CBC News Daring Move Mike Killeen

CBC News Daring Move Mike Killeen

CBC News daring move Mike Killeen to shake up Vancouver’s local news scene.

And make no mistake about it – his hiring is a daring strategy.

A strategy to give Global BC news a run for its money.

And the mastermind behind the strategy is Johnny Michel.

Michel works out of Vancouver.

He is the head honcho for all of CBC in B.C. and Alberta.

He and Killeen used to work together .

This was when they were at CKVU in Vancouver –  a station owned by Izzy Asper.

Later the station became part of the Global Television network.

And after that it was sold to CITY – TV.

CBC News Daring Move Mike Killeen

Now why would Killeen be hired by the CBC?

For starters when Killeen and Tamara Taggart, both were dismissed from CTV Vancouver, it signalled the end of an era.

CTV management basically decided the cost for the two for their six o’clock newscast was too high.

Replacing Taggart and Killeen with younger anchors would reduce costs substantially.

But it was also more than money.

With its decision CTV basically decided it wasn’t going to chase those elusive TV ratings anymore.

It would provide newscasts that were much cheaper to produce.

Without being privy to the Taggart and Killeen salaries it would be a good estimate that for the two they would approach anywhere from $300,000 to $400,00 a year.

Today for younger anchors their salaries will be in the $80,00 to $90,000 range, or less.

So CTV’s decision essentially left only two serious TV news players left in the Vancouver market.

CITY TV recently started a Vancouver newscast.

But it is basic and amateur.

So it doesn’t count as being part of the competitive Vancouver TV news landscape.

And Michel saw that as an opportunity.

His regular six o’clock news anchor, Andrew Chang, had departed to the CBC National.

And Michel who believes in branding a product, i.e. the news in this case, saw Killeen as being the CBC’s brand.

CBC News Daring Move Mike Killeen

So what’s up?

Why are branded anchors important in television?

They haven’t been for eons.

But the marketplace is changing.

At a time when everything is free and news anchors are a dime a dozen viewers expectations have changed.

Today, once again, they are looking for anchors with personality and skills.

And there is a word for it – Q.

Q stands for how much people like a person, how likeable that person is.

And Killeen has lots of Q.

in fact, he has more Q  than Chris Gailus his male counterpart at Global BC.

So score one for Killeen.

Also the CBC newscast is more contemporary.

Anchors are not chained to a desk.

They move around in the newsroom.

The local CBC newscast is more fluid and innovative than Global  BC’s newscast.

Comparing the two newscasts –  one thing stands out.

Global BC’s newscast  looks and feels like it’s coming out of the Kremlin.

The CBC’s, that of an upstart republic trying to break away from the Kremlin.

And given all those factors Michel reasoned we can give Global BC a run for its money with Killeen.

And Killeen is part of a new team and a new look for the CBC’s newscast.

Here is the CBC announcement on the new CBC newscast at 6.

Full disclosure: During my tenure at CKVU as head of sports and news I hired Mike as a reporter and back-up anchor upon his return from Hong Kong.


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