Television Listings

Canadian public broadcaster rebrands news channel

By Etan Vlessing

TORONTO (Hollywood Reporter) - Turning to a CNN-style format of round-the-clock news, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. is rebranding its 24-hour news and current affairs channel, CBS Newsworld, as CBC News Network (CBC NN) beginning Monday.

The rebranded CBC NN channel is to feature more breaking news coverage by correspondents in the field and stepped-up business and consumer news as the public broadcaster chases younger, on-the-go viewers.

Also on the new American-style CBC NN schedule is a late-afternoon political news analysis and opinion show and anchor-driven news talk shows in primetime.

The public broadcaster faces growing competition in the TV news game from CNN, Fox News, BBC World and other 24-hour news channels available in Canada via cable and satellite.

The CBC's main broadcast network will introduce a multiplatform assignment desk to provide radio, TV and online news to younger consumers in minutes rather than hours.

The overhaul of the CBC's news-gathering operation follows two years of consumer research that pointed to a reliance on older viewers, and recent layoffs to deal with a TV ad slump during the economic downturn.

As at rival private broadcasters CTV and Global Television, ad dollars and viewers are shifting away from the CBC's main network TV operation to niche cable channels and online properties.

In response to those circumstances, the CBC and private Canadian broadcasters are lobbying Ottawa for bailout funds and regulatory relief to maintain local TV station news operations.

(Editing by SheriLinden at Reuters)

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