CBC 11pm local newscast launches Monday

Remember that 11pm local newscast that I told you about last month? CBC has announced that it’s launching on Monday.

The new newscasts are being brought in across the country, and will start at 10:55pm, cutting a few minutes into The National.

As I explained last month, the 10-minute newscast would be a rapid-fire recap of the day’s events, with some late-breaking news that’s updated from the 6pm newscast.

And as I explained, there won’t be much of a new budget for this extra programming, so employees will be stetched even further.

CBC Montreal news director Mary-Jo Barr tells Fagstein that Andrew Chang will be the night host, which will have a night reporter filing an updated story, Frank Cavallaro doing live weather, and updates on things like evening Canadiens games. The local newscast will also feature new graphics (an improvement that is sorely needed if you’ve seen some of those graphics over the past few years).

Among other changes on the docket:

  • CBC Newsworld gets renamed CBC News Network. This sounds very similar to CTV rebranding CTV Newsnet as CTV News Channel, and about as pointless. The new CBC NN (not to be confused with CNN) will have a new schedule with some new shows, for anyone who actually cares about the schedule of a 24-hour news network.
  • An online 10-minute version of The National by 6pm. A good idea, provided they can provide it in enough formats for it to be accessible (like, say, in a downloadable podcast form for those of us on the go). The newscast will also be “customizable”, in that viewers will be able to select which stories will be part of it. Not quite sure how that will work, but the concept makes sense.
  • The National moves to 6pm on Saturday to avoid conflicting with NHL coverage. Because hockey is more important than news.
  • A “faster pace” and “new format” for The National which includes more stuff from Marketplace and the Fifth Estate. In other words, reusing staff from one show to provide cheap content for another.
  • More “transparency” in news reporting. It’s unclear what they mean by this, though they give the example of explaining the CBC’s policy on reporting on kidnappings. Of course, this would be welcome by people like me, but I’m skeptical that CBC News can get a culture of true transparency going without it getting torpedoed by marketing interests eventually.
  • Wendy Mesley will appear regularly on The National to generate “debate”. Make your own Wendy Mesley/Peter Mansbridge joke here.
  • Kady O’Malley starts a political blog. You know Kady, she used to blog for Maclean’s before CBC poached her.
  • World Report, which airs mornings at the top of the hour, will add a newscast at 5am for those poor souls who are up at that hour. This sounds a bit odd, considering Daybreak starts at 5:30. Are they going to fill that extra 20 minutes with national content, or just continue their overnight programming?

5 thoughts on “CBC 11pm local newscast launches Monday

  1. cbc montreal insider

    Andrew Chang will host the late-night cast…poached programming from the BBC will fill the sapce between the 5:00 AM world report and the start of Daybreak at 5:30

    1. Fagstein Post author

      “Poached” is a funny word. It conjures up images of BBC programming running away scared, saying “please don’t hurt me” while the CBC follows with a harpoon.

  2. Alex

    If CBC local news now runs from 5pm-6:30pm, why make the National available on the web at 6pm? Isn’t that competing with the local newscasts. Make it available at 6:30pm.

    Also, why place the late local news update at 10:55pm. The only people who will watch it are those that are already watching The National from 10pm and will hand around. The rest are probably commited to see the end of whatever show they have been watching since 10pm on another channel. You could only get those viewers to check the local news update it they placed it at 11pm. By 11:10pm they might consider to see who is on The Hour and stick around.

    As for the name change to CBC NN. How stupid do they think we are. It’s still basically the same product renamed. I guess the marketing department didn’t have their budget cut.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      I don’t think people will be counting the seconds to download The National right at 6pm. If they’re interested in local news they can watch that and The National afterward.

      Your point about the 10:55 start is well taken.


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