Two months after Andrew Chang left CBC Montreal on paternity leave and announced he wasn’t coming back, we finally know what super-secret job he’s taking on. CBC announced on Wednesday that Chang will be the new anchor of CBC News Vancouver at 5 and 6, starting Sept. 1.
Chang replaces Gloria Macarenko, who moves on to hosting CBC Radio’s The Story From Here,
a cheap content repackaging show a “curation of stories” from local CBC radio stations. Macarenko will also continue hosting Our Vancouver, a cheap content repackaging show week-in-review and arts/lifestyle show, and do segments for TV, including a regular one-on-one interview segment.
The job is also one held by B.C. broadcasting star Tony Parsons until last December.
Chang, who filled in on The Current after coming back from paternity leave, won’t be replaced in Montreal. Debra Arbec will continue anchoring the evening newscast here solo. Though putting Doug Gelevan on the evening news full-time means she can be with him and weatherman Frank Cavallaro on promotional material and feel more like she’s part of a team.
“The team at CBC Vancouver has proven time and time again that they are the best at investigative and original journalism,” Chang is quoted as saying in a CBC News story, which I guess means that he thinks CBC Vancouver is better than CBC Montreal.
“It’ll be good for me to shake things up”
But seriously, why take the same job in a different city?
Chang told me that there are practical and personal reasons. Vancouver is a larger market than English Montreal. “The calculus involved in that part of the decision is pretty straight-forward, and there’s no hiding it,” he said, though he admitted that news-wise, Montreal and Quebec is often the centre of attention.
But part of it is also that there’s a transformation going on in Vancouver, which is “trying to get away from the traditional model, and moving more towards an interview-supported newscast that spends a bit more time digging a little deeper on the day’s big news so that people who watch end up walking away feeling informed, armed with more than just the bare facts but also with an understanding of why things have developed the way they have.”
“I’ve been involved in some of that redesign, and frankly, it’s exciting,” he wrote.
On the personal side, Chang said he thrives on change. “I’ve spent 10 great years in Montreal. Make no mistake, I owe everything to that shop and the people in it. They’ve taught me everything, and managed to keep me pretty humble through it all. That being said, it was time for a change.”
Though he spent five years as supper-hour anchor, Chang did many other jobs before that, including videojournalist, reporter, researcher, camera operator assigner, and working in the media library. “When I started at CBC, I don’t think I held a single job for longer than 8 months at a time,” he said.
“I think I’m at my best when I’m a little off-balance — the constant changes keep things fresh and keep me on my toes. That being said, I’ve anchored in Montreal for about 5 years and it felt great to actually hold down a steady job for once! … but I think it’ll be good for me to shake things up.”
And, he said, Vancouver isn’t such a bad place, especially for a couple who like the outdoors. “The fact that Vancouver is as beautiful and active a city as it is, is a total bonus. My wife and I hike, run, camp and canoe in the summer, we snowboard in the winter, and we’re looking forward to gradually introducing our little one (Arianna is creeping up on 2 months now) to all of that. Montreal is an incredible, vibrant city… but I have a feeling Vancouver will be pretty ideal for raising a family too.”
p.s. Vancouver: Arianna Chang says hello! She is loving all the green. pic.twitter.com/dyxPN3Lrwy
— Andrew Chang (@AndrewChangCBC) July 30, 2014