LETHBRIDGE, Alta.- Global Lethbridge has announced some of the biggest changes to its television news programming in the 58 year history of the station. The new format is designed to simultaneously respond to a rapidly changing media landscape and allow the station to enhance service to viewers.
Many of the changes will occur behind the scenes and involve streamlining the elaborate production methods now required to get a newscast to air. But there will also be a number of changes to on-air personnel.
“We’ve had to say goodbye to some long-serving and loyal colleagues, whom we’ll certainly miss. But we’re also going to be welcoming a number of new faces to our newsroom, and we’ll be using their broad skills to enhance our service to the community,” said Mike Omelus, Calgary-based regional director for Global News.
One of the more significant changes that viewers will notice will be the addition of a new local newscast — the Early News at 5 o’clock on weekday afternoons. That will be followed by a revamped 6:00 p.m. Evening News and a News Final broadcast at 11 p.m.
The new schedule is expected to be implemented this summer.
The broadcasts will be faster-paced and peppered with new features to keep viewers informed about events happening in the community, in addition to providing all the day’s top news stories.
In what is believed to be a first for conventional television news in Canada, Global Lethbridge also plans to anchor most of its newscasts from different venues in the community.
“With our state of the art technology, we could easily anchor our news from a studio hundreds of kilometres away,” said Omelus. “But in order to remain relevant and connected to our viewers, we think it’s far more appealing and visually interesting to take our newscasts into the field, where people can see our news team in action.”
Local Global News staff have been rehearsing the new format for the past several weeks, popping up everywhere from Lethbridge City Hall to Henderson Lake to the new CASA arts facility in downtown Lethbridge.
“We’ve already canvassed a number of local locations to say we’d love to considering anchoring our news from your venue and the response has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Carmela Gentile, the Global Lethbridge news director. “People really seem to like the idea of taking our newscasts to them.”
As part of its innovation plans, Global Lethbridge will be running newscasts from the multiple award-winning Global Calgary newsroom on weekends, so it can concentrate on its Monday to Friday newscasts.
“By freeing up the extensive resources required to produce a weekend newscast, we’ll actually be able to get our cameras out of the newsroom and into the community more than ever before,” Gentile said.
The changes will allow Global Lethbridge to reduce the cost of producing its newscasts, while not impacting its ability to gather the news.
8 hours of news each weekday, including 1.5 hours from Global Lethbridge:
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