The new, dirt-cheap Global Quebec

Global Quebec’s new news set

As part of its regenesis following the cancelling of This Morning Live as well as the mass layoffs and outsourcing of technical jobs, Global Quebec this week showed off their new set for the Evening News and launched a new one-hour News Final show at 11pm.

See Global Quebec’s first new evening newscast here

Now, when I say “set” I’m being generous. You see, Global Quebec no longer has a set. Instead, the anchor stands in front of a giant green screen, and the signal is fed to Vancouver where it’s all put together and sent back here for broadcast.In the images below, anchor Jamie Orchard is surrounded by green, which also causes an odd black outline around her when the camera is close.

Global Quebec’s new news set

Global Quebec’s new news set

Global Quebec’s new news set

Global Quebec’s new news set

Al Dubois is Global’s “Weather Specialist” (I notice CBC also uses the same term, which replaces “weatherman” and “meteorologist”).

Al Dubois

He’s part of Global Quebec’s “Weather Centre”, which is a green screen with a guy in front of it.

Global Quebec’s “Weather Centre”

And he gives us the “Futurecast” (because forecasts aren’t edgy and hip enough for today’s world)

Global Quebec’s “Futurecast”

For some reason, the weather report doesn’t feature Dubois standing in front of any graphics like weather presenters have been doing for decades. Hopefully this isn’t because they don’t have the technical means to pull something like that off. I mean, the entire set is a green screen.

Global Quebec weather graphic

The graphics, which have a retro feel to them (read: they look like they came straight out of the 80s) feature at least five different kinds of transitions, as if someone just got a copy of iMovie and is playing around with its features.

Global Quebec weather graphic

Global Quebec weather graphic

“Retro” or “cheap”?

Global Quebec’s News Final

Global Quebec’s News Final

Amanda Jelowicki, who hosts News Final, has a similar green-screen-only set.

One of the advantages of having the show put together in Vancouver is easy access to other stations’ video reports, as was apparent when Global Quebec ran a piece from Vancouver about an underground transit construction. Orchard strained to make it about Quebec by saying we want to do the same thing here (except our link won’t be underground, so the whole digging thing isn’t relevant), but this was clearly a Global Vancouver local story, complete with references to local streets that would be meaningless to us here.

The first newscasts were a bit awkward as the hosts struggled with timing, but fortunately it wasn’t as bad as what happened at WFFF Fox-44. There were also audio issues, with some people sounding as if they were talking out of a tin can.

This is the future folks. Thankfully, the Internet is still here.

16 thoughts on “The new, dirt-cheap Global Quebec

  1. Amy

    As an employee of Global…which I am sort of assuming this blogger is or at least knows someone who works there, I have to say the post is pretty accurate. After the first show, we were all congratulated with a plastic glass of sparkling white (not Champagne) from Germany as well as some free pizza. Huzzah! It’s pretty weird right now as we are being patted on the back for basically making our colleagues redundant and taking the local out of local news. It’s very unfortunate as the team here at Global was pretty tight and people worked well together (apart from little tiffs here and there) and now we are a skeleton crew. Well no matter what happens, how it looks or how the shoddy content that will be wrapped with a virtual bow, we still are a whole lot better that CFCF…which always manages to look like American local cheese news from down-home Idaho.

    Anywho, it’s well known that there is only a Global Quebec so Global National can be, well, national.

    Reply
  2. Tony the Tiger

    What a pile of crap!
    First of all my little Global friend, you will never be ” a whole lot better ‘that’ (sic) CFCF”. The problem is you don’t have anyone that has worked in news before. You all got your first jobs at Global. CFCF has names well known in Montreal journalism. How ’bout Herb Luft, Mitsumi and Bill and Brian!!! or Randy! or Anne Lewis or Carolyn Van-Vlar-d–you-know who!
    Your anchor came from CFCF, but she did the fluff out of Hollywood and really was never a journalist.
    Fact is you are a collection of faceless people drinking the Kool-Aid of “no matter how shoddy it looks”.
    Good luck with that as you talk to yourselves!

    Reply
  3. Eric

    I guess what it boils down to is that they have to do it. They don’t want to do the news… no one watches their news when they can watch news from the sources they have been their whole lives. They do the news because the CRTC says they have to, so, why not do it the absolute cheapest way possible.

    Reply
  4. Amy

    OOOOH I’ve been “(sic)”ed. Hmmm…I guess that’s either a sign of professional journalism or just dickish (sic) defensiveness. No worries my “friend.” You are more than welcome to live in your bubble of delirium. While the hosts of CFCF news are just brimming with talent, the news reports are also overflowing with something else…pure cheese. I mean really. How big is your zucchini?

    Oh and by the by, Bill’s lasts words on television, “Is this mic still on?” And the kicker is CFCF is chalked full of experienced professionals.

    Reply
  5. Ty

    I find it interesting to watch these changes occur. Having lived in Alberta for all of my life until recently, I can’t help but contrast and compare between different television regions and how they handle local news and programming within the same network.
    I wondered why Global Quebec had to cut back so heavily. How can it be that my hometown station Global Edmonton gets a news helicopter in a city of just under 1 million people, and Global Quebec gets a desk in front of a chroma screen?
    The more I think about it, the more complicated it appears. I’m not a journalist or an expert in television media, which makes it all the more difficult to figure out. Global Edmonton can somehow support 39 hours of local news programming each week. Yes, the Edmonton and Quebec markets are very different. Yet the wide disparity might not be explained by that alone. Do Albertans like myself have nothing better to do than watch news all day, or is there something more?
    As I looked at Global Edmonton’s official Facebook page (!), a thought crossed my mind. The people who deliver the news, weather and sports there are just as much local celebrities as they are newscasters, yet they also seem like average folks with whom people relate. People watch the news there because they enjoy the people who deliver the news in addition to the usual reasons. It’s as if they actually want these people in their homes every day; and when they participate in local events and fund raisers, people go and participate with them. Perhaps it’s a holdover form the old ITV days, where the station’s charm and appeal hasn’t gotten lost in all the centralization.
    These sorts of dynamics seem to make or break television and radio stations. CIRK radio had the city’s most popular FM morning team until the team got split up, leaving it at the bottom of the ratings. Even Global Lethbridge (in a city of just 80,000 people) has more news time and local events programming than Global Quebec provides. Very interesting, even if it’s dictated by license. Again, the markets are different, but so is the population size. Am I making any sense?
    I certainly hope for the best throughout all of this as I continue to observe. In my opinion, the network’s struggling stations would benefit more from finding ways to connect with audiences than they ever would from endless belt-tightening. I’m sure if Global Quebec had the choice, they’d opt for something better.
    This is all just my opinion though in an apparently somewhat heated discussion. In a lot of ways it’s like comparing apples and oranges, yet that doesn’t make them mutually exclusive all the time, does it?
    -Ty

    Reply
  6. GBR

    In regards to Ty’s comment… it’s all economics… Global Edmonton (and the bigger stations for that matter) makes money off its news, so that’s why they can afford such luxuries as a news helicopters. Plus they actually compete head to head with the local CTV outfit.

    Reply
  7. Tim

    I’ve always found the look and feel of Global Quebec’s news production to be below that of CFCF, perhaps on par with CBMT—CBC Montreal. And don’t get me stated on Global National with Kevin Newman. But my family absolutely adored This Morning Live, since they found the people real, human, very warm and very engaging.

    The greenscreened set seems to be a trend. I get the feeling that European national newscasts, like those you watch on TV5 (well… those *someone* watches, I presume), have a CGI feel to them.

    Reply
  8. Anonymous

    Some of the biggest stations in England, France and elsewhere are now using green screen to produce their news bulletin, it’s part of the evolution process. Personally, I prefer by far the new graphics and studio from what we had before. Take a look at other cheap Global stations newsdesk around the country and now look at the stylish one from Montreal’s Global station…it really is an improvement.

    Global is a good station that gives plenty of opportunities for young journalists and tv crew to start. Quebec is a small market…yeah, they don’t have a chopper…but there’s not 1 million anglophones here…like in Edmonton.

    Reply
  9. Tara

    Ok I so miss this morning live!! I am one of the last few ppl who dont have cable of digital or satelite lol. I cant watch cfcf12 in the morning cause the weather if very brief anf too general and dont think iys an actually updat and only comes on every 30 minutes. But global? the weather was more preciese for the time I has 2 lkeave and more precises in the waeather department for that day :). and the 3rd english station is CBC and its the cartoons at 7 when I wake up lol.

    Reply
  10. James

    Interested to read your thoughts and see more screen grabs of the new Global Québec “studio” (now that I’m out of the country). I’ve been watching Global’s news strategy for a while now, albeit at a distance, mainly because the architecture and design of television news studios has long interested me, and could become some kind of paper or research piece in the not-too-distant future.

    http://jamesbrownontheroad.wordpress.com/2008/03/25/more-virtual-newsroom-architecture/

    The only silver lining to the cloud over Global Québec’s new studio is that it looks marginally better than the one created for Kevin Newman in Ottawa. The camera angles, proportions and virtual shapes are just better realised, and more believable.

    http://jamesbrownontheroad.wordpress.com/2008/02/06/virtual-architecture/

    The problem with entirely virtual news studios is that they are almost always found to be too cold by the viewers. ITN/ITV News (the ITV in England, not the pre-Global Edmonton station!) received an extremely frosty reception to their new “wall of news” green screen set when it was first introduced a couple of years ago. A second generation of the set (with new software, rather than new furniture) is now in use, which creates the impression of the building’s atrium in background. This is of course, entirely false, but it’s amusing to note that the virtual set is being used to create a fake representation of the atrium space that was once originally right behind the actual studio :D

    ITN News (for ITV) from 1991, with a glass fronted newsroom immediately adjacent to the ITN building’s atrium: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxAu5vUwyZo

    ITV News (rebranded, still produced by ITN) from 2007. Now in a basement studio, but a virtual recreation of the same atrium :D http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYa4MzFh7yA

    Reply
  11. Dwight

    Could someone tell me what happened to Al Dubois the weatherman on Global montreal t.v.?Has he been permanently replaced by Anthony Farnell?

    Reply
  12. Vancouver Employee

    I find all these blogs about Global Quebec very interesting…as someone who “replaced” Quebec production staff…I am proud to say I work on a Quebec show. Even if I work on it from Vancouver.

    It does suck that local news goes by the wayside a lot of the time, in favor of big Yankee tv shows, but this is the reality broadcasting lives in now. People do not go to watch tv as much as they used to for news. With the easily-accessible internet, people can get on-demand news and watch anytime, and not have to wait until 6pm to get their daily fix. They can get it at any time, from anywhere. I have been laid off before, and it was brutal, not knowing where my next paycheck or job was going to be. But I can’t make you people at home watch the tv shows I work on. You have to want to watch it in the first place. Nobody watched the show, and so it got cancelled. This may sound like I am spouting off corporate BS, but honestly, tv news is a business too. It’s not just a service anymore. If there’s money to be made in it, companies will do it. Do you think that CTV or CBC aren’t interested in their bottom lines either?

    But keep the blogs coming….I like hearing what viewers think of Global’s stuff. I agree it is hard to make the news look appealing when the content sucks. But you have to remember, that the staff who operate these places are people too, and we try our best everyday. But we just can’t pull a rabbit out of our asses everyday of the week.

    Reply
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