Tuesday, January 19, 2010
What else is there to say about the latest bloodbath at Citytv? This time, though, some prominent veterans have gotten the knife all over the country including star anchorwoman Anne Mroczkowski (left) and Laura DiBattista in Toronto and Aisling Slattery in Calgary. The noon news is gone in Toronto; so is the 5pm news. The entire weekend news is also gone in Toronto (I guess they figure real news doesn't happen on the weekend in TO), and CityNews International is also history.
What's sad is that people I know have gotten the boot. Farah Nasser, who seemed to survive one bloodbath after another at a variety of TV stations in the Toronto area, had the rug pulled out from under her today at Citytv. She was my co-anchor at Rogers Mississauga back when I was doing the sports for the evening newscast First Local!! Merella Fernandez also got the boot, and I had met her way back when she was just starting out as a lowly assistant at CTV!!
But there is some good news. Another guy I know from Rogers days, Francis D'Souza, kept his job. I guess one out of three ain't bad.
This is just terrible, just awful. These losses strike way too close to home. But I shouldn't be surprised, because Citytv has been a train wreck ever since Moses Znaimer left. Maybe the laid-off can go join that AM station Moses runs, AM 740.
Actually, a lot of people had been bailing out of Citytv before this latest bloodletting. Political specialist Richard Madan quit for CTV Ottawa in December and resident sports guy Jim McKenny had also quit. And Rogers has been getting rid of people from Citytv ever since taking the place over, gutting the entertainment news staff and booting some other big names out, including Peter Silverman. In fact, people were being booted out even before they took over.
It has been a miserable last few years for folks at Citytv, and the people left in the building really have to wonder: when is the other shoe going to drop for them, too? These bloodbaths really are getting to be too ridiculous over there.
UPDAYE: Oh, and by the way, you can blame NBC for this carnage, too. The Jay Leno Show was actually a hit for Citytv. But NBC is removing him from the air, so Citytv's prime-time lineup has now gone up in smoke. So some people are blaming the recent Jay Leno mess for the mess at Citytv. They aren't entirely off the mark.