Departure Day for Denis And Gray

Marilyn Denis fans will want to catch today’s CityLine (Citytv at 10 a.m.). After 19 years, it is her final show as host.

In the past, when CityLine needed a face lift, Denis would simply go out and get one! Not this time. Denis was caught in a corporate tug of war after CTV gobbled up the CHUM TV biz, then was forced to sell off Toronto flagship City when the CRTC ruled no doubling up in the T.O. market, bub. When Rogers acquired City, CTV claimed Denis as one of their stars thanks to her long-running CHUM FM morning radio gig (Roger, Rick & Marilyn).
So today’s Fashion Friday is Denis’s CityLine swan song. There will be no bells, whistles or fireworks, just a quiet departure as CityLine searches for a new host to carry on the series. Denis the total pro was downplaying the departure when I spoke with her two weeks ago, getting Rogers’ concern that the show must go on. Still, as the kids say, WTF?? Where’s the big sendoff?Even posts about her departure have been deleted at the CityLine website, which is ridiculous. Imagine the hullabaloo when Oprah finally walks off her show. There will be confetti dropped from a million helicopters all across North America. The U.S. president, especially if it is OBama, will declare it “Oprah Day.” Tom Cruise will go on a couch jumping rampage. But Rogers could not take out one industry ad thanking Denis for 19 seasons and wishing her well in the future? What does a person have to do in TV these days to get a gracious salute?
There’s some talk CTV might set Denis up with her own new afternoon series in the near future. Look for them to give her the profile she deserves.
Also departing quietly today are the gang over in Calgary who put together Newsworld’s afternoon newscasts. The decision was made several months ago to close the regional office and centralize production in Toronto, which seems exactly opposite to the CBC mandate of being the eyes and ears of Canada. That meant relocate or bust for several CBC Calgary staffers, including newsanchor David Gray, who I”ve had the pleasure of chatting with over the past few years as a guest on the newscasts. Another pal, producer Sandra Mills, is also a Calgary casualty, although she told me she’s welcoming a bit of downtime in the short term. Hope to hear from them both soon as they call in from whichever broadcaster is smart enough to snap them up. In the meantime, tune in the Newsworld’s CBC News Today with David Gray at 3 p.m. E.T. for a final blast of fresh Calgary air.

4 Responses to “Departure Day for Denis And Gray”

  1. Anonymous

    I think that it is horrible how viewers were blindsided today by Marilyn’s departure. She has been a fantastic host and she will be greatly missed. How could they let her go?–from a long-time loyal CityLine viewer

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    I have heard that David Gray will be joining Burman and Lewis over at Al Jazeera and Marilyn Denis will apparently be taking a job at that shop on Queen Street in Toronto called Good For Her.

    Congratulations to both of them.

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    It is with great sadness that I am writing about Marilyns’ departure.
    I was in complete shock that she would go so suddenly and without the fanfare she deserves. This was a great opportunity for CITY TV to put on a well deserved show of appreciation for 19 long & dedicated years Marilyn has done the show whilst juggling her early morning CHUM – Roger, Rick & Marilyn show. With a whole 10 minutes to do her hair on the show by Philippe Fiorio every day. Talk about no pampering. Would Opera go on set with 10 mins. prep time? I think not. What a trouper!
    CITY should have announced her departure for weeks with an ad for a farewell special and do a two hour special at prime time. Not only showing the highlights of her career and by the way she “made ” the show but had special guests and maybe even showed the regulars who made it big time like Steven Sabados and Candace Olsen with their humble start on the show. I’m sure they’re thankful for that start! She is a career launcher – note Brian Gluckstein – yes you also have to have some talent – but exposure is what she gave.
    What CITY did give Marilyn their long time and very successful host not much more than a “shower” party in a living room – which would be great if you did the show for about a year or two. Shame on CITY and Rogers for overseeing such a paltry sendoff to a CANADIAN ICON!
    Whose running the show anyway? -College grads?
    Bye Marilyn I’m going to miss your sultry voice quick wit & humour, enthusiasm and sparkling energy -(even after all those years!)
    I hope somebody grabs you and gives you reigns on an even better show and probably better pay!
    Good luck babe.
    A loyal fan
    Annette Breton
    Toronto, ON

    Reply

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