Ann Rohmer has been a fixture on Toronto television for decades. Before joining Citytv in 1986, she was a features reporter for Canada AM. At Citytv, she was the CityPulse Weekend sports anchor before joining David Onley as the first hosts of Breakfast Television on September 6, 1989.
Ann hosted BT for 12 years until she took an anchor position at CP24. CP24 and Citytv, you will recall, were both owned by CHUM Limited at the time. Ann would become an institution on CP24, hosting a wide variety of shows in addition to her anchor duties. Here's a sample of Ann Rohmer-hosted programs on CP24, either as primary host or fill-in host.
- Hot Property
- Animal House Calls
- Perfect Fit
- More On CP24
- Live at Noon
- CP24 Breakfast
Needless to say, Ann became the most recognizable face on CP24, which is why I found it so puzzling when she announced her retirement in June 2010.
And then, literally, the sky’s the limit. Though she can’t yet be specific, Rohmer will follow family tradition for a new career in the aviation industry. “Air travel, airlines, flight, it’s in our blood,” says Rohmer, whose father, General Richard Rohmer, is a former fighter pilot and chief of the air reserve. She herself was a Nordair flight attendant in the ’70s.
I assumed Ann was going to become head of communications at Porter Airlines or something like that, but by that fall, she was back on CP24 as if she had never left in the first place. CP24 did not address the reason for her return, or even the fact that she had returned to the anchor desk. This is when I began my quest to learn what really happened.
The closest I came to learning what really happened was when Steve Anthony visited my home for episode 123 of my podcast, Toronto Mike'd. I grilled Steve on the subject, and he did his best to answer. But, in retrospect, he was careful. Too careful.
Our story resumes in November 2015. That's when Ann once again announced she was retiring from broadcasting and CP24. Here's video footage of her big announcement.
Once again, gifts were purchased for Ann, a party was thrown and cake was sliced and devoured by many. Once again, Ann was cryptic about why she was retiring from broadcasting, only to say she was moving to Collingwood for the next chapter of her life. There was no mention of Ann's first retirement during celebrations for her second retirement. I even closed my entry about this second retirement with a snarky "Happy retirement, Ann! See you back on CP24 in a few months..."
And here we are, about eight months later, and Ann is back on CP24. Once again, it's as if the retirement and public farewell never happened. But this time, I know the untold true story of why Ann has retired twice and returned to CP24 twice. My sources are impeccable, and I share this information with nothing but admiration for Ann. The following paragraphs took me six years to write.
In 2010, Ann complained to management about having to host CP24 breakfast and anchor the 5pm newscast. It was a gruelling schedule, and she was a veteran broadcaster. She told management she'd do one or the other, but not both.
Management called her bluff, and when the smoke cleared, Ann decided to retire in an attempt to recreate the happiest moments of her professional life. Those were her years as a flight attendant in the 1970s. She was a flight attendant for Air Canada when she was in university, and was an award-winning flight attandant at Nordair. Her first retirement in 2010 was not to head communications at Porter Airlines but to recapture the joys of her youth as a flight attendant.
It was only after her retirement party and departure from CP24 that Ann received her new compensation plan. It was far less than anticipated, and Ann negotiated a return to CP24, at a much reduced rate. And her return to the aviation industry was never spoken of again.
In the fall of 2015, Ann had her sights set on another role. She wanted to become Attorney General of Ontario. Ann is not a lawyer, but neither was Marion Boyd, so there is precedent. Of course, every other Attorney General of Ontario was a lawyer, but Ann was confident being the daughter of General Richard Rohmer would carry a great deal of weight in this regard, and she was no doubt inspired by former colleague David Onley who spent seven years as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.
It's become apparent her campaign to be Attorney General of Ontario will bear no fruit, and Ann has negotiated another return to the airwaves. The question remains, is she merely back for the summer or longer term?
Dreams do come true @CP24. Ann Rohmer is back! Just when my acceptance was setting in ... BAM! What a great day. pic.twitter.com/SW6Z4cWyd7— Conrad Page (@Roscoe416) June 10, 2016
And when she retires a third time, will there be gifts and cake? And will it finally stick?
I'll stay on this story, as long as it takes.
Update: June 13, 2018
Ann was just over to answer my many questions, and she confirms the reason for the first retirement, but disputes the reason for the second retirement. Hear this 100 minute conversation with Ann Rohmer here.