Newsworld: `Canada’s Cable News Network’

Gary GreenwayDirector of Marketing and SalesCBC NewsworldQ. How, from a marketing perspective, are you preparing yourself for the arrival of new specialty services?A. From a marketing perspective, we're working on branding Newsworld. We're using the slogan 'Canada's Cable News Network.'FoundationWe started...

Gary Greenway

Director of Marketing and Sales

CBC Newsworld

Q. How, from a marketing perspective, are you preparing yourself for the arrival of new specialty services?

A. From a marketing perspective, we’re working on branding Newsworld. We’re using the slogan ‘Canada’s Cable News Network.’


We started using that a couple of months ago on air, in our consumer advertising, and in our trade advertising. That’s the foundation. But we’re doing more than just coming up with a slogan.

Newsworld originates from three separate locations across Canada – Halifax, Toronto and Calgary. What we are trying to do is get a look in each of the locations that is similar.

We are starting with new network cues, for example, that are slightly different than anything we’ve run before, and they carry the slogan. We’re coming up with new openings for programs that will have a similarity to them. We’re even taking a look at the different sets and trying to bring a similarity to the design.

We want the consumer, no matter what time of day they start channel-surfing, to be able to recognize Newsworld.

We’ve also increased our cable relations department. We are being more aggressive about going to the cable systems to talk about co-operative advertising and promotion plans.

For example, we may send [Newsworld's morning show anchor] Henry Champ to speak in Calgary at a Chamber of Commerce lunch. He’s there partly on behalf of Newsworld, but, most importantly, he’s there on behalf of the cable companies that bring you Newsworld.

Closer to affiliates

We’re trying to get closer to our cable affiliates and find out what we can do for them in their community to make Newsworld a more valuable product.

Q. What are you doing to make your brand stand out from the competition?

A. In addition to the on-air design, we’re working on programming ideas as well.

When we received our seven-year licence renewal from the (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) a year or so ago, one of the things we promised was more live coverage.

We have more news-gathering units in the field. We have more satellite capability, so we can do more live programming. That doesn’t necessarily mean live programming from an event, but it means more live double-enders, where you have anchor in the studio and a guest in Washington, or Calgary, or wherever.

In the past, a lot of that has been done over telephone lines. We’ve had a host in the studio and we’ve popped up a still photo of the person, or a map of the area. We intend to have that person live, on a split screen.

More live reports

We also want to do more live and detailed reports. We feel that’s going to be the success of Newsworld. That will really make us stand out.

Q. How are you communicating those differences to your viewers?

A. We’ve increased our consumer advertising budget for the year.

The cbc is doing more cross-promotion than ever before. You’ll see more radio promotion on television and vice-versa. By using another broadcast medium that has a similar audience to Newsworld, that will give us an opportunity to talk to these people about more specific programs.

We’re promoting personalities. We’ve done a heavy promotion through the fall on The National and Alison Smith. We’ve promoted Henry Champ on the morning show.

We are constantly saying the phrase ‘Canada’s Cable News Network’ on the air and using it as a tag-line in every piece of consumer advertising we do. It’s like Ford — they’ve been using their ‘quality’ line for years.

It’s the same thing. We want to differentiate ourselves from cnn.

Q. How are you communicating those differences to media buyers and advertisers?

A. We have a 52-week trade advertising campaign in Strategy, Adnews and Marketing. We’re going to continue that. And, hopefully, we’ll have more funds to do a better job in the trade.

We do an awful lot of direct mail, as well. We’re constantly pumping out bulletins to a tightly defined mailing list.

And we’re now segmenting our mailing list into sublists. So, if we are doing a mailing list on rrsp advertising and how Newsworld’s audience buys rrsps, we’re able to put more detail in our bulletins.

We are going to continue to buy as much research as we can obtain. We are members of [A.C.] Nielsen, PMB [Print Measurement Bureau,] Compusearch. We do a lot of Nielsen special analysis runs and we do reach/frequency runs.

We are working with two to three industry people on developing a proprietary reach/frequency program because we have been quite successful in selling Newsworld like radio, on a rotation basis.

Whereas, normally, television buys revolve around a specific program and some fringe with it, we’ve been quite successful in selling the concept of the network.

I can look at our demographics in the morning, afternoon and the evening, and they are the same. If you’re watching Global or the main cbc network, your demographics can flip from one half-hour show to the next. On Newsworld, it doesn’t.

Q. What new marketing tools are you using to help in your branding efforts?

A. One thing that we’re not doing, but we’re looking at, is this whole idea of value-added or client-network promotions.

It’s much more difficult for a Newsworld to do a client-oriented promotion than a MuchMusic or ytv or tsn. Our programing is of a much more serious nature and you can’t run the same sort of contests.

We’re doing a lot of value-added with sponsorships of certain segments of programs, such as our business traveller advisory. It’s part of our morning show and it gives airport conditions across the country.

We’ll put their logos on that and co-operate with a client by placing an ad on an in-flight magazine promoting the fact that business travellers can watch Newsworld to get an update on airport conditions. So there are certain areas, but it’s not as evident.

We’re also developing a database of our viewers. Hopefully, we’ll be able to offer clients a list of prospects who have purchased products in their category. That’s our aim.

I don’t know how many categories we can do that in, but it’s conceivable that we might be able to go to advertisers with 15,000 or 20,000 names, addresses, postal codes, type of credit card and tell these people that they have a propensity to purchase physical fitness equipment, or automotive aftermarket products.

We’re starting out with about 10 categories. I’d just as soon not get into details, because we’re just starting it, but it’s not through surveys, it’s through actual product purchases.