Smith joins Crossroads
August 08, 2009
The Hamilton Spectator
Connie Smith is coming back to TV this fall.
The onetime CHCH News personality and anchor, who left the station last year after 32 years when she fell victim to budget cuts, will produce and host a show for Burlington-based Crossroads Television System (CTS).
Smith, known for her bubbly personality, will host the 30-minute show built around positive news developments -- people features, good Samaritan stories, high-profile interviews. It will be called It's Always Good News. The Monday-Friday show is set to premiere Sept. 14 at 5:30 p.m. and be repeated at 11:30 p.m. It will use reports from correspondents, viewers, CNN and other sources.
"I'm really excited about it," said Smith yesterday, noting it was an idea she and her husband, TV producer Dave Wilson, had talked about for the past decade.
"For so many years, good news was seen as fluff by conventional news, as you know. We thought the time is right. The economy is in the toilet. People are being laid off left, right and centre.... People always said to me, 'You know, Connie, we just need some good news.' There's something resonating here. I think it's going to work."
The show will compete against CHCH News' Live@5:30 show, featuring hosts Mark Hebscher and Donna Skelly. Smith, 55, called the competition interesting and described her show as an alternative. "I think it's a nice fit," she said. "We're family-friendly programming."
While the Ancaster resident said the show will not ignore the news of the day, she conceded there will be stories her show will not broadcast.
Smith, whose husband produces The Michael Coren Show on CTS, approached CTS program manager Rob Sheppard in March with her idea. She said he jumped at the idea and they have been working on the concept since.
"I thought it would be a good fit for us," said Sheppard.
Smith's first day at CTS was Tuesday and the show already has what Smith describes as "an awesome set."
She also has plans for the first show -- a dedication to CHCH News reporter Randy Steele, who died in May of cancer. He had a segment called "Steele's town" in which he did people stories.
"We will do something special," added Smith. "It's important to start off this new venture with Randy's spirit."