Monday, August 9, 2010

Congrats To Jim Junkin

Sincere best wishes to Jim Junkin who has distinguished himself at CFTO (or CTV News as it now calls itself) for 25 years as a crime reporter --he's been at the station for 41 years.
Junkin is retiring after a long and distinguished period of service.
He's following other big local names I seem to have been covering since I started my career as TV critic at the Hamilton Spectator in 1970 (jumping to the Toronto Star in 1980).
CFTO long had the most watched local newscast because of its impressive bench strength. There was a fomula to all this: usually a double team of anchors and reporters out in the field who could explain Toronto events quickly but precisely.
Yes, there were rough patches. I remember quietly chatting up Junkin during one particularly nasty strike of reporters that left some talent so depressed they quit to go to other places.
And I can remember at least one of those anchor combinations that spectacularly blew up --that doll in question left very quickly.
Junkin survived all this with solid professionalism that only comes with years of professionalism.
CFTO once had a whole stack of these people: Dave Devall on weather, Wally Macht on sports,. Some graduated to national reporting, others simply liked covering life in Toronto TV's market --CFTO long dominated the TV news ratings.
If Junkin hasn't been the best local TV reporter around for some time I'm not sure who else there is.
His longevity attests to his skills at explaining a story and covering it with ease --that's service to the viewers who often get confused at the rapid rat-tat style of some reporters who don't seem to know who they are serving.
Junkin announced his final report will come on Friday, Aug. 13.
In June 1969 Junkin became the weekend news anchor for CFTO in Toronto --that was a great training ground for any young reporter.
With his talents he could have jumped to a U.S. outlet for more pay and fame any time he wanted.
Aren't Toronto TV viewers lucky he stuck with us?

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