Former co-anchor John “J.D.” Roberts on Canada AM’s 40th anniversary

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Fox News Channel’s John Roberts, who as the 1980s J.D. Roberts got branded as a mullet-coiffed co-host of CityTV’s The New Music, credits Canada AM for giving him an early 1990s crash-course in political coverage.

“Truth be told, I only recall having one musical act on during my time as co-host,” Roberts told Playback when asked to recall co-anchoring CTV’s flagship morning TV show before going on to work stateside.

“For the most part, we were focused on politics. The only band I remember was Barenaked Ladies. They performed If I Had a Million Dollars live and they were fabulous,” he added.

John "J.D." Roberts on Canada AM

Roberts’ recollections came as Canada AM this week celebrates its 40th anniversary with a series of special broadcasts.

Canada AM executive producer Lis Travers knows there’s morning TV competition stateside from The Today Show or Good Morning America.

But Canada AM is also on air an hour earlier than its American counterparts, “which means per-employee, we drink a lot more coffee,” Travers insisted.

And Canada AM airs proportionately more breaking news.

“We cover the biggest stories around the world, but we really focus on Canadian stories – stories that resonate with people right across the country,” she added.

The morning TV show has also helped shape a Canadian star system by giving emerging and established talent a national platform.

“We regularly showcase international stars when they come back home. Canadians across the country take pride in their success and so their star power is a huge draw,” Travers explained.

And there’s publicity for local talent and shows.

“We did so many fun segments and even whole shows with the cast of Corner Gas. We often joked they were regulars,” the Canada AM topper said.

Photo: John Roberts via CNN and retroontario.com,

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