John Vennavally-Rao

CTV National News Toronto Correspondent



John Vennavally-Rao is a correspondent for CTV NATIONAL NEWS based in Toronto. He was formerly the Bureau Chief for CTV NATIONAL NEWS in Atlantic Canada.

Since joining CTV in 1997, Vennavally-Rao has covered a wide range of stories both across Canada and around the world, including the 2005 terrorist attacks in London, the deadly van attack in Toronto, and the devastation caused by Hurricanes Juan, Igor, and Katrina.

He has followed royal tours, provincial and federal election campaigns, and reported on some of the biggest technological and scientific discoveries of the last two decades, including advances towards private spaceflight and the discovery of exoplanets. Vennavally-Rao has also covered the economy, along with social media and consumer electronics trends. And as a former private pilot, he has a keen interest in aviation-related stories.

Some of his major assignments during his 25-year career include: the trials of Jian Ghomeshi and Col. Russel Williams; the 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus crash; the 2014 Moncton shootings; the 2009 Colgan Air crash in Buffalo; the 2007 shooting of a Mountie on Baffin Island; the death of the Queen Mother; the 2002 oil spill off Spain’s Galicia Coast; and the playoff runs of both the Toronto Blue Jays in 2015 and Toronto Raptors in 2019.

Vennavally-Rao has also completed stints at the CTV News bureaus in London and Washington D.C.

In 2009, he received the Daily Excellence award from the Canadian Association of Journalists for his coverage of an outbreak of tornadoes north of Toronto. He was again nominated for the Daily Excellence award in 2016 for his reporting on the Large Hadron Collider. Vennavally-Rao also received a Canadian Screen Award nomination for his coverage of the 2012 mass shooting at a Colorado movie theatre. In 2000, he was co-nominated for a Jack Webster Award for his reporting on the WTO riots in Seattle.

Vennavally-Rao’s favourite story took him to Princess Royal Island on B.C.’s mid-coast, where he spent a week on a boat with environmentalists in search of Spirit Bears, a rare subspecies of black bears that mysteriously appear white.

Vennavally-Rao’s broadcast career began in 1995 as a video journalist for CBC Vancouver. He later joined CTV as a video journalist and general assignment reporter for CTV British Columbia.

Vennavally-Rao is a graduate of the Applied Communication Program at Camosun College in Victoria. He earned a degree in journalism from the University of King's College, Halifax, where he received the Governor-General's medal for top academic standing.

He speaks English.

Follow him on Twitter: @JVRCTV

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