New hosts for ‘The Na­tional’

Arse­nault, Bar­ton, Chang and Hanomans­ing to share du­ties

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ENTERTAINMENT - BY VIC­TO­RIA AHEARN

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.

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