Since October 1998, Michael Coren has hosted a television show on CTS, the Christian broadcaster based in Burlington. Now, 3022 shows later, the popular print journalist and radio and television host is joining the upstart all-news channel Sun News.
Coren’s CTS peak viewership exceeded 100,000 – and CTS is only carried in Ontario and Alberta – plus internet viewers. Shows such as a debate on evolution have garnered more than a half million views online.
Coren is pleased with his accomplishments at CTS, telling The Interim that, “what I managed to achieve is to bring people to Crossroads (CTS headquarters) who would have never stepped into the building – high profile and guests that would not typically be featured on Christian television.” He said his professionalism and profile brought the station respect: “I’m proud of that.”
It was that mutually beneficial history that led Coren, a Sun chain columnist as well as regular columnist for The Interim and Catholic Register, to originally turn down Sun News requests to join the channel.
While Coren was happy at CTS he was less thrilled about recent proposals to change the format of the Michael Coren Show to become a call-in program without guests. “I was not excited about the idea,” he told The Interim, “so when Sun News approached again, the timing was providential: I was ready for a change.”
The new show, Coren Tonight, will begin in late August and air at 7 pm and repeat later in the evening. In a statement announcing Coren had joined the new channel which only launched in April, Sun News vice president Kory Teneycke said, “Michael Coren has proven to be one of the most fearless, substantive commentators in Canada.” Coren told The Interim the new show will be “completely uncensored” and that Teneycke “wants me to stress issues of morality, life and religion.” It will be different from the CTS show, although there will be similarities. Coren Tonight will open with a monologue before having multiple guests throughout the show in different segments rather than having the same guest or guests for the full hour. But guests such as David Menzies and Sid Ryan will appear regularly for a weekly debate.
Although it will not shy away from moral issues, there will be more focus on international coverage than other Sun News shows. But, Coren explains, “Interim readers’ issues such a abortion, euthanasia, marriage, family, the place of God in society are going to be discussed a great deal of the time,” adding: “We aren’t going to compromise – we aren’t being asked to do it and I wouldn’t do it.”
Coren joins a stable of social conservative voices at Sun. Brian Lilley, a pro-life journalist, hosts Byline, and Ezra Levant, a free speech crusader and foe of the human rights commission industry, hosts The Source.