October 2010 Archives

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BCTV has remained a powerhouse brand through the 1970s and beyond

"Ak! They're using our old logo!" someone might be saying over at GlobalTV BC. But they needn't worry about any brand confusion. The fact is that the powerhouse news operation residing on cable channel 11 (and now 211 on some HD feeds) sits so comfortably atop the TV ratings heap that everyone knows who these guys are.

GlobalTV's "BCTV" News Hour is the envy of broadcasters from across the country. Their dinner hour newscast is the most-watched local news program in Canada, and the third highest in North America. Their ratings are estimated to be four to five times their closest competitor in this market, thanks to significant reach around British Columbia and a style that has always set them apart. Provided there is no Canucks game on, the Monday night broadcast will reach up to one quarter of BC's four million residents!

Some feared that the loss of their marquee presenters such as Tony Parsons would whittle away at their success, but it hasn't. The parent company Canwest has been struggling financially after overreaching on investments a decade ago, and even though we've heard that budgets have been tight around Global TV in general, the station keeps producing consistently high-rated and compelling broadcasts. In recent weeks Shaw Communications Inc. purchased Canwest Global's TV network and a controlling share of Canwest Global Communications Corp.

In his essay published in this weekend's Vancouver Sun, Global BC Managing Editor Clive Jackson zeroes in on the "x-factor" of his broadcast's success

Tony became a true B.C. icon and played an important part in keeping us No. 1 in the ratings. His looks, his professionalism and that voice set a benchmark in the industry... When Tony departed, surprisingly our ratings didn’t suffer. New anchor Chris Gailus is already a proven asset to the team...

All told, we have about 20 reporters, most of whom are household names, but another 60 editors, cameramen, producers, graphic artists and writers. Over the years the cast of characters on our reporting staff have been hired for their reporting abilities not necessarily their looks. Some of them wouldn’t have blessed the front cover of GQ magazine. Aggressive, brash and cheeky, you’ll remember some of their names: John Gibbs, Pamela Martin, Clem Chapple (sadly now dead), Mark Schneider, Mark Miller, Harvey Oberfeld, Alyn Edwards, Neale Adams, Eli Sopow, Elaine McKay, Margo Harper, Keith Baldrey, Ted Chernecki, Brian Coxford, Doriana Temolo, Deb Hope, Linda Aylesworth, Lynn Colliar, Jas Johal, Tara Nelson, Steve Wyatt, Bob Ireland, Belle Puri, Dale Hicks, Jim Hart, and, of course, the unique Mike McCardell. In many ways it is like conducting an orchestra: everyone has a unique talent suited for the wide range of stories we cover.

It amazes me that in my mind I can see every single one of those faces that Jackson names, so embedded is the work of his team. Sure, not much GQ (although I'm sure a cover awaits Gailus someday) but a lot of reliable reporting.


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