Brandon Gonez leaves CP24 and aims to ‘push the envelope further’ with launch of his own YouTube news show

·3 min read

Popular Toronto broadcaster Brandon Gonez has announced his own YouTube news show after leaving his post at CP24.

Starting Jan. 17, “The Brandon Gonez Show” will post episodes weekly that offer a mix of news segments, entertainment, local business coverage and good news stories, produced in collaboration with an editorial team.

“We just want to bring people together. Talk some realness, laugh a little bit, maybe even cry, because tears are good. But we’re gonna leave feeling good,” said Gonez, a former CP24 and “Your Morning” reporter and anchor.

Viewers expressed sadness on social media when the TV personality announced his departure from CP24, but in an interview with the Star, Gonez said he was looking to “push the envelope further.” Especially following the COVID-19 pandemic and uprising against racial injustice in the Black community that consumed the last year.

“It just became really, really evident to me that after what transpired during 2020, that the only way for me ... to see that full accurate reflection, without any strings attached, was to go independent,” Gonez said. “I knew in my heart, it was time to bet on myself.”

Gonez went viral on social media on more than one occasion in clips where he would pepper Jamaican Patois in his news hits or share stories of off-camera exchanges with crew.

Two years ago in a CP24 weather report, Gonez warned that a winter storm would pack a “dutty” (or dirty) punch and gave Torontonians a familiar laugh.

He said adding these little quips he thinks was one of the first times viewers were able to not only see diversity in the faces on the news, but hear it.

This audience connection is something he plans to bring to the YouTube show as well. “Honestly, it’s about the community. And it’s just about providing the proper reflection of what’s happening in our various hoods across the GTA — across this country,” he said.

Gonez said he’s looking forward to broadening his reach in the move to a web series, so he can bring GTA stories to a “worldwide audience, where people can learn about each other a little bit more.”

Having been born in Rexdale and grown up in Brampton, Gonez said he wants this show to be for the audience and reflect the city he loves. With that comes taking feedback from the audience.

“We’re going to make mistakes, there’s going to be times we’re going to need to apologize, and we’re going to have to shift gears. But that’s part of being real and being authentic,” he said.

The first 10-episode season is in partnership with LVMH Moët Hennessy, Uber and Seneca College.

A virtual launch party is planned for Jan. 16 on Instagram Live (@brandongonez) featuring special guests who are to be announced.

Angelyn Francis is a Toronto-based reporter for the Star covering equity and inequality. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach her via email: afrancis@thestar.ca

Angelyn Francis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Toronto Star