Sun News Network goes live today, and it put an exclamation mark on its launch by featuring one of its high-profile news anchors posing as a Sunshine Girl in the chain's daily metropolitan newspapers.
The Quebecor-owned news network has promised for months that it will differentiate itself from other cable news offering with a mix of "hard news and straight talk." It appears it will also lean heavily on its cheeky reputation, with anchor Krista Erickson posing for a series of photos.
Only one photo appears in Sun papers, but an online photo gallery features nine photos featuring her in black pants and alternating between a Canadian hockey jersey, a football T-shirt and a grey "Canada" T-shirt.
"As host of Sun News Network's Canada Live, Krista is unapologetically patriotic and not afraid to call it like it is," reads the blurb underneath, which is traditionally used to point out the height and athletic prowess of the models.
"A seasoned journalist, Erickson started her career in 1999 in her hometown of Winnipeg. When she's not in the anchor chair, she spends her time cooking, working out and taking care of her dog a six-year-old Jack Russell terrier named Winston (yes, after the great British PM)."
She left the CBC parliamentary bureau last year, after 11 years with the broadcaster. Ms. Erickson will host a half-hour "pre-game" show at 4:30 p.m. (ET), followed by Ezra Levant's premier broadcast.
Channels vary by market, but anyone who currently receives the Sun TV signal will find the network in the same place. Distribution is still a work in progress. Based on figures provided by Quebecor, it should initially reach in excess of 6.3 million households through deals with Shaw and Videotron. Others will have to wait to see the network's news broadcasts, because it hasn't set up streaming video on its website.