Michel Godbout to leave CBC Montreal anchor chair

CBC Montreal announced today the two co-anchors who will be helming the new supper-hour TV newscast, and neither of them is Michel Godbout.

Michel Godbout: "Returning to the field"

Michel Godbout: "Returning to the field"

Instead, the CBC is going younger, picking one familiar and one unfamiliar name to sit in the big chairs. Godbout, the release says, is going back to reporting, “returning to the field.” The release suggests Godbout is eager to get back on the front lines, though that’s not quite the impression one gets when reading his Twitter post on the subject. Godbout, a known softie, tells us below not to read too much into that Tweet.

Replacing Godbout on Sept. 8 (a week after the new 90-minute newscast debuts) are reporters Andrew Chang and Jennifer Hall.

The announcement was sent to the media shortly before the 6pm newscast and was made on the air by Jeniene Phillips, who is replacing the vacationing Godbout in the anchor chair, at the very end of the hour-long newscast. It included video of Hall and Chang at their desk in what appears to be a new set:

Jennifer Hall and Andrew Chang try out their new anchor chairs

Jennifer Hall and Andrew Chang try out their new anchor chairs

Chang is a familiar face to CBC Montreal viewers, one of the youngest faces on the newscast and a solid multimedia reporter who has been with the station since 2005.

Hall, on the other hand, is an import. She comes from Ontario, where she served as national reporter for CTV’s “A” News network. Though she has experience as a news anchor, she’s spent her career (and education) in Ontario and is entirely new to the Montreal news scene.

Frank Cavallaro remains at his post as the weather presenter.

CBC’s release is below:


Montreal, August 20, 2009 — Beginning Tuesday, September 8, Jennifer Hall and Andrew Chang will take the helm as co-anchors of CBC NEWS: MONTREAL, the expanded 90-minute newscast from 5-6:30 p.m. on CBC Television.

Jennifer Hall joins the team at CBC Montreal fresh from the corridors of Parliament Hill, where a passion for politics led to her role as National Affairs Reporter for CTVglobemedia’s ‘A’ network. She broadcast live from the House of Commons each night during one of the most tumultuous sessions in recent political memory, with the minority government coming close to falling.

In years prior, Jennifer established her diversity of skills as both host and producer of the provincial current affairs program Inquiry with Jennifer Hall. Her ability to stickhandle a panel of guests on hot-button issues garnered national recognition. Jennifer’s move to the anchor desk is familiar territory, as she has held the role for many of the past 20 years.

“Coming to Montreal is a natural next step for me and my family. We’ve always loved this city. The people, culture and language give it soul and character like no other place in Canada,” said Hall. “I’m also thrilled to be joining CBC Montreal. The CBC just can’t be matched when it comes to journalism that matters to Montrealers. I can’t wait to get started.”

Andrew Chang is a familiar face to CBC News: Montreal viewers. His wide-ranging stories and compelling, in-depth style have made him one of the top journalists in the city. He has reported on many of the biggest Quebec stories in recent memory, including the Dawson College shootings, the Laval overpass collapse, the Bouchard-Taylor Commission, and the Montreal Canadiens riots. In 2008, he covered the Quebec election from the campaign trail, filing daily to CBC Montreal Radio, TV and the web. More recently, he was part of the CBC Montreal team that uncovered and broke the Earl Jones financial scandal.

“With Jennifer as co-anchor and the top-notch CBC Montreal news team at our side, I look forward to keeping Montrealers on top of the news and their city,” said Chang. “The audience can also expect something a little different. I’m a front-line journalist. I like to be where the story is happening. I plan on getting out from behind the desk as much as possible, and bringing the viewers along with me.”

After four years as host of CBC NEWS: MONTREAL AT 6, Michel Godbout is looking forward to returning to the field. He will of course continue to play a very prominent role in the newscast and report on some of the top stories that matter most to Montrealers.

“We are very excited about introducing the co-anchor format as we expand our local news coverage to better serve Montrealers,” said Mary-Jo Barr, News Director, CBC Montreal. “The new 90-minute supper hour format allows us to bring even more timely, in-depth local news and information to our viewers, and having a co-anchor team will provide a fresh approach and a different perspective to the broadcast.”

CBC NEWS: MONTREAL will begin airing on August 31, bringing Montrealers in-depth local and breaking news coverage with ongoing updates, top national and international stories and Frank Cavallaro’s accurate weather forecast. The new format, divided into three 30-minute newscasts at 5, 5:30 and 6, provides more options for Montrealers. Viewers will get the day’s top stories, including weather, in each half-hour and developing stories as they unfold. The content will be up-to-the-minute with the context and depth Montrealers expect of CBC News.

29 thoughts on “Michel Godbout to leave CBC Montreal anchor chair

  1. Lewis

    Awesome, I can’t wait. I’ve never really watched CBC News (I always watch CTV) but I will be watching between 5 and 6.

  2. Michel Godbout

    Don’t read too much into that Twitter post of mine. I was just trying to say a quick “see you soon” and “thanks for tuning in” in case I don’t get get back in the anchor chair to say it on air. I am actually looking forward to doing various types of reporting. I’ve been working on some ideas with my bosses. I hope you tune in to see.

    1. Marcella Vickers

      My husband & I are avid viewers & watch you every night on CBC. We will miss your reporting the 6 o’clock news & have thoroughly enjoyed listening to your commentaries during these past years after Denis. We thank you for doing such a fine job & spending an hour with us every night!! We will miss seeing you & wish you continued advancement in your career you certainly deserve it.
      Marcella & Barry

    2. Nadine

      Michel, so sorry to see you leave the anchor chair. I quite recently moved from Regina, Sask.,(2 yrs) tuned in to CBC news at 6 and became a faithful viewer.
      Thanks so much for a great job. You delivered the news with objectivity, yet with passion, interest and concern.

  3. bob

    We haven’t watched tv news for ages (too much “if it it bleeds it leads”), and we aren’t going to start now, not even for these two young hotties. CBC radio and Stewart/Colbert is the news “cocktail” for the modern times.

  4. Jean Naimard

    My girlfriend always goes “oooohsocute” and “aaaaahsocute” whenever Andrew Chang is on the air.

    That’s why I try to avoid watching CBC whenever I’m at her place or vice-versa…

  5. scottwgray

    I wondered if Michel Godbout was moving / being moved. In the past few weeks the Ceeb has tried Kim Brunhuber, Jenine Phillips, Andrew Chang, Nancy Wood and maybe even some others in the hot seat while Michel was away.

    Andrew Chang was, frankly, the only one who could hold a candle to Godbout, but unfortunately, he’s also one of the most capable in-field reporters they’ve got.

    Maybe he’ll be doing both. And weather.

    But seriously, they’re doing a 90 minute format? Are they rolling Wheel of Fortune into, perhaps, economic news?

    1. Marc

      It’ll be like this:

      4:00 – Ghost Whisperer (why, I have no clue)
      5:00 – News
      6:30 – Coronation Street
      7:00 – Wheel
      7:30 – Jeopardy!

      The Simpsons get turfed.

      Note that WPTZ has Jeopardy! at 7 followed by Wheel. Why CBC is using taxpayer money to buy the rights to US game shows already available on other stations is beyond me.

  6. Niki

    Michel Godbout was always professional, knowledgeable, and personable. He was the perfect replacement for Dennis Trudeau and a perfect fit for the 6:00 p.m. news. The demographic for evening news is probably for a 25+ crowd, so I do not see how putting up-and-coming former reporters as anchors (including one who is completely unknown to a Montreal audience) is going to succeed. We must consider also that Michel Godbout was at least one of the most important reasons that the ratings were up for Montreal News At Six after so many years of being second to CTV News, so it is really a bad decision to dump him as anchor now.

    1. Claudia Brunet

      I like mr. Godbout very much, because he is english, and, french , the way he pronounces his french words is perfect , he is the only one that spoke that way, I will miss him a lot , he was the only one I listened too for the news. I am sorry he has left, WE WILL MISS HIM A LOT. SINCERELY CLAUDIA

  7. Jay

    Thanks MG for contributing to four great years at CBC Montreal News at Six. He served the greater Montreal metro well and I would like to see him running for political office.

  8. John

    I rather liked MG in the anchor chair and will be sorry to see him go. More disturbing though is the move to 17h00. I don`t get home usually until at LEAST 18h00 and definitely never for 17h00. Who is the CBC trying to appeal to with this newscast strategy? People who are home all day can catch news on Newsworld (or whatever other 24h newsnetwork suits their tastes).

    1. Jean Naimard

      I’ve wondered about that, it started many years ago on french TV. I guess it’s to force the working people to pay for cable if they want to watch the news at a manageable hour…

  9. Jay

    I really hate the three-30 minutes format.. it’s just flipping the first 30 minutes broadcast over for two more times.. and all the reporting is such in a rush with squeezed 30 minutes.. no more in depth news, especially in sports and too much weather.. just rush-flip-watch.. whoever come up with this new idea at CBC should be fired because the CBC news standard just plunged over a weekend.

  10. tina

    Seriously, where are you?? MG you are so missed. Hopefully where ever it is you decide to go I hope you will let us all know your where abouts! BIG fan!

  11. Natacha

    I MISS MG and persoanlly Andrew Chang sucks! CTV lost FRANK CBC gained him CBC lost MG we gained Andrew Chang! So not good!!!!

    1. rebecca Robichaud

      I think Andrew Chang is good, professional. I don’t see anything wrong with him.
      I don’t like the new format though. First 30 mins of news, then a repeat of it all. I pefer CFCF news format but Mitsumi bugs me and if you watch/listen carefully you will see how her and Todd are always mis-pronouncing words.

  12. rebecca Robichaud

    I have a question about Michel Godbout on CBC. Does anyone know if he has a problem with his eyes? He blinks continuously as he’s speaking, but when he isn’t speaking and is just looking at the camera, he doesn’t blink. It’s very distracting and I was just wondering if there was a medical condition he has?

  13. Pingback: Michel Godbout leaving CBC for TVA Sports – Fagstein

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