Over the years, the lucrative U.S. market has been the destination of choice for many Canadian professionals who strove to gain fame and/or fortune south of the border. This is no less true in the field of broadcast journalism, and some of the most successful American television personalities began their careers in Canada.
Perhaps most notable were Peter Jennings at ABC who started in television at CJOH-TV, Ottawa, Morley Safer, a former CBC new correspondent who moved south to CBS, and Robert MacNeil, a Maritimer who spent many years at the US Public Broadcasting System.
While the exodus of Canadian journalists moving to the U.S. was been significant, a number decided to come home. Among those who went to American networks and later returned are Kevin Newman who worked at ABC before joining Global , and later CTV, and Henry Champ who went to NBC from CTV and eventually returned to Canadian broadcasting with CBC Newsworld, based in Washington.
Other Canadians working for American networks included John Blackstone, Sheila MacVicar, Elizabeth Palmer, Thalia Assuras, Mark Phillips, and John Roberts at CBS.
As well, Dana Lewis, Keith Morrison and Dawna Friesen moved to NBC and Richard Gizbert, John MacKenzie and Jeffrey Kofman joined ABC.
Jonathan Mann who worked for CBC went to CNN; Martin Seemungal, formerly with CKWS-TV Kingston and CJOH Ottawa, moved to Southeast Asia to work for several networks; Arthur Kent, from CJOH to NBC and later became a film producer in London, England. Brian Nelson who started with CJAD radio in Montreal and moved on to CTV also spent several years with CNN before moving into another field of endeavour.
This list does not include some former Canadians who took up anchoring at local stations or behind-the-scene positions at both local and network facilities from Spokane Washington to Tampa Florida and points in between.
Sidney Margles – February, 2005
Note: This article, as noted, was written by Sid Margles in 2005, and related primarily to broadcasters working in News. In the subsequent years Canadian television has expanded significantly, and while from time to time Canadians do still move to the States when opportunities arise, there has been a noticeable reduction in the number of broadcasters Canada has lost in this way. One notable Canadian who was one of the best-known names and faces on both US and Canadian television was Alex Trebek, who up to his death in November 2020 had been hosting “Jeopardy” on hundreds of television stations in the US and Canada for many years.