Global Montreal planning a noon local newscast this fall (but why?)

It’s Upfront Week in Canada, where the big TV networks show off their fall schedules to advertisers and hype their newly acquired programs (most of which come from the U.S.)

Shaw Media’s announcements included the usual hype for new shows (The Muppets!), but also a change in late night: It has picked up the Canadian rights to the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, which airs at 11:35 p.m. on CBS. (Rogers had the Canadian rights to the Letterman Late Show, and it aired on OMNI.)

But putting a late-night talk show at 11:35 causes a conflict with a change announced in April, that late-night newscasts were being expanded to an hour in Montreal. (They’re already an hour in Toronto and B.C., which would also be affected.)

So Global changed its plans. The late-night news in B.C. (including Okanagan), Toronto, Montreal, New Brunswick and Halifax will be 35 minutes, and Montreal is instead getting its Evening News expanded to an hour, plus a new half-hour noon newscast.

I lay down how the day will look in this story for the Montreal Gazette, which includes previously announced changes.


Having the Evening News start at 5:30pm instead of 6 is an interesting idea, and probably a good one since it takes the first half of the newscast out of direct competition with CTV. Even more so since CBC is cutting its evening news to half an hour starting at 6 this fall. Global will be able to claim it’s first with the news every evening.

But the station has also tried this before. In 2000 (back when it was Global Quebec), it introduced a newscast at 5:30pm anchored by Jamie Orchard that led into another 6pm newscast co-hosted with Jonathan Freed.

It lasted two years.

Here’s how the news director of the time, Ward Smith, described it to the Gazette’s Basem Boshra in 2002:

I wouldn’t say it was a bad idea. But we were spending so much of our budget on a time when people just weren’t home to watch. (And in putting on an hour-long newscast) we were all over the map. We were creeping into national and international news and stepping on (host of Global’s 6:30 p.m. national news show) Kevin Newman’s toes. Now, with us coming out swinging at 6, doing what we do best — covering news throughout Quebec – and Newman coming on at 6:30 with the national and international news, we can deliver a seamless, solid hour that gives viewers everything they need in terms of the day’s news.

Has the situation changed in the 13 years since? Are more people home by 5:30pm now? Is there more content to fill a local newscast without stepping on the toes of Global National?

The addition of a noon newscast is very interesting. I’m told it will be locally produced, and there will be hires (including a lineup editor and videojournalist), but the details (including an anchor) aren’t being announced publicly yet. I hope to get some more details in the coming weeks.

Either way, Global was already the English-language station that was (technically) producing the most local programming in Montreal, and these changes will increase that number to five hours every weekday and 27.5 hours a week. CTV is next at 16 hours, then City at 15.5, then CBC at 11 (whether it stays there depends on whether you consider CBC Daybreak on the TV as local programming).

13 thoughts on “Global Montreal planning a noon local newscast this fall (but why?)

    1. Fagstein Post author

      Hmm…. what exactly do you mean by “CBC Daybreak on the TV” ?

      CBC’s plan is to install cameras in the CBC Radio studio and broadcast the 6-7am hour of Daybreak on CBC Television.

  1. Media Man

    Interesting for two reasons.

    One, what do Toronto anchors know about local Montreal news, and how will they react if anything happens while they’re on,at CTV theycan at kleast do mentions if something breaks with somebody in the newsroom.

    Two, more importantly, will this force CTV to do other types of local programming instead of just resting on its laurels with its newscasts, it’s time they come out with perhaps a magazine type show, non-news. Global’s Focus is a good example, but something in the order of an hour. Thirty minutes is too short.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      Two, more importantly, will this force CTV to do other types of local programming instead of just resting on its laurels with its newscasts

      Probably not.

  2. Dilbert

    I think that Global may be onto some things here, but perhaps they miss the real deal on how to do an earlier new broadcast:

    Make it two half hours, not an hour.

    In the US, it’s not uncommon for local news to start as early as 4PM or 5PM and run right through until the network national news (6:30 or 7, depending). Rather than trying to make a wild 3 hour news show, they make a tight, concise 30 minute news show and basically re-do it as many times as needed to fill the time. That includes updating breaking stories and doing live segments in each half hour, so that the news isn’t EXACTLY the same. But basically, they don’t try to make it into an hour of news – they make it a half hour twice.

    Global could do a half hour twice and really be on the ball with this, getting on the air 30 minutes before CTV would give them a potential boost, and even people who do watch CTV may tune into their news first, especially if the last 15 minutes is really good (say clear sports, weather, and headline wrap up).

    A noon news program is a good idea as well. Many of the sunk costs to do the 5:30 news can get recovered here, and even with a small viewership, it’s “better than nothing” and gives them a chance to build their brand. It also gives them a chance to try some different ways to package up the news to see what works and what doesn’t for them.

    1. MBR

      This is what Global Toronto is doing. They are splitting up the “News Hour” and making separate 5:30 and 6:00 newscasts. This would be a good idea for Global Montreal; they can catch those looking for news at 6:00 instead of viewers tuning in to the middle of the newscast at that time.

    2. Brett Morris

      If you look at the Burlington VT market WPTZ & WCAX both start at 5pm like CBC Montreal. WVNY starts at 6pm like Global currently does except they continue local news after national news.

      I tend to watch American news from 5pm-6pm then switch to Global at 6pm. If Global started at 5pm like CBC then I wouldn’t watch American news.

  3. Neil K.

    Isn’t it possible that Richard Dagenais will be “reassigned” as the noon anchor and that’s why he was pulled off the morning show? Maybe that’s why there was no big deal made about his leaving and he didn’t say goodbye on air.

    After all, this wouldn’t be the first time Global shuffled him around, from the late news to the morning show.

    I sure hope this scenario plays out and Rich lands on his feet.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      Isn’t it possible that Richard Dagenais will be “reassigned” as the noon anchor and that’s why he was pulled off the morning show? Maybe that’s why there was no big deal made about his leaving and he didn’t say goodbye on air.

      Anything is possible, but Dagenais is sending demo tapes around, and the union was informed he’d been let go.

      1. Steve W

        I was thinking Peter Anthony Holder would be applying as the noon anchor, & would be leading candidate. If Global Montreal wants him around, they will find him a job there(look what happened to Gloria Henriquez).

      2. Tony

        He won’t be part of the Global news. I just hear him this Sunday morning on CJAD anchoring the news. Glad to hear he found something already.

  4. Pingback: Global Montreal begins outsourcing weekend newscasts tonight | Fagstein

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