CBC Television's The National is getting a makeover, CBC Newsworld will be called CBC News Network and more than 1,000 CBC employees' work duties have changed in a major overhaul of the public broadcaster's news operation.
The wide-ranging programming changes for different news shows and the new look for The National were unveiled yesterday in a splashy presentation. Many details, such as anchor Evan Solomon's and correspondent Mark Kelley's new weeknight cable-news shows, have already been made public. But yesterday the entire, revamped lineup - starting Monday - was officially announced.
The overhaul "is the largest and most far-reaching reorganization of all aspects of our news service in the history of the CBC," said Richard Stursberg, executive vice-president, English services. "We have rebuilt all of our internal work processes. We have changed all of our shows. We have changed every aspect of our shows, how we tell stories, who the hosts are, how the stats look, what the pacing is, what the meaning of it is."
Practically, The National will have a new set, and news anchor Peter Mansbridge will now be standing instead of sitting. There will also be an emphasis on CBC's correspondents, including regular segments featuring Wendy Mesley "seeking answers to the provocative questions of the day," according to a promotional write-up about the change. The National will also be seven days a week, with a rotation of different weekend hosts. New online and mobile versions of the broadcast will be available earlier in the evening.
On CBC Newsworld, to be called the CBC News Network beginning Monday, Solomon's and Kelley's new shows will anchor the evening schedule. On CBC Radio One, veteran foreign correspondent Peter Armstrong will be the new host of World Report .
CBC top brass wouldn't give a dollar figure for the overhaul, despite the large, physical restructuring of the news operation, with a new central assignment desk now located on the fourth floor of the Toronto broadcasting centre.
"These changes are not a response to the reduction in resources and the financial challenges we faced over the last year. We started some of these changes over three years ago," Stursberg said.