 5:30 p.m. the day before.Inside BT blog: " [ Second BT Viewer Appreciation Day A Smash Success] ", 11 August 2006.]

The BT team also holds an annual public Christmas party, in promotion of the ChumCity Christmas Wish and Daily Bread Foodbank. In 2006, the event was at the Sheraton Centre.


* Main anchor: Kevin Frankish (1994 - present)
* Co-host: Dina Pugliese (October 13, 2006-present) [Inside BT Blog: " [ DINA IS THE ONE!!!!] ", 13 October 2006.]
* Weather: Frank Ferragine (September 26, 2005 - present)
* LiveEye: Jennifer Valentyne
* Top story reporter (LiveEye): Tracy Moore (September 2005 - present, currently on maternity leave), Pam Seatle (occasionally in summer 2006)
* Transit: Mika Midolo of TTC Transit Control, Eva Fragiskatos (of CFTR-AM Traffic Centre, November 5, 2007 - present)

Past presenters

* Ann Rohmer (host, 1989 - 2001, reassigned to CP24, and is an occasional fill-in host for Kevin Frankish)
* David Onley (news, 1989 - 1994; now Lieutenant Governor of Ontario)
* John Whaley (sports; now sports reporter for Metro Morning on CBC Radio)
* Steve Anthony (LiveEye; now afternoon host on Mix 99.9)
* Roger Petersen (top story reporter, LiveEye, now reporter and night anchor at CFTO-TV)
* Hugh Burrill (sports, reassigned as a sports anchor on CityNews)
* Nalini Sharma (weather, August 2003 - September 23, 2005, re-assigned to CityNews weekend editions and CityNews at 11)
* Dave Pinton (top story reporter, LiveEye, 2004 - September 2005; now with CIVT-TV Vancouver)
* Liza Fromer (host, 2001 - July 2006; now with Slice TV)
* Bob Summers (CHUM-FM Traffic Centre - until November 2, 2007)
* Sharon Posius (A News Barrie - until September 5, 2008, re-assigned to CKVR-TV's new morning show; "A Morning").

Guest co-hosts

* Kathryn Humphreys (July 2006)
* Traci Melchor (July 2006)
* Frank Ferragine (31 July-4 August 2006)
* Laura DiBattista (14-18 August 2006, as well as "a few years ago") [Inside BT Blog: " [ The Wink] ", 14 August 2006.]
* Jee-Yun Lee (28 August-1 September 2006)
* Merella Fernandez (5-8 September 2006)
* Melissa Grelo (September 2006)
* Dina Pugliese (September 25-28, 2006)
* Nalini Sharma (September 29, 2006)
* Ann Rohmer (for Kevin Frankish occasionally)
* Tracy Moore (for Kevin Frankish occasionally)


Note that this list is purposely incomplete, and only includes crew that Frankish's "Inside BT" blog has devoted an entire post to.
* Producer: Robert Lawlor [ [ CityNews: Meet Our Producer, Robert Lawlor ] ]

Past crew

* Floor director: Jessica Vander Kooij, [Inside BT blog: [ You Asked about..."JESSICA"] , 20 July 2006] who appears semi-regularly on camera - Jessica has taken a position @ BT in Vancouver in a production role.
* BT Diner operator, BT contest line operator [Inside BT blog: " [ The Contest Phone] ", 18 July 2006.] : Angelica Montesano [Inside BT blog: [ You Asked About..."The Diner Girl"] , 10 July 2006.] (Off "BT", Montesano is a singer [ [ Myspace: Angelica Montesano] ] and actress, who has a lead role in "The Adventures of Fuming Chu".)


* In July 2006, Frankish blogged that producers were considering facilitating a studio audience.Inside BT blog: " [ You Asked...] ", 28 July 2006.] The renovated set did not include this.
* Just as many people within the CityNews team started off on the CHUM phoneline, both Jennifer Valentyne and segment producer Kevin Forreget started by working at "the "BT" Diner". [ [ CityNews: Inside BT ] ]
* Kevin Frankish has publicly discussed his panic attacks with viewers, on air. [Inside BT blog: " [ Panic Attacks] ", 31 July 2006.]
* Frankish still lives in Barrie with his family, despite hosting the Toronto-based series since 1994. He generally wakes up at 2 am to get to the studio on time, often filming early morning incidents along the way.


External links

* [ Breakfast Television Toronto]
* [ CityNews]
** [ Inside BT blog] , by The BT Team
** [ Frankie Flowers blog] , by Frank Ferragine

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