New hosts for ‘The National’
Arsenault, Barton, Chang and Hanomansing to share duties
Viewers familiar with some of the most prominent faces at the CBC will feel right at home when four new hosts take the helm of the “The National’’ this fall.
The public broadcaster unveiled its new team on Tuesday, choosing Adrienne Arsenault, Rosemary Barton, Andrew Chang and Ian Hanomansing, to shepherd a refreshed version of the nightly program.
All four of the journalists have a storied history with the CBC and have contributed to “The National’’ over the years, which could help the network craft some of the format changes set to debut on Nov. 6.
Alongside the new hosts, the CBC also plans to make “The National’’ feel more timely in an age when news breaks on social media. The broadcaster now plans to air the newscast live across all six time zones from studios in Vancouver, Ottawa and Toronto.
By going live in each time zone, the hosts will be able to track developing stories in real time.
Traditionally, “The National’’ tapes at 9 p.m. ET and repeats the same broadcast for the West Coast, unless a major breaking story is unfolding.
CBC’s announcement comes following longtime anchor Peter Mansbridge’s retirement earlier this month.
The broadcaster says the revamped show will build a more collaborative effort between the hosts, who will also continue to report their own stories.
“I’m not giving up my love of reporting,’’ Arsenault said. “I’m still going to be in the field, still reporting.
“We’re all still going to be doing what we normally do. It’s just a chance to push the storytelling skills and it has the bonus of coming with the added responsibility. I think we’re all very clear-eyed about the responsibility we have to Canadians.’’
While Arsenault has travelled the world as the CBC’s foreign correspondent, she will be based in Toronto for the show and have the ability to pivot to international locations.
Barton, who’s known for her hard-hitting interviews on
“Power & Politics,’’ will broadcast from Ottawa.
“The most exciting part for me is that I will now be able to take public policy issues and go into the field, go into the country and see if they’re working,’’ she said.
“And if they’re not working come back and ask decisionmakers why they’re not working and if they want to fix them.’’
Chang, who will broadcast from the Vancouver studio, said the ability to rejig the program as news develops on the West Coast is “a big deal.’’
“At 10 p.m., we’re going to be able to cover more ground, we’re going to be much more nimble as a newscast in a part
of the country that is so journalistically important,’’ he said.
Meanwhile Hanomansing, long considered a front-runner for a spot on the newscast, will move from Vancouver to Toronto to oversee his role.
Earlier this year, he used Twitter to deny rumours which suggested he was being tagged for the role, calling one report a “speculative article’’ and “not news.’’
Hanomansing said marrying the tradition of the iconic show with new technology will be key.
“If we can combine those two things — and I think a lot of us have lived in those two worlds — then we will have achieved our goals here,’’ he said.
Adrienne Arsenault, Rosemary Barton, Andrew Chang and Ian Hanomansing, left to right, are named the new hosts of “The National,” at a news conference in Toronto, Tuesday.