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CanWest debuts "Global News Morning"
7/14/2003

TORONTO - Southern Ontario kids expecting to see the usual 20-year-old rerun of Inspector Gadget this morning instead saw a new addition to a.m. TV: Global News Morning.

As reported earlier this year by www.broadcastermagazine.com, the show has been in development for at least a year and is hosted by Global veterans Christine Crosby and Alan Carter. The 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. show is meant to be news and nothing but the news, Global TV Network editor in chief Steve Wyatt told www.broadcastermagazine.com.

Wyatt said the company looked at the morning TV landscape where shows like CTV's Canada AM and Chum's Breakfast Television (BT) were offering a lot of entertainment and spectacle and saw, "a real opportunity for straight ahead news and traffic and business information in the mornings."

Rounding out the on-air talent are Josh Classen (weather), Pooja Handa (traffic) and the Financial Post's David Steinhart (business). A total of about 20 people work on the show, including a live reporter who will cover morning events.

Headed up by news director Stephanie Smyth, late of Toronto radio station 680 News, where she presided over huge ratings jumps, Global News Morning's content could be seen as rather similar to news radio's format - but with a screen-bottom ticker.

"Part of what we're looking for is the traditional radio audience," confirms Wyatt, "where people will spend 20 minutes to a half-hour with it."

While the show presents a loop of information throughout its three hours, none of it is taped meaning the stories are updated on the fly. "It's all live and constantly being updated, rewritten and refreshed by the writers," he adds.

Advertiser interest in the concept has been strong, says Wyatt, pointing to a long-term contract signed by Allstream (formerly AT&T; Canada) to sponsor the business segment.

"There's lots out there," on morning TV, adds Wyatt. "It's all about choice… we're all doing something different - and Toronto's a huge market, too."

And when Craig Media's Toronto 1 launches with its new morning program in the fall, we'll begin to see just how huge it really is.

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