Posted in Montreal, Radio, TV

CBC weekend newscasts off to a strong start

Thomas Daigle anchors his first newscast on Saturday, May 5

Whether it was despite some important breaking news or because of it, CBC Montreal’s first weekend newscast in eons went smoothly, leading with news that a tentative deal had been reached between the government and striking students. (Remember those days, how optimistic we were that this would all be over soon?)

Anchor Thomas Daigle and weather presenter Sabrina Marandola clearly showed the effects of rehearsals, and Daigle in particular was quite good for someone who comes into this with no anchoring experience.

Daigle credited weekday anchor Debra Arbec with helping him. ”She gave me some good tips to improve my delivery and it has helped a lot. Debra has been a great coach,” he said during our interview the week before he started.

Sabrina Marandola on weather

In addition to Daigle, Marandola and the technical staff, the new weekend news means more weekend reporters. So far the plan, according to news director Mary-Jo Barr, is this:

  • On Saturdays, three television reporters and one radio reporter.
  • On Sundays, two television reporters, an additional national TV reporter filing to The National, and one radio reporter.

In addition, there’s an expectation that radio reporters will file to TV and TV reporters to radio wherever possible, and extra staff during major events where warranted.

The local online desk also gets weekend staff for the first time in a decade. No more waiting until Monday to post local news stories.

The staffing is similar to what you’ll find on the weekends at CFCF, where there’s a one-hour evening newscast and 35-minute late newscast each day.

Daigle does the late Sunday newscast from the newsroom set

It was a bit surprising to me that the station isn’t making use of its brand new set on either weekend newscast. The Saturday one was done from the newsroom studio, with the control room in the background. The Sunday one was done from exactly the same place, but with the green screen lowered behind and the same virtual set as the weeknight late newscasts.

While CFCF is doing all its newscasts from the same set, CBC is basically using three.

You can read more on CBC’s weekend newscasts and its two new personalities in this story I wrote for The Gazette.

The first weekend newscasts are online if you want to see them again: Saturday, Sunday.

CBC Montreal’s weekend newscasts air at 6pm on Saturdays and 10:55pm on Sundays, unless pre-empted or postponed because of NHL games.

More weekend radio

I should also mention that the addition to weekend news also applies to radio. Instead of pulling the plugs on local radio newscasts at noon, they continue until 4pm, and this since April 21. Katherine Canty, who assigns stories in the mornings, reads them in the afternoons, taking over from Loreen Pindera, who does 6:30am to noon.

11 thoughts on “CBC weekend newscasts off to a strong start

  1. Marvin from Park-Ex

    No 6pm newscast on Sundays? So this isn’t really a weekend newscast. And did I read right? CBC has 3 TV reporters for its Sunday show? 3? For a 5 minute newscast? What a waste. They have more staff on Sundays than CTV and Global combined. And they both pump out full 6 and 11pm weekend newscasts.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      No 6pm newscast on Sundays? So this isn’t really a weekend newscast.

      Call it what you want. There’s no 6pm newscast on Sundays because it would conflict with the Sunday evening movie.

      And did I read right? CBC has 3 TV reporters for its Sunday show? 3? For a 5 minute newscast? What a waste.

      No. It’s two TV reporters for a 10-minute newscast. A third one is a national reporter filing to The National.

      They have more staff on Sundays than CTV and Global combined.

      This is also untrue.

      Reply
      1. Marvin from Park-Ex

        2 local reporters + 1 national reporter = 3 reporters on Sunday. You obviously have not worked in a newsroom but the national reporter often contributes to the local newscast.

        Steve, I thought you only had a man-crush for Kai Nagata. I guess you have something for Thomas Daigle too.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          the national reporter often contributes to the local newscast.

          This is right. Often, but not always. My point is that this wasn’t a shift that was added, but one that was already there. Plus all three also contribute to radio, which has newscasts from 6:30am to 4pm.

          I thought you only had a man-crush for Kai Nagata. I guess you have something for Thomas Daigle too.

          And Nancy Wood. And Patrick Lagacé. And Todd van der Heyden. And Ted Bird. And Terry DiMonte. And Pete Marier. If you don’t want me to profile people who work in local media, you really should stop reading this blog.

          Reply
        2. Steve W

          Marvin from Park-Ex, you want CBC Television Montreal to do like Global Montreal on weekends by having only one TV reporter? The Global Montreal weekend broadcasts is truly embarrassing.

          Reply
  2. Robert_Duhamel

    Well, I am sure a few dozen people will watch these two very attractive young newscasters.

    I think the ratings would go up, way up, if these two very attractive young newscasters dressed a lot more “saturday night” than “sunday supper at grandmas house.” They’re hired for their eye candy traits anyway, why be so coy about it?

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      They’re hired for their eye candy traits anyway, why be so coy about it?

      Do you have any evidence of this, or are you just talking out of your ass?

      Nancy Wood is hardly a young newscaster. How does that fit in with your theory, or are you just conveniently ignoring it?

      Reply
      1. Steve W

        Fagstein, any idea what Anna Asimakopoulos is doing nowadays at CBC Television as she still seems to cover arts for CBC based in Montreal. Guessing, she’s now a national arts reporter based out of Montreal, as Kristin Falcao has just taken over the Arts beat for the CBC TV Montreal local newscasts. I couldn’t any answers from asking a person at CBC Montreal.

        Reply
  3. Marvin from Park-Ex

    I still say a 10 min newscast on Sunday late night and no 6pm is a massive joke. Don’t promote it as a weekend newscast if you can’t deliver.

    Global’s weekend newscast is weak too. Don’t get me wrong. But everyone in the industry knows how hard their reporters work with zero resources. Fazioli and Sargeant kick CTV’s asses every night.

    I’m saying all this because CTV has the ratings but Montrealers deserve better.

    Reply
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