News

Sun News pulls plug on Ford Nation show

By Maryam Shah, Toronto Sun

Mayor Rob Ford and Councillor Doug Ford at Sun News Network set to tape Ford Nation. (Dave Thomas/Toronto Sun)

Mayor Rob Ford and Councillor Doug Ford at Sun News Network set to tape Ford Nation. (Dave Thomas/Toronto Sun)

TORONTO - 

Even though it attracted a record number of viewers, the controversial Ford Nation show will not return to Sun News Network.

After airing just one episode, Sun News vice-president Kory Teneycke said the network will pull the plug on the show which featured Mayor Rob Ford and his brother Councillor Doug Ford.

“It’s not viable for us to put that kind of production together and I would be surprised if it’s viable for the Fords as well,” Teneycke said Tuesday.

The hour-long Ford brothers extravaganza aired at 8 p.m. on Monday and was moderated by Sun News personality Ezra Levant and Toronto Sun columnist Joe Warmington.

In what Teneycke described as the “biggest night ever for Sun News by a country mile,” the show received 155,000 views in the first airing and 45,000 in the repeat airing for Western Canada. There were 65,000 video downloads.

The previous record was 100,000 views for Fight Night, a 2012 charity boxing match between now-suspended Senator Patrick Brazeau and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

Producing one hour of the Ford show used up resources that normally go into eight hours of regular programming, Teneycke said.

“It was a fairly labour intensive hour of programming,” he added. “We were taping for about five hours” with another day and a half of post-production work.

“(From) a resources standpoint, it’s not really viable for us to do that,” he added.

The Fords are “great TV but not necessarily great TV hosts,” Teneycke said.

The embattled mayor used his pre-taped television appearance to assure the public he’s tackling his weight and had stopped drinking.

“I guarantee you’re going to see a change in the next few months,” Ford said on the show.

Teneycke said he spoke with Councillor Ford earlier on Tuesday.

“I’ve been clear both with them and the media, our commitment was for one show and then we’d see how it’d all come together,” he said.

“It’s impossible to argue with the numeric success of it and it’s obviously a story that Canadians are very interested in,” he added.

So while the Ford show has come to an abrupt halt, Sun News still wants the brothers to appear on the network’s other shows.

“What we will do is invite the Fords on other programming on the network where they’ll have an opportunity to be interviewed by other hosts,” Teneycke said.


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