Wednesday, February 09, 2005

FORMER ANCHOR COLLEAGUES

As some of you out there in TV land know, I was a sports anchor in Peel region at Rogers TV for a long time. I thought it would be fun to tell you about a couple of people who did time at that operation who have new jobs.

First, here's a link to the Weather Network, and if you scroll down you'll find the name of Candice Batista. She's now an on-call weathercaster there. I know her from when she was the former anchor at First Local in Mississauga. She was there back in the days when Pooja Handa and Minna Rhee were with the operation ( both of them are at Global TV now). Those of you in Toronto may remember Candice from her coverage for Rogers on the red carpet at the Toronto International Film Festival. I think the Weather Network is perfectly suited to someone with her interests and abilities.

And here's a link to the New VR and the bio page for Farah Nasser. She left Toronto 1 late last year to become the York Region videographer in VRLand. You know what this means, folks, she'll probably end up meeting Belinda Stronach. Frank Klees lives in VRLand, too.

Farah was at Rogers TV Mississauga as the news anchor at First Local and was my co-anchor over there. What was remarkable was that Candice had just left for a radio gig, and Farah and I actually made comebacks to the anchor desk after being gone for a couple of years (she went to CNN in India, while I left, twice, to work on political campaigns). So when the new producer was finally hired, the news broadcast ended up being fronted by the three veterans of the operation: it was Farah anchoring the news, me doing the sports and Jamie Quinn (of CFYZ Airport Radio fame) doing entertainment.

It was an awesome team and we had great production people as well. Years before, Farah had anchored the entertainment segment, but I think she always wanted to do news. It's me who always secretly wanted to be the next Pat O'Brien/Insider, hobnobbing with celebrities and chasing starlets. That's my problem: a tabloid sensibility. No wonder I ended up doing the sports. In the end Farah, who did seven years at Rogers TV, left to report for Toronto1. I called it quits at the end of last season because I felt I needed to move on from cable TV, and I didn't want to be stuck at Rogers TV forever.

It's remarkable they didn't have to leave the Toronto market to get their gigs, really, and they basically have the same experience I have. The only thing missing for me is that I didn't do any time at Rogers Toronto, where both of them spent a fair amount of time. You know, this is great for them. If they can make it, there's hope for me yet.

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