Here & Now besieged by technical errors
The technical glitches continue at CBC Here & Now… and the anchors are starting to show their frustration.
Last night, there was another SNAFU at the end of the newscast, when Debbie Cooper cut to Jane Adey, host of CBC Late Night, for a preview of that night’s program.
Only problem is, there was no audio. We couldn’t hear a word Jane was saying. There was a full 12 seconds of talking, with no sound.
At the same time, someone must have referenced the problem in Debbie’s earbud. However, she must have misunderstood what was said, because, when they cut back to Debbie, she fumbled the cue a little, saying “And thanks very much, uh, thanks to Jane… I’m just getting a comment from the control room about my microphone… so hopefully you can hear me.”
They said goodnight, and the closing theme began, but Debbie’s microphone was still on. She looked at Jonathan and said, “Because he said that -”
The audio cut at that point, but you could see Debbie talking to Jonathan, and then Ryan Snoddon, about the glitch. You can watch yourself by going to the CBC NL site, clicking on today’s newscast, then dragging the playhead to the end of the program. But you’d better hurry – it will be replaced by tonight’s newscast, which starts at 6:00 pm.
I recount this small event in excruciating detail, but it is not meant to embarrass any of the anchors. They, in fact, are the victims of these foul-ups. They are the ones left exposed when the audio drops from a live feed, the teleprompter goes blank, the item they introduce is not ready for air, and so on.
Sometimes, the anchor will trip on a word or reporters will fumble during a live standup. However, this is happening less often.
Sometimes, everyone is at fault. On July 23, an announcer actually said a couple of foul words on the air, while reading the birthdays and anniversaries. Turns out, this segment is pre-recorded and the technician used the wrong take in the final edit. I say both are at fault because one should never swear while sitting at the anchor desk – especially not in a gaffe-prone environment like this.
That said, the problems lately are mainly technical, and seem to originate in the control room.
The quality of the program is otherwise quite good. But these technical matters have to be resolved before Here & Now can take its rightful place as one of the best regional newscasts in the country.
Whatever they’ve been doing up to now, to correct the problems, has not been working. Perhaps it is time for some heads to roll.