Andrew Chang to host CBC News Vancouver

Debra Arbec and Andrew Chang before Chang abandoned Arbec and fled to the other coast.

Debra Arbec and Andrew Chang before Chang abandoned Arbec and fled to the other coast. (Last chance to use this file photo, I guess.)

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.”

15 thoughts on “Andrew Chang to host CBC News Vancouver

  1. Steve W

    So why did Andrew Chang leave CBC Montreal in first place? I don’t remember a official reason? Personally I could care less. Never watched CBC Montreal because of him.

      1. Steve W

        Just caught up on your tweets from today. So you feel the same way as me. Andrew Chang FREAKIN’ quit CBC Montreal to join CBC Vancouver. So all this stuff from him before leaving(his love for CBC Montreal & very hard for him to leave Montreal) is all a cover? I have less respect for him.

        1. Fagstein Post author

          So all this stuff from him before leaving (his love for CBC Montreal & very hard for him to leave Montreal) is all a cover?

          I don’t doubt his sincerity. Just because you decide to leave one job for another doesn’t mean it’s an easy decision or that you didn’t like that other job or the people you worked with.

          1. Steve W

            Yes, but it could also be the other way. Don’t automatically assume he was so loved by everybody at CBC Montreal.

          2. Steve W

            Part of reason I’m saying this as a longtime CBC Montreal TV viewer, there’s so much on-air turnover at CBC Montreal, that it’s gets very very…. frustrating. Especially when I compared it to CTV Montreal & Global Montreal newscasts.

  2. Michelle Sullivan

    Cute kid ;)
    Well a loss for Montreal is a gain for Vancouver. Michael was always enjoyable and professional. A real asset to CBC. I’m glad they were smart enough to hold onto him. Best success to him.
    Thank god we still have Ms Arbec.

    p.s. love the use of strikethroughs, Steve ;)

  3. Kevin

    Am I the only one who noticed CBC Montreal has made and still is making major job cuts? Either Andrew or Debra was going to be laid off, and this way they’re both employed

  4. Reg Johannsen

    Andrew Chang is the best broadcaster. He’ll be the next Peter Mansbridge. He has integrity. BC residents love him.

  5. J.Renaud

    This Andrew Chang is some story as I watch the Royals arrival in Victoira where Andrew is part of the team. Saw him in Mtl but the web doesn’t have anything about his background? I know he was working for several years in Mtl. but he is a Quebecer and educated in QC or was he a product of else where. Somehow his bio doesn,t mention that.



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