ICYMI: BT shakes up format, Novus president empowers women

Plus, the Food Network and Cooking Channel line up a hefty offering for Halloween.

Breakfast Television mixes it up, celebrates three decades in Toronto 

On the eve of its fall launch, Citytv’s Breakfast Television returns Sept. 23 with a new format and some fresh faces in western markets. In Calgary, news anchor Sarah Freemark will join Michelle Yi and Mike Yawney, as well as BT Toronto’s Dina Pugliese (pictured above), who will bring more lifestyle and entertainment content to the Alberta city and to Vancouver. In addition to new hosts, BT will debut a new L-bar screen design in both Calgary and Vancouver giving viewers traffic and weather updates throughout the broadcast and during commercials. BT Montreal was cancelled earlier this month and longtime host Riaz Meghji left BT Vancouver in July.

Novus president heads up women’s empowerment OOH initiative

As a member of the DPAA board of directors, Novus president Debbie Drutz has been appointed chair of the WE.DOOH initiative. Women’s Empowerment in Digital Out-of-Home, announced at the DPAA’s 2018 Video Everywhere Summit, was created to bring visibility to the board level of the organization and advance women’s careers in DOOH. Through webinars, training sessions and video tips, the WE.DOOH network looks to connect women working across the DOOH ecosystem and will partner with Advance Women at Work, a similar initiative from American-based small business consultant, Wet Cement.

Food Network goes all in on Halloween

The Food Network and Cooking Channel are promising more than 30 hours of Halloween programming this fall dedicated to the “scariest and most delicious holiday of the year.” Four new series and specials and four returning seasonal stunts will air alongside Halloween-themed episodes of favourites like Kids Baking Championship, Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro, Chopped and others. “With Halloween Baking Championship and Halloween Wars both seeing series-high ratings last year, we knew we had to deliver even more tricks and treats this holiday season, upping the ante across both networks,” said Courtney White, president of the Food Network and Cooking Channel.