Posts Tagged ‘The National’

The end of ‘The National’?

October 27, 2009 Leave a comment

They’ve finally done it — it’s the end of The National on CBC-TV as a serious, trustworthy, watchable account of the day’s news.

Their endless tinkering with proven program formulas reached its nadir last night with an abysmal, production-poor effort that is certain to drive away more viewers than it will attract.

CBC’s reliance on confusing, rainbow-colored graphics that provide nothing but a distraction is truly mind-boggling.

Its focus on contrived news such as Adrienne Arsenault’s report from London on the survey showing Canadians are indifferent to the monarchy is troubling to anyone who cares about understanding what’s important (or even interesting) in today’s world. Ho hum – we’ve known for decades that Canadians don’t give a damn about Prince Charlie. For the past thirty or forty years, we’ve viewed the Queen as no more than a nice lady.

Even the set on the new National looks dismal. They’ve got Peter Mansbridge standing around like a school teacher about to bring out the strap, while errant pupils like Amanda Lang (business reporter) and Wendy Mesley (muck-raker) line up for their punishment.

For years now, the CBC’s been trying to fight audience losses. It’s strategy has been to opt for more American low-brow shows like the dreadful Jeopardy and to glitz up its graphics in the hope that style will win out over substance in pursuit of younger viewers.

CBC: People who want wavy colors (pink, blue, orange) fluttering over their screen aren’t interested in the news. You won’t get them, anyway.

I have a marvelous idea: Prop a man or woman in front of a TV camera and let them read the news, calling in correspondents around the world whenever you have some meaningful film to show. This is what the BBC does.

And by the way, I resent losing BBC World News at 6 on CBC Newsworld (or News Net or whatchamacall it). I always admired the job Evan Soloman did on CBC Sunday, but his new “Power and Politics” format (what else is politics about but power?) just doesn’t excite.

We appear to be watching yet another unfolding CBC disaster that is sure to embarrass and antagonize what’s left of a loyal audience, without any offsetting gains.

For another opinion on The National, here’s Greg Quill’s take in the Toronto Star.


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