08.01.2017 01:27 PM

CBC makes some smart moves

Full disclosure: I hadn’t watched The National in a long time. It was just, well, boring. Sorry, Peter et al. 

These changes at The National are therefore smart – and needed.
I like that these people are mostly experienced journalists. I like that they will be working out of the regions. I like that CBC has abandoned the boring-old-fart approach to news that drove away lots of viewers like me. 

I am naturally biased, of course, by the fact that one of my closest friends is the managing editor of this budding journalistic enterprise.  I have a high regard for his news sense and his common sense. 

But I’d like this even if he wasn’t involved. It was time for some big changes at CBCs flagship televised news program. Not radical changes-for-change sake, mind you, but ones that reflect the way Canadian journalism needs to be delivered now.

This does that.


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    Pedant says:

    Please tell me they’re keeping the At Issue panel though? That was usually my only reason for tuning in.

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    Charlie says:

    Hard to get excited.

    While I’m fine with the picks, I don’t know that the CBC has made a case yet as to why Canadians should keep tuning in.

    As a semi-regular viewer, I can see the benefit of the first 10 minutes of major news recap, and the recurring in-depth political discussions. But thats maybe 20 minutes of a 60 minute schedule.

    Nevertheless, who was hosting the National was never really an issue — content has been and still is. The CBC has some incredibly amazing journalists, of whom compose these new hosts. But I’m still not hearing a coherent direction for The National post-Mansbridge.

    For the record, I love the new hosts and the vibrancy in experience and background they bring. I’m optimistic that with these individuals, the flagship CBC program can finally shed some accumulated cobwebs and move away from the Toronto-centric nature of the CBC.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Late to the party gimmickry.

    Didn’t work for ABC in the 1980s with Frank Reynolds, Max Robinson and Peter Jennings. The latter became sole anchor in 1983 and then the ratings moved.

    Won’t last a year, probably even less.

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      Pedant says:


      Remember the Dan Rather / Connie Chung CBS duo that flopped big time? Whatever happened to Connie anyway…

      Or, again at CBS, the selection of a perky, vacuous lifestyle/talkshow personality Katie Couric to deliver news. She was gone 5 years later amidst poor ratings.

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        Ronald O'Dowd says:


        Oh my. Had totally forgotten about Chung. Thanks.

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    Willie P says:

    The ABC experiment didn’t work because, as Jennings pointed out in his book, the anchors didn’t jell as a team because they all disliked each other and were fiercely competitive about turf. Also, each anchor had to provide a brief update of what was happening in his or her region off the top of the newscast to keep egos in check, which often led to Reynolds introducing Robinson who then introduced Jennings with the lead story for the night. As he pointed out, by the time all of this was done, CBS and NBC were already onto their number 2 or 3 stories.

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    Gord says:

    Anyone remember CBC Prime Time News? It briefly replaced the National / the Journal on the main network featuring Mansbridge and first Pamela Wallin and then Hana Gartner as co-anchors. The format never worked well and the Ceeb quietly went back to the National with Mansbridge as sole anchor. If the Ceeb couldn’t make two anchors work, I have my doubts about four.

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    Patrick says:

    What about Eastern Canada, the Prairies, and the North?

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