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Barton named one of four new hosts of CBC’s The National, promises to stay ‘tough’ in new gig

By Rachel Aiello      

CBC says it’s 'just now' starting to look for a Power & Politics replacement as Rosemary Barton prepares to leave ahead of the Nov. 6 premiere of the new The National.

Rosemary Barton was one of four CBC journalists named on Aug. 1 to host its nightly flagship broadcast, The National. The CBC says it will have more to say about who the next host of CBC's Power & Politics will be following Ms. Barton's departure. The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

OTTAWA—CBC’s Power & Politics host Rosemary Barton has been named one of four new hosts of the public broadcaster’s nightly flagship newscast The National, leaving politicos wondering who will replace her as host of Power & Politics, something the public broadcaster says it will have more to say on “in the coming weeks.”

Ms. Barton—who has been the permanent host of Power & Politics since January 2016, after leading the show’s 2015 election coverage—was named alongside fellow CBC journalists Adrienne Arsenault, Andrew Chang, and Ian Hanomansing who will all share the role of leading the hour-long program that airs at 10 p.m. nightly.

“In light of today’s announcement, we’re just now starting the process of looking for Rosie’s replacement to host Power & Politics. We will have more to say about who that will be in the coming weeks,” said Chuck Thompson, CBC’s head of public affairs, CBC English services, told The Hill Times in an email.

On Tuesday, Jennifer McGuire, editor in chief of CBC News, announced the four new hosts of a revamped The National, following longtime lead anchor Peter Mansbridge’s retired on July 1.

Both Ms. Arsenault—a senior foreign correspondent for The National—and Mr. Hanomansing—who currently hosts CBC News Now in Vancouver— will be based out of Toronto, Mr. Chang—who currently hosts CBC Vancouver’s News at 6—will host from Vancouver, and Ms. Barton is slated to stay in Ottawa.

The CBC said Ms. Barton, Mr. Chang, and Mr. Hanomansing will all stop hosting their current shows “in the coming months.”

CBC’s Power & Politics is one of two nightly political shows, including CTV’s Power Play hosted by Don Martin, which federal political players and media tune into religiously. Both shows feature sit-down interviews with top political figures and panels of MPs, strategists and journalists who analyze the day’s political news.

Rosemary Barton, pictured doing a stand-up in the Commons Foyer on April 21, 2015, budget day, while CBC Chris Rands blocks people from passing by and cameraman Victor Modderman shoots. The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Ms. Barton, following the announcement, told the audience gathered in the atrium at the CBC headquarters in Toronto, that the move will allow her to take a step back from the ins and outs of the political news of the day to take a bigger-picture view of how government policies are working, or aren’t working, and come back and ask decision-makers what they’re doing about it. 

“I’ll still be able to do all the interviews and be tough, or difficult with people when needed, so that’s the good thing,” Ms. Barton said.

In introducing the new hosts, Ms. McGuire said The National will be a show that aims to set the agenda, and will more than ever, focus on digital and social, to create a “multi-platform” experience.

The new The National will also prioritize live reporting, with stories updated as the show airs in different time zones, she said, describing the new hosts as “nimble” and “flexible” field reporters.

“Collectively they represent this country both in insight, and as storytellers,” said Ms. McGuire.

Ms. McGuire said the CBC looked both inside and outside the network, and considered various combinations of hosts.

The National is scheduled to debut with its new hosts on Nov. 6, 2017.

The Hill Times 

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