CBC is dropping the four anchor format on flagship TV newscast The National amid its unpopularity with audiences.
Adrienne Arsenault, Andrew Chang, Ian Hanomansing and Rosemary Barton were named co-hosts of a much-publicized revamp of the nightly broadcast in Nov. 2017, following the retirement of senior anchor Peter Mansbridge, who had been in the host’s chair for 29 years. Arsenault and Chang broadcast from Toronto, Hanomansing from Vancouver, and Barton from Ottawa.
Chad Paulin, executive producer of The National, outlined changes going forward in a memo provided to Broadcast Dialogue by the public broadcaster.
“Television news viewership is driven by consistency, both in format and in presentation. Our audience told us they want to know what they can expect night to night: who will bring them the news and how it will be delivered. We listened. This season we have slowly introduced measures that lead to a more consistent program – including tweaks to our format and sharpened hosting roles,” wrote Paulin.
Arsenault and Chang will now co-host the broadcast Monday to Thursday from Toronto, with Arsenault frequently hosting from the field. Chang will also renew his focus on newsmaking interviews with notable Canadians. Hanomansing will host Friday and Sunday from Vancouver and contribute special reports across the week, with a spotlight on Alberta and B.C.
The Vancouver team will also be positioned to update the program with breaking news in later editions, as happened recently following the downing of Flight 752.
Barton, meanwhile, has been named the Ottawa Bureau’s chief political correspondent – the first woman to hold the post – contributing analysis and reporting across CBC’s platforms, in addition to hosting weekly political panel At Issue on The National and political specials. She’ll be joined in the bureau by producer Phil Ling, who has been been charged with developing “a new top-flight political presence” for Barton within CBC News.
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