Even by recent Bell Media standards, this is some pretty drastic cost cutting. I haven’t looked, but I can’t imagine the ratings for Canada AM of all things being so bad that they’d scrap it on performance grounds alone. It’s either a financial decision A.K.A. Bell being cheap as hell or something behind the scenes went quickly, horribly, irreparably awry. Often (though not so much lately I suppose), when something or someone as popular and long-running as Canada AM gets the axe, it’s announced well in advance, not out of the blue like this and the goodbye is a long one. It’s hard to look at the timing here and read the statements about evolving landscapes and building on the success of Canada AM in the future and hear anything but we’d like to be able to do this more cheaply and we’re taking you by surprise so that the outrage will be done with quickly.
CTV announced today that after 43 seasons, Canada AM will deliver its final headlines and interviews when its last episode airs tomorrow, Friday, June 3 from 6 – 9 a.m. ET. Since 1972, Canadians from across the country have awakened to the national morning show, with its blend of hard news and lifestyle stories, as well as in-depth interviews with top newsmakers, celebrities, and musical stars.
Bell Media also confirmed today that long time co-hosts Beverly Thomson and Marci Ien will remain with the company. Thomson moves to CTV News Channel while Ien will develop new projects with Bell Media In-House Productions. Jeff Hutcheson announced his retirement earlier this month.
CTV will announce a new program for the 6-9 a.m. timeslot next week. A simulcast of live CTV News Channel programming will air in the timeslot on CTV beginning Monday, June 6.
“As the television landscape continues to evolve, so too must our programming. We look forward to building upon the success of Canada AM as we move forward,” said Randy Lennox, President, Entertainment Production and Broadcasting, Bell Media. “We invite viewers and fans to join us as we say goodbye tomorrow and acknowledge the lasting legacy this series and its talent – both now and in the past – have had on Canada’s broadcasting industry.”
I might not miss it much, but I will miss it. I haven’t watched it in years because as a reasonable adult, watching morning news shows for much longer than the time it takes to get the day’s top news and sports headlines makes me want to kill people, often times the idiotic bantering, fake laughing motherfuckers doing the hosting first and foremost. But in my younger days either it or Breakfast Television was on in my house most mornings, at least until the little ones decided it was cartoon time. The only times I tune in by choice now are when Carin’s mom and dad are visiting us, but it was quietly comforting to know that it would always be there if I wanted it. To that extent and because I know there are a lot of people who still enjoy and rely on it every day either for information and entertainment or a paycheck, I’m sad it’s gone. I’ll probably tune in for a while tomorrow for old time’s sake and to see it off. It hasn’t always been my favourite show, but it’s an important one and one that I think deserves a more dignified end than it’s getting.