Set visit: Vancouver’s CBC newsroom

VANCOUVER–Some times the news comes to you.
That’s exactly what happened last spring when those hockey hooligans tore up downtown Vancouver in the wake of the Canuck’s Stanley Cup loss. I had the point driven home to me Tuesday during a quick tour of the CBC British Columbia Broadcast Centre and newsroom. (Thanks to CBC BC regional director Johnny Michel for the invite.)
The news centre is bright and cheery, very open concept, with the English language TV service, Radio-Canada and CBC radio all thrown together into one big space. Not everybody was thrilled to lose their two or three solitudes I’m told, but, hey, this is what it is these days.
Overhead, in a giant circle, there is a ring of large, HD monitors. The flying “V” or something it’s called. I noticed one set was tuned to the Three Stooges on AMC. Sointenly!

The local news set has the corner view of Hamilton and Georgia Streets and it was just outside the newsroom windows where those hockey-mad punks converged last June. “We just had to turn the cameras around,” said senior meteorologist Claire Martin, who happened to be at her weather desk when I stopped by.
BC News co-host Tony Parsons has apparently given the public broadcaster a big ratings boost since he crossed over early last year. Parsons spent 35 years anchoring Global’s dominant B.C. newscasts and is a member  of the Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
The Vancouver CBC news building is open to the public and hour-long tours of the newsroom are conducted Tuesdays through Fridays. You can book one here.
And remember CanWest? The guys who used to own this town when they were in charge of Global (now part of the Shaw empire)? Found out what they’re up to these days when I spotted their truck parked right outside the CBC building. Concrete cutting and scoring. Some things never change!

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