Editor's Blog·Editor's Note

Why CBC News is making changes to local programming during the COVID-19 crisis

These are truly unprecedented times, and like all Canadians, CBC News has had to make adjustments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting Wednesday, CBC News Network will replace local supper-hour and late-night newscasts across the country except in the North. CBC's editor in chief explains why we took this step.

Most local supper-hour and late-night newscasts will be temporarily replaced with CBC News Network

As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, CBC News has had to temporarily replace local supper-hour and late-night newscasts with CBC News Network programming. ( CBC)

These are truly unprecedented times. And CBC News is taking unprecedented steps to make sure we continue to be your trusted source for news and information. We take this responsibility seriously, but to do so has meant some changes to the way we work.

Like all Canadians, the amazing journalists across this country who bring you the news are also coping with this pandemic as individuals. 

We have taken steps to ensure that anyone who can work from home is doing so. We have staff following the advice of health officials to self-isolate after travel. We can't anticipate what other staffing challenges or impacts this pandemic may create. And we have brought in new guidelines for how we gather the information we need to tell our stories that both help protect our journalists and the people we need to talk to. 

We are constantly updating and changing these guidelines as this crisis evolves.

We recognize that we are an essential service at this time, but this is not business as usual.

Consolidating production

A story of this magnitude — one that changes by the hour — places incredible demands on our staff and our infrastructure in order to get the most accurate and up-to-date information to audiences. Television is especially resource-intensive, and many jobs are difficult to do at home. Our systems are overtaxed, and we had to make adjustments as a result.

So, we made the difficult decision to temporarily lessen that load and consolidate production to ensure we can continue providing an essential service to Canadians.

To that end, CBC News Network will temporarily become our core television news service, incorporating the very best of CBC NN, The National and local journalism from our stations across the country. 

Starting Wednesday, CBC News Network will replace local supper-hour and late-night newscasts across the country except in the North, where we want to maintain our television news program in Inuktitut.

This News Network programming will be live, in the moment, and it will reflect the latest local headlines. 

It will continue to be freely available to all subscribers on Bell TV, Shaw, Cogeco, Videotron, Eastlink, Rogers and Telus Optik TV cable providers. It will also stream live, day and night, on CBC Gem, CBCNews.ca, the CBC News app and CBC.ca.

Local radio, digital, social continue operating

Local stations will continue to serve their audiences with robust local radio, digital and social news programming. Wherever possible, we will be streaming and sharing information that impacts local communities.

So, yes, some things are changing, but we hope to return to normal as soon as possible. 

Through it all, our promise to you remains the same as it always has been: we are committed to getting you the latest trusted news and critical analysis to help you understand what is going on. We will cut through disinformation and ensure that you can always turn to CBC News to find out what you need to know. 

CBC News is with you and will be there for you through the crisis, every day.

About the Author

Brodie Fenlon

Editor in chief

Brodie Fenlon is editor in chief and executive director of daily news for CBC News.

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