Breakfast teevee in Calgary

Go here for the most recent comments on the Calgary BT disaster.

For those of you wondering about Zain, let it be known henceforth and forever that he is forever gone. Unfortunately for Zain, his inability to keep his mouth shut combined with a set of ears that weren’t capable of hearing what he was saying allowed the motormouth to write his own ticket to obscurity in the Rogers TeeVee empire. Buh-bye dumbass.

Earlier today I submitted the following to a blog on the Breakfast Television Calgary web site, but I doubt that it will appear. Here it is, with typos corrected. I was so pissed off when I wrote the original that I didn’t do any editing.

Breakfast television train wreck

While on a summer-long ride, I got to experience Deadbeat-BT in Winnipeg, Toronto and the Maritimes. Without a doubt, Calgary’s was the best! Of course, that was when I left.

The lovely parting gift for Suzanne Fox

Now I’m back, only to discover that the talented and lovely Jill Belland has been replaced with a woman even more unattractive than the recently-departed Susanne Fox. Did anyone see Susanne’s lovely parting gift? It was a fish toilet tank. How appropriate. Susanne’s reaction was priceless.

[ For those Googling Susanne Fox’s whereabouts, she is now on Global Calgary news at 5 p.m. ]

I was hoping that Jill Belland would continue to co-host Calgary’s BT morning show with Andrew Schultz. She’s bright, talkative but not overly so, and she fits in well with Andrew. In fact, when I departed on my motorcycle ride, she was blossoming into quite the talk-show host and partner to Andrew.

It was all for naught.

Tara Slone must be related to someone – or married to someone – in the company to have parachuted into this job. Notwithstanding her previous careers – singer, television host, band member, among others (which obviously didn’t work out for her) – she’s just not host material. She’s bland. She’s always waving her hands. She talks over her co-host. Today I witnessed Andrew Schultz visibly annoyed with her doing so during a segment. She continues to do it constantly. It won’t be long before Andrew is relegated to simply nodding like a bobble-head doll to everything non-stop-Tara says.

Someone (the husband?) must have mentioned the constant waving-hands issue. That appears to be toned down a little.

Andrew Schultz, the co-host, is trying hard, but he’s fighting an uphill battle. If Tara is in fact family-related, I’m thinking it won’t be long before he’s replaced by some generic body that will be willing to play second-fiddle to Tara.

Ratings must be down quite a bit as witnessed by Tara’s daughter ending up on the show during sign-off today. Tara talked over everyone during the entire sign-off. How annoying it must be for everyone involved. I know it was for me as a viewer.

Former members of what must have been a close-knit group must now be looking for an exit, any way they can find one. I wish them all luck on this train-wreck of a formerly excellent early-morning localized show.

Oh, and would someone throw some makeup on one of the hosts? Even if she’s allergic, it’s a poor excuse for having none. There are hypo-allergenic products out there.

Updated August 25: I just this moment learned that Andrew Schultz will be replaced with another Toronto reject, Zain Meghji.

Just what the show needs: a second Toronto reject. Thanks to the two of them, a formerly very watchable Calgary early-morning television show will now become completely unwatchable. Thank you, untalented hacks.

I doubt the Calgary tone of the show will survive another lost Torontonian who has to explain how great it is to be from Toronto yet live in Calgary, as I watched Tara Slone do this morning. It’s unfortunate that the two of them had to come West to find out how “wonderful” it is out here in the boondocks.

Updated August 26: My apologies for overstating Zain Meghji’s qualifications for BT Calgary. He was merely born in Toronto.

Of late he’s been in Vancouver/Toronto/other Deadbeat TeeVee locations, so by the sound of it he’s on his way east to eventually return to Toronto, as opposed to Tara Slone, who was in Toronto and is now banished to the Calgary boondocks in a pained effort to restore some kind of career.


I’m left wondering if Andrew Schultz will be permanently banished to doing the weather, or if he will just disappear after a tearful rendition of soothing goodbye clips on a Friday. If so, I hope they come up with a better parting gift than that presented to Susanne Fox – the appropriate and ever-popular (with me, at least) fish tank.

Give me a break.

To Andrew (who will apparently soon be replaced as co-host) and the rest of you remaining at Breakfast Television in Calgary, I wish you all the best. You are all too good for this.

Who in corporate management is responsible for this travesty?

Updated August 27: The Calgary Deadbeat TV Train Wreck™ continues!

Although Andrew Schultz hasn’t yet been banished, he’s slowly being edged out of the picture. Andy can barely manage to hang on to a corner of the desk as he gets pushed farther and farther to the sidelines by the delightful Tara.

Later in today’s show: I can’t believe that she’s sitting outside with her feet in Andy’s lap. Okay Tara, you can take your feet off of Andy now. You’ve been wiping them on him all week and it’s time to start acting with some grace towards your co-host. You do understand the concept of grace towards fellow employees, right?

In today’s final shot I get the impression that Andrew is even being crowded off of the outdoor sofa. The only thing keeping him from the cement is the arm rest. Obviously there’s no longer any room for the likes of him on this show

This train wreck is finally getting to be fun to watch, although it’s become plainly obvious that Andrew is suffering. I don’t envy him in the slightest.

Jill Belland has been notably absent from the Train Wreck comedy, banished as she has been to her former duties as the roving correspondent. I get the feeling that this won’t last long. I’m expecting the snide comments and remarks during the introductions to Jill’s segments will start next week when Tara will begin cementing her dominance over the show.

And quite a show it is.

Update Monday August 30: I must admit that I missed the first 1:45 of the show this morning. I’m not sorry.

Today Andy is relegated to “Ed McMahon sidekick” while Tara gets all the meaningful interviews.

Endless nattering about Andy sleeping in this morning; Andy is always eating; yadda yadda yadda. Andrew is probably slimmer than she is.

To conclude the final interview of the morning the harpy is yelling into the mike.

Good grief, the poor woman can’t even do the weather ad hoc.

Show some grace, Tara. Reading words out of a thesaurus to talk down to Andrew doesn’t cut it.

There’s no reason to watch for the next four days. Jill Belland is off to Toronto for the remainder of the week. I wonder if she has an interview. Let’s hope so. It’s time she too moves on to something better than this travesty.

Updated August 31 : Nine word show summary: Shrill and incessant whining about how cold it is.

Toto, by now you must know you’re not in Toronto any more.

Jill is in TO to do an episode of CityLine. Could it be an audition? For her sake, I hope so. Go Jill! and escape from this horrible mess. The possible irony: Tara ends up in the wilderness of the west, and Jill goes to the bright city lights of Toronto. Let’s hope it’s success for Jill. (The CityLine episode will air next week.)

While on the subject of disappearing BT Calgary jobs, can someone, anyone, explain to me how Mike McCourt manages to hang onto his through all of this?

Tara can’t help condescending to Andrew Schultz (just to be sure he knows his place on the show) by calling him the best weather man ever. Aww. I must note that Andy doesn’t condescend to Tara in the slightest.

Tara, I know you have no idea, but before you came along, Andrew Schultz was not only an above-par meteorologist, but also an excellent co-host.

September 1: Andy has been welcomed back into the fold! He was allowed to do something with pickles. Never wanting to be completely out of the picture, Tara stood beside him, ready to take over in the event Andy became incapacitated.

My fondest hope for this train wreck: That both Andy and Jill find jobs elsewhere, leaving Deadbeat-TV management/executives scratching their heads in disbelief at an audience share in the negative numbers across all demographics. Now that would be something worth watching!

September 2: Who cares about this dog and pony show any more? Instead, let’s all look forward to Jill Belland’s CityLine audition next week. And here’s to Jill’s return to this mess: YaY! Too bad you have to come back to it, Jill.

Jill will be on CityLine September 8 and 9, 9 a.m., Wednesday and Thursday. Don’t miss it!

Friday, September 3: The end of this week’s Calgary Deadbeat TV Train Wreck™ – none too soon as far as I’m concerned. Mike Yawney is in the background doing something with bacon. Mike, I’m sorry, but even the most delectable, cholesterol-laden bacon treats won’t be capable of rewarding this dog and turning it into a pony.

Our first hint of a forthcoming new co-host is broken by, wait for it … two goofy-looking radio people? What the hell is with that? Although, while I must admit that two clowns fit right in with the current tenor of the show, it’s going to take more than radio clowns to save this drowning dog. My heartfelt apologies to dogs everywhere.

Mike is still doing something with bacon.

Louis B. tells us about Machete. YES! I can’t wait to see this one, as bad as it will be. But then, that’s the point, isn’t it? It’s like passing by a car accident. You can’t take your eyes off of it, as much as you want to – sort of the way I feel about the Calgary Deadbeat TV Train Wreck™.

Mike, that chicken-fried bacon looks pretty good!

The revelation will be forthcoming. Can’t wait.

Oh gosh, the new co-host will be … Zain Meghji. Didn’t I mention this in an earlier post? Ho-hum.

Zain looks a tad bewildered.

Tara is plainly pleased by it all. She finally has someone as uninformed as she is about the local scene and the province.

Whoever came up with that bacon-themed program for today – thanks. It has now been worth every minute. Note to afternoon meeting pitchers: There will be no further mention of pork on this program. Evar. Pork producers be damned.

Next week, we’re looking forward to Jill Belland on CityLine, Wednesday and Thursday at 9 a.m. Here’s to you, Jill. Oh, and welcome back to the train wreck. It should make for an interesting week, don’t you think?

I’m off for a bit of bacon and some pumpernickel toast.