Prime spot for BBC

Hard on the heels of cbc-tv's surprise appointment of CTV News veteran Pamela Wallin to the co-anchor's job on Prime Time news, comes another off-speed pitch.Newsworld, cbc's all-news cable service will devote as much as one-quarter of its planned one-hour news,...

Hard on the heels of cbc-tv’s surprise appointment of CTV News veteran Pamela Wallin to the co-anchor’s job on Prime Time news, comes another off-speed pitch.

Newsworld, cbc’s all-news cable service will devote as much as one-quarter of its planned one-hour news, sports and weather package to the BBC’s World Service Television.

A cbc source says 30 minutes of the nighttime package will be national news, sports and weather, with a portion of the other half-hour going to the bbc service, and the remainder to documentaries from around the country.

Newsworld plans a four-hour news bloc broken into 60-minute segments beginning at 10 p.m. No starting date has been confirmed.

Also, the source continues, business reporting on Newsworld will be beefed up.

Elsewhere on the news front, YTV Canada and the CTV Television Network begin their news collaboration with a referendum special for children Oct. 20.

And in late February or early March, the children’s cable service and the national tv network will begin a weekly half-hour news and information package.

Kevin Shea, president of Toronto-based ytv, says the ytv-ctv agreement has been signed for a year, with the option of continuing if it is successful.

Shea says the half-hour program will air Saturdays and be repeated Sundays.

The ytv news program will be shot in locations across Canada and anchored from ctv’s national news room in Agincourt, Ont.

Shea says ytv personnel will present the news and adds his service is auditioning for on-air reporters.

Suzanne Carpenter, national advertising manager for ytv, says the 30 minutes of news will be split into segments: two news quizzes, entertainment/sports, money and weather.

Carpenter says the audience for the news program will be the older child/young teen, with the core demographic being those aged 10-14.

Wade Rowland, director of policy and development and general manager of radio news at ctv, says the network’s agreement is part of a strategy to find air time for news programming.

(ctv has a 24-hour news service being readied, and offers radio news, too. A joint effort with the British Broadcasting Corporation did not work out. The bbc signed with cbc-tv instead.)

Rowland says the ytv-ctv link supplies a good public service, and provides another source of revenue for ctv, noting the network’s extensive – and expensive – newsgathering resources.

ctv maintains news bureaus around the world in cities as far apart as London and Beijing.

Rowland will not disclose what ytv is paying the network, but says it is enough to make it well worth ctv’s time.

Shea says ytv had been considering a children’s news program for a year when ctv President John Cassaday and Arthur Weinthal, vice-president of entertainment programming, approached his service.

Shea says ytv is now looking for feature sponsors for the program, which will also carry four minutes of regular advertising.

He says the sponsors ytv is seeking are not typically those that advertise on the service now, mentioning banks, computer companies and ‘the Alcans’ as examples of enterprises that could use the new program to build identity.

He says ytv goes into 6.3 million cabled homes.

Earlier this year the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission renewed the service’s broadcast licence for seven years.