New CBC TV Vancouver News needs work and it’s not the new anchors.
Rather it is the newscast itself.
So picture this.
You hire a new team of anchors for your six o’clock flagship newscast.
In this case well-known TV anchor and journalist Mike Killeen formerly of CTV Vancouver..
And Anita Bathe, a former CBC TV news investigative reporter.
They are the front-and-centre personalities for the new CBC TV News at 6.
So far so good.
But now it’s the first night of the show – Monday, October 19.
So it would make sense to make this special.
In today’s fast-paced . around-the-clock news cycle, TV anchors have to be branded.
They have to be known for whatever their biggest strengths as anchors are.
And that is the job of producers and management.
And it starts off with their first appearance.
It’s when you introduce the new team to your audience.
And given the pre-publicity and given Killeen’s high profile there was a great opportunity here.
A lot of non CBC news watchers people are turning in to see what’s what.
But, alas, the producer of the show does nothing.
It’s business as usual.
Both anchors appear and that’s it.
And throughout the show they are never identified.
In the business that is called keying.
That means you put their names underneath their pictures.
New CBC TV Vancouver News Needs Work
But this never happens.
And, yet that is so elementary.
It is only when Johanna Wagstaffe appears to talk about the weather that things change.
She is the on-air meteorologist, seismologist and scientist for the show.
At one point she welcomes Bathe and Killeen as the new kids on the television news block.
And given the interaction between the three a clear picture emerges.
Killeen, Bathe and Wagstaffe are enjoying themselves.
They come across as humans.
Instead of TV mannequins.
But after that show continues on its traditional merry way.
Never are Killeen and Bathe allowed to interact and give you a sense of what they are like.
There is a bit of interaction between the anchors at the end of the show.
But it is so short it is meaningless.
Also the writing for the show needs work.
There were two items about boys being abused sexually when they were at school.
One happened decades ago in Ottawa.
The other story was about the alleged sexual abuse at a posh private school in Toronto.
Both were introduced in a straightforward manner.
But that was weak.
Instead the script should have guided the viewer into both stories through context.
Context along the lines of :
Sexual abuse of boys at school is finally coming into the forefront in Canada.
Tonight we have two reports.
“One, the sexual abuse of young men in Ottawa that happened 30 years ago.
“The other one, how an exclusive private boys school in Toronto is on the defensive after video’s of alleged sexual abuse went public.
“Our coverage begins in Ottawa.”
There is an analogy for all of this.
Great anchors needs great scripts.
They need great directors to let them show their mettle.
On the first night of the show Killeen and Bathe had neither.
They weren’t given the opportunity.
Too bad that structure and tradition did not allow that.
What a pity.
So in a month from now I will take another look to see what if anything has changed.
When I worked at CKVU in Vancouver I hired Mike Killeen as a reporter and back-up anchor. Later I became a TV news consultant for various broadcasters abroad and in Canada.