CBC Television Network

National, The

Network: CBC Television Network

Broadcast Run: 1956

Broadcast Medium: Television

Airs weeknights at 10 PM.

The National debuted in 1956 as CBC’s flagship News program, with Larry Henderson as the first anchor. A typical broadcast includes the latest News from Canada and around the world and occasionally longer form reports and special features, such as Rex Murphy’s POV. As television newsgathering has changed, The National has evolved technically, editorially and graphically from simple slides to computer generated images.

 The show aired regularly at 11 PM until 1982, when CBC Radio and TV head Peter Herrndorf moved it up to 10 PM. At the time, it was a bold move, because there was no News program earlier than 11pm. It was partnered with a brand new magazine show called The Journal. [See: The Journal)

In 1988, Peter Mansbridge took over the anchor duties from Knowlton Nash. The CBS Network was courting Mansbridge at the time, but Nash personally convinced him to stay with CBC News. As a result, Mansbridge became the face of CBC News. In the early 1990s, Prime Time News temporarily replaced the National when the program moved to 9 PM., only to return to 10PM with Mansbridge as sole anchor. [See: Prime Time News]. The National also aired on Newsworld and on in case viewers missed the most recent broadcast. 

In support of The National, CBC also provided weekday Regional newscasts, and in September 2009 these were expanded to run  for ninety minutes, 5:00 – 6:30pm. 

On the September 16th 2016 broadcast of CBC’s “The National”, anchor and chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge announced that he would be stepping down from his role on July 1st, 2017.

After  months of speculation on Mansbridge’s successor, rumours begain to emerge that there would no longer be just one principal anchor on The National, and on August 1st, 2017, CBC News  announced that, starting in the Fall, the National would have not one but four hosts on a nightly basis: senior correspondent Adrienne Arsenault, based in Toronto; political reporter and host Rosemary Barton, based in Ottawa; CBC Vancouver host Andrew Chang, based in Vancouver; and veteran host and reporter Ian Hanomansing, based in Toronto. Offering Canadians “a new kind of evening news”, said the CBC, the four working journalists would host as an integrated team and also report their own stories “…to offer more in-depth original journalism and live coverage from more locations across Canada”. The new National would launch on Monday, November 6th at 9 p.m. ET on CBC News Network and 10 p.m. (10:30 NT) in all time zones on the CBC Network.

Principal Anchors:

Larry Henderson, [1956-1959] Earl Cameron, [1959-1966] Stanley Burke, [1966-1969] Warren Davis, [1969/70] Lloyd Robertson, [1970-1976] Peter Kent, [1976-1978] Knowlton Nash, [1978-1988] Peter Mansbridge, [1988-2017]. Effective November 6th 2017: Adrienne Arsenault, Rosemary Barton, Andrew Chang and Ian Hanomansing would share hosting duties.

 Substitute Anchors:

Jan Tennant, Wendy Mesley, Alison Smith, Sheldon Turcott, George McLean, Diana Swain, Carole MacNeil, Mark Kelley, Ben Chin, and Brian Stewart..

On January 22, 2020, CBC News announced that it would be discontinuing the four-anchor format. Adrienne Arsenault and Andrew Chang would remain as co-anchors from Monday through Thursday, with Ian Hanomansing acting as as solo anchor for the Friday and Sunday editions. Rosemary Barton would became the chief political correspondent for CBC News.