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The Wyre: Luu-Ahh

September 14, 2006 . xyyz.ca . The Wyre

Today: First in a series on favourite newscasters

When we say we like women, at XYYZ, we don't just mean that we like them in silk pyjamas or miniskirts (although we do). We mean that we actually like them: we like to talk to them. We like women with something to say. Perhaps our favourite class of woman these days is the newscaster: she's attractive and she must have some smarts to have made it in journalism. So we're bringing you a series of profiles: the intelligent women of Toronto television. This week: the newcomer. 

Janette Luu has been helming Canoe Live, on Sun TV, since April, but the recent Indiana transplant is just starting to get recognized on our streets. (She works for Sun TV...when we were trying to think of reasons to watch the network, Janette topped our list, with the daily Beachcombers repeats and all those direct-to-DVD movies distant second and third.)

"I was yesterday, actually," she laughs, "but I don't think they're really promoting it enough for that."

For shame. Canoe Live, if you haven't tuned in, is an hour's worth of city tidings, sports and entertainment. It's light, but engaging--"a work in progress," in Luu's words. Perhaps, but the buoyant host herself is a finished product.

That finishing came in (really) Fort Wayne, Indiana... It's Luu's home town, and after a degree in Latin and biology, she got her foot out of the pre-med stream and into the door at the ABC affiliate. No looking back: six years as a network reporter and anchor, mover on the arts scene, on the cover of Fort Wayne Woman magazine's first issue. Where next but, Toronto?

"I was looking at New York and L.A.," she says, "and then I read somewhere that Toronto is one of the top cities in the world to live in… and it's only six and a half hours from my home town! I'd never considered Toronto until then."

Which brings us to another reason that Luu might not be getting spotted more often. "I've been reading a lot about Canadian politics lately," she says. Diefenbaker, Laurier and long hours at a new show may be keeping her in most nights, but when she does go out, Luu says she keeps it in her neighbourhood: the Drake, Gladstone, Lot 16… all places where's she's sure to bump into someone she knows, even if she doesn't bump into a Sun TV viewer.

And now we'll answer the big question: No, she's not single. And all she'll say about Toronto guys is "They're nice." We're not sure if we should be flattered or dismayed to have made so mild an impression. But we're happy that she likes it here.

"Toronto's great as a big city that seems small," she says, "there's a great sense of community."

Community indeed: say hello next time you see Janette Luu.

Peter Mitton