As 2014 draws to a close, I was especially sad to hear two pieces of news regarding the local television scene: the local CBC News is being cut back from 90 to 30 minutes and André Corbeil is leaving CTV Montreal News.
The one thing you can always count on CBC for is inconsistency. That is what you get from a crown corporation which in my opinion should have been privatized years ago. Beginning next fall, regional supper-hour newscasts will be reduced in time. Some cities will see them go to 60 minutes. We are the losers, with 30. This goes along with CBC president and CEO Hubert T. Lacroix promised in June - that the broadcaster would be shifting its priorities from television and radio to digital and mobile services.
It really is too bad. I have enjoyed the 90 minute format, which in Montreal resulted in three separate 30 minute newscasts beginning at 5 p.m. It's funny because when I do get home from work early I end up watching CBC live for parts of the first hour and then watching CTV and Global online. The Montreal team did a great job packaging a whole lot of information, complete with regular weather forecasts with Frank Cavallaro, a number of sportscasts with Douglas Gelevan and Andie Bennett, special features and a lot more. How will they squeeze the toothpaste back in the tube? Will there still be live weather and sports?
As for Corbeil, CTV News has to make some cutbacks and his permanent post was
slashed. He was invited to stick around to do weekend sportscasts, but he declined. Corbeil is talented, perfectly bilingual and a man with a lot of class. He should not have trouble finding work. He would certainly be an excellent addition to the staff of any local communications and marketing outfit. If Global TV or CIty wanted to add a permanent sports expert, he'd be a wise choice. I first met Corbeil early on in his arrival here. The Montreal Alouettes were visiting one of our schools, Dante in St. Léonard, for their off-season tour and I invited him to come cover it.
"Bring your shorts and running shoes," I offered. "You can play for Dante when the Als take them on in basketball."
Corbeil accepted the challenge and played pretty well. Over the years he was always enthusiastic about covering school events. He was a regular guest at our Sports Celebrity Breakfast and made sure to get out there and cover the amateur sports scene, something which has been terribly neglected by our only English language daily.
While Paul Graif is the logical choice to handle the weekend duties, a role the K103 FM morning show co-host has fulfilled before, there will no doubt be others in the mix. Thankfully we still have such outstanding pros as Brian Wilde and Randy Tieman on board.