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Veteran CTV co-anchors to leave their jobs

CTV anchors Bill Good and Pamela Martin are leaving the network.


Big changes continue to sweep aside those in British Columbia's public limelight, from politics to television.

With both Premier Gordon Campbell and NDP leader Carole James heading towards the exit, a clean sweep has also taken place in the high-profile world of local TV news.

Veteran television newsman Mike Killeen and TV personality Tamara Taggart, the station's well-known weather forecaster, were named Wednesday to co-host CTV British Columbia's 6 p.m. newscast.

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They will replace departing longtime co-anchors Bill Good and Pamela Martin, who are leaving their jobs at the end of the year.

The new hosts' first show is Jan. 3, 2011.

Mr. Killeen, a familiar figure in local news, was CTV BC's chief reporter for the Winter Olympics and hosted many live broadcasts by the station during the Games.

The photogenic Ms. Taggart garnered a lot publicity when she spent a week as a replacement co-host with Regis Philbin on the morning American network show, Live with Regis and Kelly.

Ms. Taggart has been with CTV British Columbia for 13 years. She regularly tops polls as local viewers' favourite TV personality of the year.

Mr. Killeen joined CTV British Columbia in 2001, after working for many years in Asia.

Mr. Good and Ms. Martin follow in the departing footsteps of well-known Ian Hanomansing, who lost his supper-hour, co-hosting job at CBC earlier this year, and the venerable Tony Parsons, who left the anchor post he held down at top-rated Global TV's News Hour for more than 30 years. Mr. Parsons has since resurfaced at CBC.

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"There's a new generation of anchors coming in," reflected Mr. Good, who turns 65 this week. "It's time for new people."

Ms. Martin agreed. "It's a paradigm shift. We're going towards a new way of delivering the news. By 2014, more people will probably be watching online than on television."

CTV will announce its new anchor team for the 6 p.m. newscast on Wednesday.

Mr. Good will remain as host of his popular morning hot-line show on CKNW. He said he looks forward to no longer working double-duty in radio and TV, a punishing pace he has maintained for the past 17 years.

"It feels great," he said. "I've lived by the Stanley Park sea wall for the past seven years and never walked it. Now, I can."

Ms. Martin noted she's been working in local television for the past 35 years. "There are a lot of things I've always wanted to do. Now, I'm planning to do them. I'm excited about it."

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Although CTV's local newscast won many prizes with their current anchors at the helm, including the 2008 International Edward R. Murrow award, the program was never able to make a significant dent into the large, decades-long ratings lead held by Global's rival News Hour.

Ms. Martin said it's been frustrating to put on "an excellent newscast" but still trail in the ratings. "We'd like it to be closer."

But it's "very hard" to shake a market leader, said Mr. Good. "You always want to do more, but when we started, our news was number four in Vancouver. We're leaving at number two. We've got a lot of credibility, and I'm proud with where we've taken the show."

Ms. Martin added that both she and Mr. Good were part of the BCTV/Global "juggernaut. We helped create it."

The former Miss Teen USA became one of the most recognized personalities in the province during her many years hosting BCTV's weekend newscast. Mr. Good anchored BCTV's 5:30 news for nearly a decade.

Last year, he received the Jack Webster Foundation's Bruce Hutchison lifetime achievement award.

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