He’s hasn’t yet been pushed out the door, but it looks like veteran BCTV/Global reporter/storyteller/icon Mike McCardell has at least symbolically been shown where it is.
McCardell is currently on vacation, but I have heard that the day before he left, McCardell was called in and advised by management that, when he returns, the station may cut him back to only two days a week … and just on weekends to boot.
That’s quite a drop for a 32-year veteran who many felt, for decades, has personally held up the back end ratings of the Newshour, five days a week, Mon. to Fri.
In fact, McCardell’s stories used to run earlier in the show … years ago. Management had noticed, though, that Newshour ratings were falling off half-way through the show … after weather … but when they started running McCardell’s “people” pieces close to the end of the hour, after sports, viewers came back just to see them or stayed through the feature and fluff segments and sports.
So McCardell’s 6:55 p.m. “spot” was born … a significant enough hallmark that he refers to it on Global’s Vancouver website as being his “segment”: 6:55 p.m.
Well looks like they’ll be changing that designation.
In recent weeks, viewers have seen McCardell dropped back to before sports … at first, some thought, as part of a temporary promotional or advertising change. Maybe, though, they were testing to see if his position holding up the rear was not so critical anymore. We can only surmise whether ratings were affected by that reversal … but sure looks like not much, if at all.
Time to retire? Or be retired?
Actually, McCardell reached the “normal” staff retirement age at Global, 65 at the time, about three years ago.
But as I blogged then, he didn’t want to go and the station didn’t want him to … so on air, not much changed: he officially retired from his staff employee position but kept on working, under contract, likely paid on a “per piece” basis.
Now though, perhaps things are different … from management’s perspective.
In the age of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Blogs and all kinds of other high-speed, high-tech communications, McCardell’s video vignettes are, I suspect, now considered dated and tired. Without ANY scientific survey whatsoever (isn’t blogging wonderful!) I can pontificate that his most loyal followers and fans are aging, just like he (and I).
The long-term future of television news requires a new generation of active, youthful BUT EXPERIENCED reporters, writers and storytellers and, yes, entertainers.
In BC, tv stations are facing lack-of-growth ratings troubles: I say due to poor hiring selections by management …. far too many bland, inexperienced, apparently BC history-uneducated and shallow political-knowedged youngsters. They may offer a pliable willingness to do whatever they’re told and work for cheap wages … their enthusiasm for being on tv triumphing over journalistic substance … but most seem to lack substantive visual storytelling abilities, investigative skills, strong writing powers or display any on-air personality that attracts new viewers or keeps old ones.
Yes, the best are aging, flickering or burning out: leaving behind a few talented and still brightly shining co-workers …. and growing legions of lesser luminaries, of lower wattage.
McCardell’s light may not be shining as bright as it once was … but apparently it’s still bright enough to keep many fans and sell lots of books.
So is it time to turn him off or cut him back to just Sat/Sun?
Or maybe light up the 6:55 p.m ”segment” of CTV News at Six?