CBC Montreal announced today the two co-anchors who will be helming the new supper-hour TV newscast, and neither of them is Michel Godbout.
Instead, the CBC is going younger, picking one familiar and one unfamiliar name to sit in the big chairs. Godbout, the release says, is going back to reporting, “returning to the field.” The release suggests Godbout is eager to get back on the front lines, though that’s not quite the impression one gets when reading his Twitter post on the subject. Godbout, a known softie, tells us below not to read too much into that Tweet.
Replacing Godbout on Sept. 8 (a week after the new 90-minute newscast debuts) are reporters Andrew Chang and Jennifer Hall.
The announcement was sent to the media shortly before the 6pm newscast and was made on the air by Jeniene Phillips, who is replacing the vacationing Godbout in the anchor chair, at the very end of the hour-long newscast. It included video of Hall and Chang at their desk in what appears to be a new set:
Chang is a familiar face to CBC Montreal viewers, one of the youngest faces on the newscast and a solid multimedia reporter who has been with the station since 2005.
Hall, on the other hand, is an import. She comes from Ontario, where she served as national reporter for CTV’s “A” News network. Though she has experience as a news anchor, she’s spent her career (and education) in Ontario and is entirely new to the Montreal news scene.
Frank Cavallaro remains at his post as the weather presenter.
CBC’s release is below:
JENNIFER HALL AND ANDREW CHANG TO CO-ANCHOR CBC NEWS: MONTREAL SUPPER-HOUR NEWSCAST
Montreal, August 20, 2009 — Beginning Tuesday, September 8, Jennifer Hall and Andrew Chang will take the helm as co-anchors of CBC NEWS: MONTREAL, the expanded 90-minute newscast from 5-6:30 p.m. on CBC Television.
Jennifer Hall joins the team at CBC Montreal fresh from the corridors of Parliament Hill, where a passion for politics led to her role as National Affairs Reporter for CTVglobemedia’s ‘A’ network. She broadcast live from the House of Commons each night during one of the most tumultuous sessions in recent political memory, with the minority government coming close to falling.
In years prior, Jennifer established her diversity of skills as both host and producer of the provincial current affairs program Inquiry with Jennifer Hall. Her ability to stickhandle a panel of guests on hot-button issues garnered national recognition. Jennifer’s move to the anchor desk is familiar territory, as she has held the role for many of the past 20 years.
“Coming to Montreal is a natural next step for me and my family. We’ve always loved this city. The people, culture and language give it soul and character like no other place in Canada,” said Hall. “I’m also thrilled to be joining CBC Montreal. The CBC just can’t be matched when it comes to journalism that matters to Montrealers. I can’t wait to get started.”
Andrew Chang is a familiar face to CBC News: Montreal viewers. His wide-ranging stories and compelling, in-depth style have made him one of the top journalists in the city. He has reported on many of the biggest Quebec stories in recent memory, including the Dawson College shootings, the Laval overpass collapse, the Bouchard-Taylor Commission, and the Montreal Canadiens riots. In 2008, he covered the Quebec election from the campaign trail, filing daily to CBC Montreal Radio, TV and the web. More recently, he was part of the CBC Montreal team that uncovered and broke the Earl Jones financial scandal.
“With Jennifer as co-anchor and the top-notch CBC Montreal news team at our side, I look forward to keeping Montrealers on top of the news and their city,” said Chang. “The audience can also expect something a little different. I’m a front-line journalist. I like to be where the story is happening. I plan on getting out from behind the desk as much as possible, and bringing the viewers along with me.”
After four years as host of CBC NEWS: MONTREAL AT 6, Michel Godbout is looking forward to returning to the field. He will of course continue to play a very prominent role in the newscast and report on some of the top stories that matter most to Montrealers.
“We are very excited about introducing the co-anchor format as we expand our local news coverage to better serve Montrealers,” said Mary-Jo Barr, News Director, CBC Montreal. “The new 90-minute supper hour format allows us to bring even more timely, in-depth local news and information to our viewers, and having a co-anchor team will provide a fresh approach and a different perspective to the broadcast.”
CBC NEWS: MONTREAL will begin airing on August 31, bringing Montrealers in-depth local and breaking news coverage with ongoing updates, top national and international stories and Frank Cavallaro’s accurate weather forecast. The new format, divided into three 30-minute newscasts at 5, 5:30 and 6, provides more options for Montrealers. Viewers will get the day’s top stories, including weather, in each half-hour and developing stories as they unfold. The content will be up-to-the-minute with the context and depth Montrealers expect of CBC News.