The viewer is not short of adjectives to describe Pierre Bruneau: enlightening, passionate, rigorous, honest, chivalrous, committed… But among this horde of laudatory adjectives, one of them inevitably emerges: reassuring.
Posted at 7:00 am
According to audiences, the veteran TVA host provides a “calming presence” on air. In the current state of the world, this is an important factor in explaining his immense popularity. And this is one of the reasons why his departure will sadden many Quebecers on Thursday night, when he retires after 46 years of loyal service.
Loyal viewer resident in Montérégie, Joëlle Barbeau recalls several defining moments of the 20th centuryme and XXIme Centuries passed glued to her screen, with Pierre Bruneau as the only lantern. In an interview, she mentions the Polytechnique massacre of December 6, 1989 in Montreal and the collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 in New York.
“Those were heartbreaking and dramatic moments, but she never broke down,” the 58-year-old said. I calmed down as soon as it aired. I was confident, I knew I would have the right time. »
The same echo with Louise Chartrand, who speaks of a “reassuring”, “attentive” and “conscientious” hostess. The Brossard resident is not just an avid viewer; He rubbed shoulders with Pierre Bruneau for fifteen years as a secretary in the TVA news department, when he began his career in the mid-1970s.
“He’s a guy who handled his stress well,” the 85-year-old said by phone.
A trusted man at TVA during the elections, Pierre Bruneau also held the reins on countless election nights.
For Richard Laberge, 75, the driver exudes a lot of “leadership” and “humanity”. In addition, his “radio” voice is “pleasant”, and his French voice is “impeccable”.
“By directing the political debates, Mr. Bruneau is respectful of each of the participants”, emphasizes this resident of Saint-Bruno.
An unusual phenomenon, Pierre Bruneau’s popularity rating has never wavered, even rising year after year. the VAT News at 6 pm it remains the number 1 news bulletin in Quebec, according to Numéris. And in all probability, the 70-year-old presenter would have collected his 24me Artis Trophy – and its 12me consecutive: last month had TVA not opted to postpone the ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The director of the Media School at the University of Quebec in Montreal, Pierre Barrette, says that a number of factors explain the undeniable popularity of Pierre Bruneau. His longevity is one of them.
“He is an extremely familiar figure, underlines the television specialist. She has been part of the landscape for so long. People can cling to it. The stacking effect plays an important role. »
Pierre Barrette also highlights the “telegenicity” of the presenter, who describes the misfortunes of the world with a voice that he describes – as expected – as “reassuring”.
“He embodies what the news is on TVA, just as Bernard Derome embodied what the news is on Radio-Canada, with his stentorian voice, with his deadpan cynical side, probably a little too smart for a lot of people. »
Pierre Bruneau is the complete opposite. He is someone who breaks the news with emotion, warmth and benevolence. He is someone who embodies the news with a kind of family professionalism second to none. He speaks directly to Mr. and Mrs. Everyone, using the language they understand. He is someone we would like to have as a father, as a grandfather.
Pierre Barrette, director of the Media School of the University of Quebec in Montreal
Pierre Bruneau’s personal story certainly helped solidify his bond with the audience, Pierre Barrette believes. Obviously we think of the death, in 1988, of Charles, his eldest son of 12 years, after a long battle with leukemia.
After recovering, the journalist created the Charles-Bruneau Foundation in 1990, with the mission of giving children with cancer the best chance of recovery by funding research in pediatric hemato-oncology.
“The big stars, the people that the public really attaches to, are usually people who go beyond the frame,” says Pierre Barrette. They are not just television figures: they are human figures, who carry within a narrative with which one can identify. This is what happened with Mr. Bruneau. He became a figure of extraordinary resilience in developing the Charles-Bruneau Foundation, putting all his energies into it. People loved it even more afterwards. »
Catherine Pépin, another spectator, can testify to the human qualities of Pierre Bruneau. In 2018, his baby Logan, then 8 months old, contracted cancer. When he was in remission, the businessman contacted the Charles-Bruneau Foundation to get involved.
The first time he met Pierre Bruneau was in 2021 during a charity activity, the CIBC Bike Tour. The 28-year-old herself had admired the presenter since she was a teenager. And this time, she could be with him.
“I love her kindness, her smile, her availability and her forbearance,” says the Terrebonne resident. I am very grateful that a foundation like Charles-Bruneau exists. I survived the disease, but unlike Pierre Bruneau, I did not lose my son. I find it powerful and inspiring to see someone rise up and build something so great, despite the immense pain. With this foundation, he saves thousands of children every year. The love I have for Pierre Bruneau, and for his wife, Ginette, is enormous. »
Like many viewers, Catherine Pépin will experience some mourning in a few days, when Pierre Bruneau retires from the VAT News. According to her, this is a great loss for all of Quebec.
“While he deserves to retire and have more time for himself, it is sad that he is leaving. It is a reference point that we lose. »
Pierre Bruneau will present his last news bulletin on TVA on Thursday, June 16 at 6 pm However, he will return to his post at the forefront of the TVA leaders’ debate next fall. He will also lead the election night Quebec 2022.
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