After replacing the departed Kevin Frankish on Citytv’s Breakfast Television in Toronto, Roger Petersen has departed too.
Toronto Mike broke the news late on Monday afternoon, stating the veteran broadcaster was fired from the long-running morning program.
Petersen made it official via his Twitter account on Tuesday.
“I’m no longer with Breakfast Television,” he began. “It was wonderful, it was an incredible time. Wonderful people to work with, a wonderful crew who put that show together. When you look at all the work they do, it’s all behind the scenes and they don’t get enough credit for it.
“Thank you, the two years that I had with you guys was amazing,” he continued. “Dina, it was wonderful sitting on that couch with you. We had some magnificent laughs, beautiful laughs, genuine laughs.” Petersen rhymed off memorable interviews, including with Prime Minister Trudeau, Danny DeVito, Steve Earle and the people in Toronto “that make this city go.”
“I want to say a big thank you to all of you, the viewers, for joining us over the last two years,” he said. “It has been incredible … I will miss you all.”
In addition to Kevin Frankish, Breakfast Television has said goodbye to Winston Sih, Adam Wylde and Jennifer Valentine.
From a media release:
Citytv announced today that Roger Petersen has been named co-host of Toronto’s longest-running morning show, Breakfast Television. Starting today, Petersen officially joins co-host Dina Pugliese, along with fellow newcomer Stella Acquisto, and the rest of the celebrated BT family of Frank Ferragine, Winston Sih, Melanie Ng, Tammie Sutherland, and Kerry Prunskus to wake-up the Greater Toronto Area and beyond. Breakfast Television airs weekdays from 5:30 to 9 a.m. ET on Citytv.
Petersen is a familiar face to Citytv audiences having covered some of the largest stories to unfold in his hometown – from the horrific van attack earlier this year to the G20 and G8, SARS and the Papal visit. Petersen joined the Toronto Citytv team in 1999, undertaking a variety of roles including reporter, anchor and host of the car show Autoshop. Petersen then moved to Vancouver to anchor CityNews at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., before moving back to his hometown as a CityNews Toronto reporter and anchor. Petersen began his broadcasting career in radio, having studied Radio & Television at Seneca College.
In addition to his broadcast career, Petersen also volunteers his time to many causes, including Cardiac Health Foundation and Victim Services, and is a proud father to son McKenna.
A member of the Citytv family since 2011, Stella Acquisto also joins the BT Toronto family as the community correspondent. A first-generation Canadian, Acquisto was born in Toronto where she studied Journalism at Seneca College and earned a Political Science and Communications Studies degree from York University.
It’s the end of an era at Breakfast Television Toronto as co-host Kevin Frankish announced he is leaving City’s flagship morning show. His last day will be Friday, June 1.
Frankish made the announcement on-air on Tuesday morning and on social media with fellow co-host Dina Pugliese by his side.
“We have shared so much together for so many years,” he read from a statement, his voice quavering. “Many of you who started watching me as kids come up to me now as parents with kids of your own. Some of you may remember when I proposed to my wife on air. I have shared with you the birth of all four of my children. When I had a panic attack on air, I shared that with you and we have since gone on a journey of battle with depression together. In fact, many of you, in turn, have shared so many of your stories. We are truly family. It is this fact that makes what I have to say so difficult.
“All good things must come to an end eventually, and so sadly has my time here on Breakfast Television,” he continued. “Friday will be my last day on this program. I am not disappearing, though, from the CityTV airwaves. I will be working on documentaries for CityTV.” You can read the full statement here. Frankish’s wife, Beth, was in-studio and came to sit next to Frankish and Pugliese before the segment headed to a commercial.
Frankish has been the host of Breakfast Television on City since 1994, when he replaced David Onley. Prior to that, Frankish was the host of Barrie’s The New VR for nine years.
It’s not clear whether Frankish is departing Breakfast Television under his own terms or because changes to the show itself are imminent. Back in 2016, Jennifer Valentyne departed the program due to a programming change, followed by Tanya Kim last year.