Saturday, December 29, 2018

The Star interveiws new CBC head

The Star's TV critic Tony Wong interviewed  the new CBC boss Catherine Tait. Here are two Q and A's. The whole thing is available

You’ve said that the CBC newsrooms are our most precious asset. But there has been controversy over use of four anchors at The National. The criticism is that it’s disjointed and not working. Do you see a day we go back to one anchor?
The most thrilling thing for me in the first few weeks I was here was to go into newsrooms. I’ve always been in scripted programming and I really have no journalism background. But news is definitely the beating heart of the CBC. I can really sense the pressure and the responsibility.
But first of all, they made a very audacious choice. They said let’s try and reinvent the form, let’s experiment; take some of our most talented on air hosts and see what they do. I would say it’s a work in progress. We’re getting great traction on the digital uptake for The National. There are definitely challenges for some people who are looking for that one trusted host. There are issues. But I think we will have a post-mortem and dig into it at some point. What I think is really important is that they dared to do something different.
On the subject of CBC news, during the Ontario municipal elections you didn’t pre-empt your regular programming such as Murdoch Mysteries to show live results. But other broadcasters did. Do you think that fulfilled the mandate of the CBC?
We can get election results in a real-time way. And digital provides that service and sometimes better than conventional television. Should every single election be covered on TV? I would say no. Our research shows that a great number go to the web to get the results. Obviously there were people who were disappointed and we would love to serve everyone to the maximum. But it’s a question of resources.

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