Thursday, February 16, 2006

CBC's Games are in Toronto


Terry and Heil talk talk talk 2006-02-16
Originally uploaded by Points North.

I thought there was something strange about the studio set-up on CBC, and I don't recall any of the hosts explaining it -- perhaps they quickly did so in the first second of their first broadcast, but I had no idea that they were really in Toronto until I read Chris Zelkovich's column yesterday.

I had my first clue when Terry Leibel spoke to Ron MacLean in the manner in which she's speaking to Jennifer Heil here. Then, evening after evening, Brian Williams was not doing his best feature of interviewing the medallists live in the studio. Now I know why Williams is hamstrung, and we viewers are cheated of sharing in the winning atheletes' joy.

"Williams has done a pretty good job of looking enthusiastic, but you have to wonder how thrilled he is to be working his first Olympics without leaving CBC studios. Heck, he doesn't even get to issue his signature-time checks..." Chris Zelkovich, The Toronto Star, 15 February 2006.
If I was Williams, I'd be annoyed, really annoyed. He can't get a flavour of these Olympics stuck in the studio and pass that on to us, nor can he have those great live interviews with the athletes, and to top if off MacLean, gets to be in Torino by dint of being CBC's hockey guy (as soon as the NHL'ers arrived, CBC turned the Olympics into NHL II, much to my disgust -- I tune to the Olympics to see all the events live, not snippets of them and all hockey all the time, but I digress).

In this photo Leibel works hard to turn a satellite interview into one as exciting as a live one. First off, although she's great, I like my interviews in prime time with Williams. And second, we only got a brief glimpse of the medal when Leibel asked Heil to hold it up, no close up, and none of the joy two people can generate when talking face-to-face. This is NOT a good use of my tax dollars. And may I also say that I am no longer peeved CBC lost the broadcast rights to the Olympics to CTV -- I will be though if CTV pulls the same kind of stunt AND reduces the number of live hours.

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"I wanted to come out of the gate and push the limits." Jennifer Heil. She won the gold.

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