Caroline van Vlaardingen in the big chair

Caroline van Vlaardingen

Caroline van Vlaardingen shouldn’t be nervous about being an anchor. She’s been an on-air figure at the station for … you know, I think you could actually measure it in decades, even though she doesn’t look that old.

Part of her experience at CFCF has included some hosting duties, too, including the series “On-Line Montreal” in the 1990s, a one-hour live talk show. (Ad-lib for a minute on live TV? Ha! Try doing that for a whole hour, she says with a laugh.) She’s also hosted the station’s telethon, and she’s been a reliable fill-in anchor for many years now, in addition to some part-time teaching at Concordia’s journalism program.

Still, she’s stepping a bit out of her comfort zone this weekend. Van Vlaardingen is taking over the weekend newscast from Tarah Schwartz, who’s leaving the country for seven months for personal reasons. (I won’t say why, but let’s just say there were lots of crossed fingers from her colleagues at Thursday night’s upfront presentation.)

Van Vlaardingen has the anchoring thing down pretty well, but she got some pointers from Schwartz about some things unique to the weekend newscasts. Among them is that, because the schedule runs from 3pm to midnight, the weekend anchor comes in with little time to familiarize herself with the news before the 6pm newscast. And the weekend anchor lines up her own late-night newscast, which is something that Van Vlaardingen is new to.

I asked her on Thursday whether she’d see herself permanently in the anchor chair. She said she enjoys doing reporting, getting out into the field. The weekend anchor job, which includes three reporting shifts during the work week, is a good mix of both roles, and one Van Vlaardingen is excited to do.

But Schwartz has no reason to worry. Van Vlaardingen is happy to go back to being a reporter once Tarah comes back. “I’m just happy to hold down the fort until she returns,” she says.

21 thoughts on “Caroline van Vlaardingen in the big chair

    1. Fagstein Post author

      WHAT??!! Wheres Tara going??????????

      To Neverland. I think that’s why she was wearing green last night. She’ll be back, but you’ll just have to do without her for a little while.

      Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      What other big news happened last night at the Upfront event?

      Nothing really. The big announcements were made last week in Toronto, and there’s nothing big happening on the local front, except that they’re now broadcasting the news in high definition.

      Reply
      1. Media Man

        That’s right, unlike the glory days of Bill Merrill and CFCF and 405 Ogilvy Avenue, Montreal had a say and we were introduced to local stars as well from local shows and local sitcoms, which I liked and so did other folks, at least there was always demand for seats for the tapings..

        As mentioned so many times. Toronto couldn’t care less.. Maybe if the CRTC put up the limit for local shows from 16 to maybe 20-21 hours..another 5 hours a week..not much for Vancouver or Montreal ,etc,etc..

        Am I right in assuming no national personalities dropped by either last night.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          unlike the glory days of Bill Merrill and CFCF and 405 Ogilvy Avenue, Montreal had a say

          TV isn’t the same as it was decades ago. We’re not limited to three television channels anymore. In reality, there are plenty of television series being produced in Montreal, but many of those air on specialty channels, not on local TV.

          There are some gaps, of course, some types of programming it would be nice to see again (like, say, a local music show), but the fact that each television station in Canada doesn’t have its own local sitcom is not because Bell is evil. It’s because it doesn’t make financial sense to do it that way any more.

          Am I right in assuming no national personalities dropped by either last night.

          Unless you consider a Bell Media sales VP as a “national personality” then you’re right. Though the hosts of Canada AM and eTalk did record messages that were played on the big screen. It was actually somewhat disappointing that senior executives from Bell Media weren’t there. Rogers had senior executives present at City’s upfront last week.

          Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Do you know why CTV montreal changed their whole intro to the 6 pm newscast? (new announcer etc.)

      I don’t know if I’d qualify it as “changed their whole intro” – they’ve put the anchors back at their desks, got some crazy zooming in going on, and there’s a new voice of God introducing them. But the graphics are the same, the sound is the same, and the format is pretty well unchanged.

      Reply
      1. Media Man

        Steve, watching the 12 noon newscast yesterday (Monday) I couldn’t believe the flubs. Wrong video clips played so the anchors and Caroline in in one case had to ad lib, and the other major flub I don’t recall, but three in the first half hour.

        I assume this has something to do with that new ill-advised automated system. I hope that Bell Media doesn’t cut costs to the level of Shaw in how their handling of Global’s Morning News..

        Point here is that there is no replacement for humans.

        Reply
      1. Media Man

        FYI…Lee Marshall was one of the great voices of doom doing Top 40 news for the Big 8 CKLW Windsor in the early to mid 70’s….He was also at CKGM during those plory days of Ralph Lockwood and LA Connection Francaise during the days when they had ratings that would had had New York City radio stations excited with extreme envy..

        Reply
        1. LoveToCook

          I don’t think your facts are right. There are many “new” voices on CTV (they’re also similar/ or the same on other networks — probably Bell owned) . The Lee Marshall, formerly at CTV, did TO radio (Mix 99.9) + other. I don’t think he was ever near Windsor.

          You get your info from Where???
          (A former colleague)

          Reply
          1. Media Man

            Lee Marshall was definitely at CKLW THE BIG 8 Windsor in 73-74. He was one of those voice if newscasters doing mainly the evening shift.
            Let’s just say I was in that southern Ontario area at that time.

            Lee became News Director at CKGM in probably 75-76 did news in the morning so he worked with Ralph Lockwood. Lost track after that hut most probably went back to Ontario..

            Reply
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