It’s not a secret at the CBC, but it’s being treated that way with the outside world: CBMT, CBC’s Montreal television station, is planning to launch an 11pm newscast next month.
According to multiple sources within the CBC, the new 11pm newscast would be a short, 10-minute recap of the top stories, similar to what airs currently in Vancouver.
You can see an example of Vancouver at Eleven here. It’s five minutes long, sandwiched between The National and The Hour. Vancouver’s newscast will be expanding to 10 minutes, which should hopefully give the anchor an opportunity to breathe properly. Other markets are also planning similar newscasts.
CBC Montreal news director Mary-Jo Barr was coy when I asked her about the new newscast, neither confirming nor denying its existence. She would say only that “there’s some excitement over here at CBC Montreal” and hinted at an upcoming announcement.
Ten minutes might not sound like much, but when you add local news in the evening newscasts together, you get to about that figure. Vancouver at Eleven contains no advertising, and only a brief weather segment. It’s not clear whether that would still be the case in a 10-minute newscast.
CBMT hasn’t aired an 11pm newscast since Newswatch was cancelled in 2000. Drastic cutbacks at the CBC led to the idea of “Canada Now”, a one-hour evening newscast whose first half-hour was hosted by Ian Hanomansing in Vancouver and the rest by local anchors. That finally ended in 2007, when plummeting ratings forced the CBC to reconsider and bring back one-hour local newscasts. CBMT has been slowly building back the audience it forfeited to CFCF ever since.
Sources tell Fagstein the 11pm newscast should begin around Thanksgiving (in other words, mid-October).