The Social

Weekdays at 1 p.m. (2 p.m. AT) on CTV, and 2 p.m. ET on CTV Two

Synopsis

Co-hosted by Melissa Grelo, Cynthia Loyst, Lainey Lui, and Marci Ien, and Digital Correspondent Jess Allen, THE SOCIAL brings a fresh, daily perspective on the up-to-the-minute news, pop culture, and lifestyle topics that matter most to Canadians in a socially interactive format. Broadcast live in front of a studio audience in Toronto, guests who have appeared on THE SOCIAL include Ryan Reynolds, Jann Arden, Drew Barrymore, Michael Bublé, Kim Cattrall, Kelly Clarkson, Lena Dunham, Demi Lovato, Katy Perry, Jason Priestley, Daniel Radcliffe, Chris Tucker, and Shania Twain. THE SOCIAL is produced by Bell Media Production. Laura Scarfo is Co-Executive Producer and Michelle Crespi is Executive Producer. Nanci MacLean is Vice-President, Bell Media Production. Mike Cosentino Senior Vice-President, CTV and Specialty. Randy Lennox is President, Broadcast and Content.

Cast Info

Melissa Grelo, Co-Host
Melissa Grelo, Co-Host
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Melissa Grelo, Co-Host

Smart, sassy, and informed, Melissa Grelo (@melissagrelo) adds Co-Host of THE SOCIAL to her expanding resumé, and also acts as the show’s moderator. Melissa was the long-time co-host of the most-watched morning news program, CP24 BREAKFAST in the Greater Toronto Area, and anchored and reported on the biggest stories in Canada’s largest news market.

 

As Canada watched from the edge of their couches, Melissa gave the front-row perspective when she co-hosted CTV’s OLYMPIC MORNING program from Vancouver 2010 in Whistler, B.C. And no stranger to glitz and glamour, Melissa has covered the Toronto International Film Festival® red carpets since 2009, and was in Los Angeles in 2013 reporting for CP24 and CTV from the prestigious ACADEMY AWARDS®. She’s also co-hosted the Santa Claus Parade on CTV since 2010, contributed to the Grey Cup Weekend on TSN in 2012, and DAILY PLANET on Discovery in 2013. In recent years, Melissa has combined her passions for horses and fashion by contributing to TSN’s coverage of the Queen’s Plate, North America’s oldest continuously-run thoroughbred race, and the accompanying wildly popular and glamorous Hats and Horseshoes Party.

 

When away from the office, Melissa enjoys horseback riding, fitness training, reading, and travelling. As a former teacher, education and giving back to the community are very important to her. She has worked with charities like Artbound and Free The Children which have built schools in Kenya, India, and other developing nations.  She also dedicates time to raising funds for the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) and the Community Association for Riding for the Disabled (CARD) with horseback riding demonstrations. She speaks at many fundraising events, specifically with the GTA’s youth, whom she encourages to become involved in charitable work and contribute to their communities.

Cynthia Loyst, Co-Host
Cynthia Loyst, Co-Host
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Cynthia Loyst, Co-Host

A passionate advocate for healthy sexual information, Cynthia Loyst (@cynthialoyst) is best known for giving advice and opinions on the joys and complications of love. She’s also known for being an enthusiastic user of the word “labia.”

 

A multi-faceted writer, public speaker, and host, Cynthia has shared her expertise on THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW, ETALK, CTV News Channel, 99.9 Virgin Radio Toronto, 103.9 Proud FM Toronto, 104.5 CHUM FM Toronto, TheLoop.ca, and TVO. She’s also a certified relationship coach which is a lot like a sports coach but with less yelling.

 

Previously, Cynthia was the host and producer of SEX MATTERS and the documentary series SEXTV for which she interviewed a wide range of experts including academics, Pulitzer Prize-winning authors, celebrities, and fetish enthusiasts.

 

Prior to THE SOCIAL, Cynthia co-hosted the daily, national entertainment program INNERSPACE where she was able to combine her passion for love with her passion for geekdom. She also got relationship advice from Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), parenting advice from Jonathan Frakes (STAR TREK), and talked about defining sexiness with Idris Elba (LUTHER).

 

Cynthia is a graduate of York University’s Film and Video Department where she also studied with York’s Women/Gender Studies Department. She has received awards from SSSS (Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality) and a Sexual Health in the Media Award from Planned Parenthood Toronto. She is SAR (Sexual Attitude Reassessment) certified, a member of SIECCAN (Sex Information and Education Council of Canada), and continues to take ongoing courses in human sexuality.

Lainey Lui, Co-Host
Lainey Lui, Co-Host
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Lainey Lui, Co-Host

Lainey Lui (@LaineyGossip) isn’t looking to impress anyone, especially celebrities. Co-host of CTV’s THE SOCIAL, ETALK Senior Correspondent, and scribe of the immensely popular celebrity gossip blog, LaineyGossip.com, Lainey does what she does for one reason – to provide a gossip education to the Canadian public.

 

The Toronto-born, self-proclaimed gossip maven got into the gossip game in a very roundabout way. What started as an email to two friends grew to a website with millions of readers from around the world. As friends told friends about Lainey’s non-sycophantic email updates, she received so many requests to get on her mailing list that her server crashed.

 

More than one million readers and Twitter followers read LaineyGossip.com every month, making it a leading international celebrity gossip source. Recognizing Lainey’s talent, she joined the ETALK team in 2006.

 

In February 2010, Lainey reported on entertainment and gossip news for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Leaving little time for sleep, she also penned national columns for The Globe and Mail and Metro newspapers, and appeared daily on Canada’s official Olympic morning show during the Games. Lainey also travelled to London, England to cover the Royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

 

Lainey regularly shares her gossip updates with CTV NEWS VANCOUVER and CTV News Channel, and is called upon as a celebrity expert by media outlets across North America, including CNN.com and the Los Angeles Times. Lainey’s first book, Listen to the Squawking Chicken: When Mother Knows Best, What’s a Daughter To Do? A Memoir (Sort Of), debuted at #1 on the Globe & Mail bestseller list upon publication.

 

A graduate of the University of Western Ontario majoring in French and History, Lainey lives in Toronto with her husband and beagles. She is a consultant for Covenant House, which offers shelter and services for homeless youth.

Marci Ien, Co-Host
Marci Ien, Co-Host
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Marci Ien, Co-Host

Marci Ien (@MarciIen) joins CTV’s THE SOCIAL as the newest Co-Host, following a successful tenure as Guest Co-Host. Prior to joining THE SOCIAL, Marci was the News Anchor and Co-Host on CTV’s CANADA AM for more than 13 years and received a 2016 Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Host in a Variety, Lifestyle, Reality/Competition, or Talk Program or Series.

A graduate of Ryerson University, Ien was previously appointed distinguished visiting professor at Ryerson University’s Radio & Television Arts (RTA) program. In that role, Ien lead guest lectures and participated in workshops, and presentations with students and faculty offering insight on the latest developments in television. In November 2016, Ien was appointed to Ryerson University’s Board of Governors.

In 2014, Ryerson University Radio and Television Arts (RTA) bestowed upon Ien the distinction of having an award co-named in her honour by the RTA School of Media. The Marci Ien and Dwight Drummond Award celebrates students from under-represented and marginalized communities who show great potential in any three of RTA’s programs. In 2013, Ien was inducted into the RTA Wall of Fame for her significant contributions to the field of media.

Her career in television spans over three decades and has taken Ien from Halifax, where she joined CTV National News as a reporter in 1997, to Vancouver, where she was the News Anchor for CTV’s OLYMPIC MORNING at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Ien’s work in media has been recognized with multiple awards, including a 1995 Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award for News Serial for “Journey To Freedom: A Look at the Underground Railroad,” the 2008 BBPA Harry Jerome Award, 2014 Planet Africa Award, and the 2016 African Canadian Achievement Award for Excellence in Media.

Ien’s charity work has seen her travel the globe. In 2008, she travelled to Sierra Leone on behalf of Journalists for Human Rights, where she met with reporters and led training workshops. She also works with World Vision for whom she traveled to Sri Lanka to report on the situation following the 2004 Tsunami. Ien is also a member of Children First Canada’s Council of Champions and is a mentor with Trust15, an afterschool program based in Etobicoke, Ontario that offers mentorship and life skills to young men and women.

Before joining CANADA AM, Ien was a reporter based in CTV News’s Atlantic bureau from 2001-2003. Prior to this, she reported for CHCH-TV in Hamilton. In 1995, Ien began reporting at Queen’s Park, covering daily political news for CHCH-TV’s regional newscast, as well as its British Columbia-based evening show CANADA TONIGHT. Ien’s first television job was on the Canadian children’s television series CIRCLE SQUARE at the age of 10.

Ien currently resides in Toronto with her family.

Jessica Allen, Digital Correspondent
Jessica Allen, Digital Correspondent
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Jessica Allen, Digital Correspondent

Jess Allen (@jessieraeallen) is excited to be returning this season as THE SOCIAL’s Digital Correspondent, and looks forward to writing more stories for the show’s website on everything from food, films, and books to science and history (You can read her latest pieces under The Jess Files). She will also appear as the fifth chair on Fridays with THE SOCIAL’s co-hosts, and whenever anyone tells her to.

 

Before joining the team at THE SOCIAL, Jess was an assistant editor at Maclean’s where she wrote arts and culture-related stories for the website and magazine. Her Toronto International Film Festival® coverage in 2011, her first time reporting on the festival, earned Maclean’s a nomination at the National Magazine Awards, which – coincidentally – Jess and Lainey Lui co-hosted in June 2015.

 

Following the completion of a Master’s degree in the history of art at the University of Toronto, Jess spent a year in Florence, Italy working as an art history teaching assistant.

 

After work, Jess maintains Foodie and the Beast, her relationship blog that masquerades as a food blog. She also pens a Metro column every Friday, My TV Dinner, in which she free-associates between two loves: food and film.

 

She currently lives in Toronto with her partner of 11 years, Simon.

 

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