CBC/Radio-Canada to expand local digital services and local connection across the day

December 11, 2014

In June CBC/Radio-Canada announced our new strategy - A space for us all, with an important element to make local services more relevant in local communities. Today, CBC/Radio-Canada shared several programming details in this on-going process. At the centre is a move from one screen to many screens, increasing the local touch points we have with Canadians in each of their communities, and offering a comprehensive local news and information service across the day on all four platforms - mobile, web, radio and TV.

Starting in fall 2015, CBC/Radio-Canada will introduce new services specifically for mobile users, and strengthen existing desktop and web services. Early evening local news on television will be reduced in certain markets, supplemented by regular local television newsbreaks. CBC/Radio-Canada will deliver more content on the platforms the audience is using more often, with the vision to provide continuously refreshed local digital content.

“CBC/Radio-Canada’s new local strategy is about changing how we serve the audience. We are moving to become a comprehensive four-platform local news service -- across the day and on demand, ” said Heather Conway, Executive Vice-President, CBC/Radio-Canada English Services. “With our new mobile and digital services come new opportunities to tell stories, exchange and engage with the audience.”

“This evolution of our regional services reflects the changing patterns of news consumption," said Louis Lalande, Executive Vice-President, CBC/Radio-Canada French Services. "Our approach will strengthen local news and current affairs offers. It will allow us to bring Canadians more stories about the issues that are important to them.”

Within English Services, CBC News is already the number one choice of Canadians for news on digital. With this plan, we will increase the amount of web content provided community-by-community. We will introduce a local mobile offer, with breaking news alerts and updates from wake-up until bedtime, added depth and context specific to individual preferences or location, and live-to-mobile/desktop coverage as circumstances warrant.

On television, CBC English Services will be offering local content throughout day, beginning with broadcasts on television of local Radio One morning shows on TV (6-7 a.m.) in all existing TV markets except the North. We will introduce local hourly newsbreaks during the day and through prime-time. Over the supper hour period the footprint of 90 minutes (5-6:30 p.m.) will be reduced to either 30 or 60 minute newscasts starting at 6 p.m. (local times) in all existing television markets. 30 minute supper hour programs will be provided in: Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Windsor, Montreal, and Fredericton. 60 minutes will be offered in: Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax, Charlottetown, St. John’s. The hour in the North will be 30 minutes in English and 30 minutes in Inuktitut. We will create newsgathering capacity in Fort McMurray, Alberta and increase our newsgathering presence in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, in both cases filing to all four platforms - mobile, web, radio and TV. We will maintain, and in some cases grow, our spending in local investigative journalism.

The schedule and duration of our local radio programs, many already leaders in their markets, is untouched.

Radio-Canada’s French Services will also introduce new enhanced multi-screen digital content, 18 hours a day, 7 days a week. This content will feature breaking news and alerts, live coverage and original content designed to guide, interact, co-create and engage Canadians from morning till night.

In the past few weeks, Radio-Canada has begun rolling-out new regional websites across the country with geolocated French language content adapted to all screen sizes and mobile devices. These new websites will be available Canada-wide by the fall.

In television, Radio-Canada will continue to broadcast 6 o’clock local news programs throughout the week and on weekends in each of the regions it serves but these offers will change in some areas. By the fall of 2015, 30-minute supper hour news broadcasts will appear in certain regions of Quebec (Rimouski, Saguenay-Lac St-Jean, Mauricie and Sherbrooke) and throughout Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and Yukon. In each of these regions, Radio-Canada will connect with viewers throughout the day by producing additional TV programming that reflects the vibrancy and diversity of francophone communities. In the Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa/Gatineau and Acadian regions, we will continue to produce and broadcast a 60-minute Téléjournal during the week and half-hour versions on weekends, while continuing to enrich our digital offerings.

About CBC/Radio-Canada

CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. The Corporation is a leader in reaching Canadians on new platforms and delivers a comprehensive range of radio, television, internet, and satellite-based services. Deeply rooted in the regions, CBC/Radio-Canada is the only domestic broadcaster to offer diverse regional and cultural perspectives in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages.

A space for us all is CBC/Radio-Canada’s strategy to transform the public broadcaster, and ensure that it continues to fulfill its mandate for Canadians, now and for future generations. Through to 2020, the Corporation will increase its investment in prime-time television programming and continue to create radio programs of the highest quality, while promoting the development of digital and mobile platforms and content.

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