Global Television’s morning show out, virtual studio in

The crew of Global Television Québec’s This Morning Live finished its last show on Wednesday, February 27. The morning show has been replaced by a half-hour rebroadcast of the 11 p.m. news.

The show’s staff was laid off to make way for new technology, due to come online as of March 3.

On schedule, Monday saw Global Television Québec switch to being a virtual platform studio controlled remotely from Vancouver.

“The rest of the control room [staff] is still on until the end of the month; they were there as back-up,” explained Global TV reporter Anne Leclair, also president of the Global employees’ union.

Suppertime news anchor Jamie Orchard is still in the chair, and an 11 p.m. nightly news program has also been launched.

The changes have spelled an increased workload for those who remain. “I’m doing three jobs. I’m doing a lot more now. We’re supposed to start editing our stories soon. There’s no archivist, so we have to build our own graphics [the stock shots of buildings and places that accompany a story]. There used to be someone to take care of that for us,” she said.
By April, only a handful of employees will remain. “A number of people are leaving at the end of the month. We’ll be about 20 [employees],” she added, which includes four reporters.

“The weekend news will start this weekend. As well, I’ve started my seven-day stretch. I used to work on Sunday sometimes, but we all have to work every three weekends.”

Leclair said the atmosphere at the station resembles “a funeral home. It’s pretty gloomy with all those empty desks. We’re going to move into one end of the building; we might be able to move forward.”

Maureen Rogers, former general manager of Global Television Quebec, was contacted but did not return the QCT’s call on Tuesday. Rogers announced her transfer to Global Television Ontario a month ago and spends her time in Toronto.
“[Rogers] came back for yesterday’s show and she’ll be here at the end of the month,” said Leclair.

“There’s no more station to operate,” said Leclair. “We’re basically a newsroom.”

The union is still waiting for a response from the CRTC about its complaint that the broadcaster will not be able to fulfill its license obligations.

“We still disagree with what’s been done. We feel local news has been destroyed,” said Leclair. “If you watch the newscast, it’s an hour long at 11 p.m. There will be one story from Quebec. The rest will be national and international news, I guess.”