Good anglophone Quebec City reporters are hard to find. Montrealers don’t want to move because their families are based here and there isn’t much going on for anglophones in the provincial capital. Plus, as the National Assembly reporter, the bar is higher. You need to be an expert (or at least very interested and motivated) in politics, and your French has to be impeccable.
So it’s no surprise that various Montreal anglo media have had trouble filling the position. CTV struggled for a while after the Kai Nagata fiasco before hiring Max Harrold from the Gazette. Now, with Harrold returning to Montreal, they’re back to figuring out what to do with the position.
The Montreal Gazette has been in a similar position since the departure of Kevin Dougherty last year. Young reporter Geoffrey Vendeville was recruited into the role, supplemented part-time by veteran Philip Authier doing analysis.
And then there’s Global News’s Caroline Plante, who has been filing reports for the little-watched Montreal newscast for the past nine years. It’s surprising that she hadn’t been poached by CTV or CBC during that time. (Global Montreal has surprisingly low turnover for a station at the bottom of the ratings — staff point to the feeling of family among its small news staff as a big reason nobody wants to leave for the competition.)
But Plante has finally gotten an offer she’s chosen not to refuse. The Montreal Gazette (my employer) has hired Plante to be its Quebec City bureau chief, effective Aug. 24.
To my twitter followers: I proudly announce that I will be the @mtlgazette's Quebec City Bureau Chief starting Aug. 24 #thrilled&honoured
— Caroline Plante (@cplanteglobal) August 7, 2015
In addition to her reporting duties, Plante is also president of the National Assembly Press Gallery.
The hiring will mean Global needs to find a new reporter in Quebec City. Its newsroom is undergoing other changes, with the departures of Domenic Fazioli, Richard Dagenais and possibly others, and the hiring of former Quebecor Media reporter Brian Daly and former City TV reporter Kelly Greig.