CTV adds national newscast at 5:30, taking a page from Global

A very disinterested-looking Sandie Rinaldo will host CTV National News at 5:30, but CTV wants to make sure it doesn’t take any of the spotlight off Omar Sachedina.

After decades of having local news at 6pm and national news at 11pm, CTV is mixing things up a bit, announcing this week that it is launching a new national newscast at 5:30pm weekdays on CTV stations across the country, hosted by Sandie Rinaldo.

On one hand, this could be seen as taking a direct shot at Global, which runs Global National during the supper hour, either before, after or sandwiched between local newscasts depending on the market.

On the other hand, this could be seen as CTV wanting to save some money by eliminating half an hour of local news every day and replacing it with national programming. This interpretation fits with CTV’s statement that National News “now also provides unique segments covering the key stories and events happening across Canada and around the world as part of the early evening CTV News local newscasts on Saturdays and Sundays.”

I asked Bell Media if this means cuts to local news staffing.

“We can confirm there are no impacts to staffing levels as a result of the launch of the 5:30 p.m. edition of CTV National News,” was the statement I got back.

That doesn’t necessarily mean there won’t be indirect impacts, but at least there are no layoff notices going out right away.

Starting Nov. 13, CTV stations that have been running 5pm local newscasts for the past six years will see those early programs cut to half an hour and replaced by National News. Then the 6pm local newscasts will be “intensely local-focused,” according to Bell Media, since they won’t have to include as much national and international news content. It might not mean less local news (90 minutes is still plenty) but it will mean having to fill less time, and getting a break during what is right now two straight hours of broadcasting from local stations.

Global already sandwiches national news between two local newscasts in several markets including Montreal, so expect a similar feel at CTV, with the assumption that most people will watch one of the local newscasts but not both.

What early national newscasts will look like is a good question. Will it be like local noon newscasts, where reporters do live hits explaining stories they’re just starting to cover that day? Will national reporters have to file earlier, making the 11pm national newscast mainly rehashing what was reported at 5:30pm, or will the 5:30pm newscast have a lot of stories repeated from 11pm the previous day, or some mix of the two? Or will it be like just watching half an hour of CTV News Channel, but with a somewhat larger budget?


UPDATE (Nov. 16): I watched CTV National News from Nov. 15, its third day on the air. It looked like the same CTV National News we’re used to. There was a bit more of that afternoon live-on-the-scene feel, particularly with some breaking stories. More live throws to reporters, although many of them were probably “look-live” in which the reporter’s part was pre-recorded.

With one exception, the 11pm newscast with Omar Sachedina had the same stories as the 5:30pm one with Sandie Rinaldo, though most of the hard-news ones were updated with the evening’s developments and reporter standups that had less daylight outside.

As for the “intensely local-focused” 6pm newscast, it looked like any other. It stayed local for 20 minutes, but for the rest of the hour I counted a couple of local stories, a couple of local briefs, a live interview and weather segments, and the rest was national news, local news from other CTV stations, and various international stories, including one that mostly duplicated one from the national news. The 5pm local newscast, in its reduced 30-minute version, stayed almost entirely local.

25 thoughts on “CTV adds national newscast at 5:30, taking a page from Global

  1. Anonymous

    This is sort of a no brainer for CTV in reality. They already have the staff, they already have the content, and 5:30pm viewers may not take away from their 11PM viewers. As the local stations were often taking at least video that might have been used in the national news, diminishing it’s value.

    Most importantly though, is this is another way for the network to hoover up a half hour of the best paying commercial time in the local market and sell it as national advertising. This once again takes income away from the local station and moves it directly towards the national network. Another wonderful way to make local stations lose money!

    1. Fagstein Post author

      They already have the staff, they already have the content

      Both of those are arguable. Running a live newscast takes a technical crew, which means they have to find those people to work at 5:30. And presumably they’d need to create new content for 5:30 if they don’t just want a repeat of the previous night’s 11pm news, so there would need to be resources found here too, though with a network like CTV and the resources of Bell Media, it probably won’t be that hard to shift things around.

      Most importantly though, is this is another way for the network to hoover up a half hour of the best paying commercial time in the local market and sell it as national advertising.

      I’m not quite sure what this is supposed to mean. There’s no advertising in the newscast, and ads during the commercial breaks can be national or local during any program.

      Also, there’s not really any incentive to make it appear local stations are losing more money since reports to the CRTC are at the network level.

      1. Anonymous

        I think you are missing it entirely.

        These days, the technical crew is a very small number of people, computerized cameras, pre-programmed segments and the like. The people who were running the 11pm show are likely going to be running the 5:30 one as well. The equipment is already paid for, and Toronto was already doing all the switching for local news. So it might actually take fewer people for that half hour.

        I also think the stories are likely to be pre-runs for the 11pm news, not yesterday’s recycled stories. You would be right if this was a 5AM newscast, but this is at the end of the day. Many stories are either already put to bed to at least the bones of the stories are there already. Perhaps more talking head from the editing room sort of stuff, but I suspect this is where it will go.

        As for money, simply put there is always incentive to show that local stations are not profitable. easier to justify cutbacks, and of course easier to show the high barrier to entry into the game. Remember that the big players would like nothing more than the local stations to all disappear. In the long run, it’s their play.

  2. Anonymous

    Slowly killing the local channels an inch at a time. When you own just about every local channel in the CTV network…you known what you get.

    CFCF-DT 12 has enough news to cover locally with the nuttiness of the Montreal area, and the Quebec provincial news to offer more local news. But, what I want to see is more international news from CTV because the contracts for the news feeds have already been signed.

    As if we didn’t have enough shit going on in Montreal and Quebec to cover. Feed me more crap from the Toronto head office. They know better what all Canadians should know. They rest of us don’t have local, and provincial matters that the public should know about.

    I’m sure the people that proposed this new arrangement got a years free subscription of Crave TV. For their deep understanding of what viewers want from their local stations.

  3. Anonymous

    While CTV affiliate CKPR, in Thunder Bay, Ontario, will take on the new early evening CTV National News with Sandie Rinaldo, beginning Nov. 13, fellow affiliate CITL, in Lloydminster, Alberta and Saskatchewan, will not air the new half-hour National News, as that station will continue to air the hour-long Prime Time Local News, at 5 and 6 PM Lloydminster time, and the regular National News with Omar Sachendina, at 11 PM Lloydminster time, and Canada’s Superstation, NTV, in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, will continue to air First Edition, at 5:30 PM Newfoundland/5 PM in parts of Labrador, the Evening Newshour, at 6 PM Newfoundland/5:30 PM in parts of Labrador, Global National, at 7 PM Newfoundland/6:30 pm in parts of Labrador, and the National News, at 11:30 PM Newfoundland/11 PM in parts of Labrador.

  4. Doug Ives

    I have always enjoyed the CTV Atlantic News at 5 one-hour show since it provided a mix of local news, entertainment news and light-hearted segments. Having just watched the half-hour edition, it has lost much of what attracted me to the show. Since i and many others can watch the CTV News channel at any time, I can see no valid reason for the change. In fact, with there being no advertising during the thirty-minute National news, there has to be a revenue loss. Of course, CTV will at some point cut some employees regardless of what they say.?

    1. Tony Meehan

      I totally agree with you. I have watched Live at 5 here in Atlantic Canada for years. Now its cut in half with national news, news that you can see at 11pm….Live at 5 has been stripped of all its identity now. By the time Todd Battis gives an update coming on at 6, Kalen with 2 weather updates, there is barely time for one decent story, maybe 2 tops, then its all done – total waste of time…..It wont be far off when Bell cancels it all together….disgrace. I dont even watch anymore….not to mention firing Lisa Laflamme….

      1. Wendy

        I totally agree! I don’t bother tuning in anymore , like the writer explains, time Todd gives an up date what’s coming up and Kalin gives the weather, not once but twice, there’s nothing to watch.

  5. Trimm

    This will make cutting the cable much easier since we still have it mostly for that lighter, entertainment filled hour after a day of work. I wonder what the Cable Providers will think of even more people jumping ship? Highly unlikely we’re the only ones thinking about it. Every other type of programming can be found on countless streaming platforms that don’t require a cable hookup to access. Some are even free.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      I wonder what the Cable Providers will think of even more people jumping ship?

      They know that cord-cutting is kind of inevitable, and are hedging their bets. Bell launched Crave as a streaming service, hoping to capture some of those cord-cutters and still expose them to Bell Media programming. CTV News and others are posting their content on multiple platforms. Old-fashioned cable still brings in a lot of money, but they’re preparing for the alternative.

    2. Roseita Corbett

      Completely disappointed with the change to half hour! Really missing the vibe and positive spirit around local feel good stories! My husband and I no longer watch it! Gratifying to hear we are not alone but feel really sad for the folks who made Live at 5 come alive in front of and behind the scenes!

  6. Mona MacDonald

    Awwww. we miss the hourly show! We watch the late national news so it is a bit redundant to see it at 5:30. The lightheartedness and laughs were an upper at supper time. The half hour just seems to miss a local flavour-too bad, so sad!

  7. Shirley

    I don’t like the change ,I enjoyed the hour show with Jason Baxter and Maria p and the local news at 6pm I looked forward to watching every night , if I wanted to watch the national I would watch it at 11pm ,

  8. Anonymous

    Not at all impressed with new format ! Actually very disappointed !..
    Quite enjoyed the lightheartedness of show with Maria and Jayson and the informal gathering of local information regarding entertainment and up coming events ,the little excerpts of personal thoughts and the wonderful ,delightful videos Katie Kelly always seemed to find .I for one have switched to watching another channel during this time frame .

    1. Judy Robson

      Our household agrees with all who wish to have the Live at 5 format returned. We skip 5:30 to 6:00, which sometimes causes us to miss some of 6:00. The National is NOT for us, and not for many of our friends and neighbours.

  9. Heather mitchell

    I think it’s about time you made a move taking half that foolishness off of that life at five and putting something on that people want to hear. It was a good waste of her time change stations because of it now I’ll go back and watch Sandie Rinaldo at 5:30. Find it most interesting and find her great. Great move keep it up don’t go back it’s productive not a waste of time. !

  10. David

    I am still waiting to speak with one person with a positive opinion of with the changes with CTV News Atlantic at 5. In my opinion the changes is less about Global News and more abut trying to boost CTV National News.

  11. Hazel Dill

    We dislike the new set up .
    The local content and good news items were welcomed . Leave the Toronto news until late at night .
    Hardly worth watching CTV any more !

  12. Richard Corteel

    CTV has a history of ignoring what viewers like. Remember when the cancelled the popular morning show with Marcia, Bev and Jeff: The last show opened that fateful day with hosts chocking back tears as they told viewers that it was their last show. Noticeable now is the absence of Jason Baxter since this change to Live at 5 happened.

  13. Michael McAdam

    Yes….what happened to Jayson? Did he quit in disgust over what Bell has now mandated with “Live at Five” or did he get fired ??? Addendum: what’s with the plethora of 30 second commercials being interupted by tiny segments of programming. You people have lost your way….I’m outta there!!

  14. Ernest ODONNELL

    I really miss the one hour CTV alive at 5. Why we need National News at 5:30. We get it all day and at 5:30 we here the same thing. Maritime people have had Alive at 5 for decades. I don’t watch CTV any longer. CBC New Brunswick has local news. Sorry yous have lost your audience to save a few dollars.

  15. Louise

    I dislike this new format.Jason is off tonight is getting a little ridiculous. So many people are saying the same thing. When are we going to hear the truth????A discussed listener. I don’t look forward to 5 pm anymore!!!

  16. Ken

    Stories are repeated on all three segments of the show! If there is a big story somewhere it is reported on the 5 to 5:30 segment; then again at 5:30 to 6 segment and finally with Todd at 6 to 7 segment! WHAT A WASTE OF AIR TIME! I have now started watching Global News and at least I hear news from The Maritimes! This will prove to be another big mistake by BELL!


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