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CBC’s ‘The National’ Retooled Format Debuted Monday night

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Newscast looks to attract younger viewers with depth, analysis, more anchors

By Mark Gollom, CBC News Posted: Nov 03, 2017

The new National and other nightly newscasts face significant challenges — keeping and broadening their audience, particularly among younger news consumers, as people increasingly turn to new digital platforms to get their information

The new National and other nightly newscasts face significant challenges — keeping and broadening their audience, particularly among younger news consumers, as people increasingly turn to new digital platforms to get their information (Evan Mitsui/CBC News)

The changes signify a challenge CBC’s flagship TV newscast and other nightly news broadcasters face — keeping and broadening their audience, particularly among younger news consumers, as they increasingly turn to new digital platforms to get their information.

“It is extremely difficult to win over new viewers within an existing platform, let alone an existing program,” said Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the Virginia-based American Press Institute.

“It is just not entirely clear whether a TV show, an evening TV show or broadcast is going to win over younger audiences, period.

“I honestly don’t know if there will ever be a central gathering place for news anymore.”

‘You’ll somehow lose that authority’

With any major change come potential risks, including alienating the core audience, Rosenstiel said.

“You also have the risk that it will bomb, it won’t work, you’ll somehow lose the authority that you once had because whatever you dreamed up was missing something.”

And according to Alfred Hermida, director of the University of British Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, CBC may not have done enough soul searching,

The network failed, he said, to ask the important question of whether Canadians still need a television news show at a particular time in the evening.

new national set

Viewers will see an updated set, complete with more screens, more visuals and an up-tempo theme when The National relaunches on Monday. (Evan Mitusi/CBC News)

The National is a “very well-established product and brand that young people are not watching,” he said. “How do we get them to do it?”

But network executives believe The National is still relevant, that it continues to have a loyal television audience and can grow.

Which is why, they say, with the relaunch, it will become more like a brand — with National-branded stories published and airing throughout the day, on News Network and online. The show plans to beef up its digital presence with more online written content, podcasts and the introduction of a daily digital newsletter written by Jonathon Gatehouse, a former senior correspondent for Maclean’s magazine.

If, for example, the newsletter is “your only touch point with The National, that’s OK,” said Michael Gruzuk, CBC News’s senior director of content experience.

READ THE REST OF THIS STORY  HERE  AT THE CBC NEWS WEBSITE

7 COMMENTS

  1. Yep Mark,

    They can keep putting lipstick on a pig but it will always be a pig.

    When I was blue pilling it I’d be a hard defender of the CBC, especially CBC Radio (One). But my mind and eyes are now quite wide open with my red pilling today and the CBC is a $1B waste of tax dollars circa 2017. I’d love to see its plug pulled and it sold off in whole or in part.

    Today, government should regulate ‘news/information’ media only to be lawful and as fair and impartial as one can be and as such government has no place in operating a media network.

  2. Left wing or right wing (not much r wing) it really doesnt matter in the blogs context.

    ” NEWSCAST LOOKS TO ATTRACT YOUNGER VIEWERS”
    Why not find a cement wall and bash your brains out . At least you wont be able to try to attract younger viewers anymore.
    Ive got 3 sons ages 31 36 and 42. All three are married . All three have pretty good jobs. The youngest ditched cable two years ago. The middle has cable to watch sports. The oldest doesnt have a TV.
    Yes sir, just keep going after the elusive youth demographic or look for a tennis court with a cement wall.

  3. I am an “older” viewer and not part of their desired demographic.

    But I, too, don’t watch the National and have never watched it.

    I get my news from the internet, when I want it – not at 10PM when CBC decides that it is my time to be informed.

    I suspect that viewership will continue to erode as we “older” viewers die off and the desired demographic continues to take advantage of internet and social media to be informed in a way that is relevant to them.

    And no amount of visible minority announcers or women or personalities with alternative lifestyles will buck this trend.

    I used to be a staunch supporter of the CBC as well, but maybe it’s time to turn it into a pay-per-view service so that we can voluntarily choose to support it if we want to.

  4. oh brother said, ” And no amount of visible minority announcers or women or personalities with alternative lifestyles will buck this trend. ”

    ————————

    Yep ain’t virtue signalling grand though? NOT!

    These liberal/leftists and all their sjw nonsense do it all to mostly pat themselves on their own backs, yelling out “LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! I CARE FOR DIVERSITY! I’M SO DAMN WONDERFUL!” For one, our well ‘effeminate’ PM can’t seem to stop himself from doing such. As such normal everyday people who work and contribute to society throw up in their own coffee mugs at this nonsense.

    It’s all so shallow and pathetic. The only system that truly works is MERITOCRACY! Quota’s, affirmative action and any “Equal Opportunity Employment” (aka: discrimination employment standards against meritocracy ) ALL FAIL THE WORK PLACE, THE WESTERN DEVELOPED SYSTEM and OUR GREATER SOCIETY!

    CBC if fueled by tax dollars and not by efforts to compete. It’s news/info arm is no longer and has not been for many years in a quest for being fair and balanced in news and views. It is ‘The Propaganda Ministry.’

    Maybe 50-60-70+ years ago a government run broadcaster had a place in this large and mostly barren land giving news, info and entertainment to those who lived in the hinterland. But in modern times this government run operation IS NO LONGER NEEDED!

  5. I’m an ‘older’ long time viewer of The National, largely for their quality in-depth reporting, by their outstanding cast of journalists around the world.
    My news comes via cellphone, tablet, PC, and HDTV on cable.
    Our sons (29,32 & 34) watch The National occasionally on HDTV & have kept cable for sports viewing best done on larger screens.
    Let’s give the new format a chance..P.S. I do not work for the CBC..

  6. No less an expert than John Doyle has derided the new format as “Max Headroom” confusion. The Globe and Mail tv critic has also forgiven Peter (or as he ribs him ‘Pastor’) Mansbridge his past transgressions and urged his return, forthwith.

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