Krista Erikson bolts CBC for Fox News North

Sun TV News due to launch Jan. 1, 2011

BANFF, ALBERTA -- Canada's Fox News clone may have its first TV anchor babe.

Controversial Canadian Broadcasting Corp. TV reporter Krista Erickson has left the public broadcaster's flagship newscast "The National."

"After 11 years with CBC News, I'm leaving the corporation and its Parliamentary bureau to pursue another opportunity," Erickson said in a terse internal memo to fellow network news employees.

The speculation is Erickson will land a news anchor post with Sun TV News, Quebecor Media's right-wing all-news channel modeled on Fox News to the south.

Fox News North may fit better than the CBC with Erikson, as she raised eyebrows at the liberal-leaning public broadcaster for having a Conservative member of Parliament as a partner.

Canada's home for "hard news and straight talk" has made other hires, including David Akin jumping from Canwest News, a division of Canwest Global Communications Corp., to join Sun TV News, as has Brian Lilley, former Ottawa bureau chief for Astral Media Radio.

Even before Sun TV News goes to air, Canadian pundits are already facing off over its pending January 1, 2011 launch.

Christopher Dornan, writing in the left-leaning Toronto Star, called Sun TV News "a Canadian Fox News knock-off" likely to "give not-so-worked-up citizens the willies."

Peter Worthington, writing in The Sun, part of the Quebecor Media empire, welcomed the Canadianized Fox News channel.

"I do (watch Fox News), and far prefer it to CNN or MSNBC or even the CBC, all of which give a slanted and selective view of news of the day," he wrote.

"Unless one views Americans as mostly mindless, rightwing nutbars, since around 2002 Fox News has dominated rival channels and has earned the title "Fair and Balanced" that once went to CNN," Worthington added.

Quebecor Media must first secure a broadcast license for Sun TV News from the CRTC, Canada's TV regulator, before it can launch the 24/7 news channel.
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