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For the past few years, streaming has been TV news’ safe space. Stories there can be more freewheeling and longer, sets and on-air journalists more dressed down. Streaming has become the de facto R&D lab for TV news experimentation, where newsrooms can chart out their future insulated from the scrutiny of broadcast viewers and their conventional expectations.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. has entered that space with CBC News Explore, a FAST channel launched late in 2022 that veers noticeably out of its broadcast product lane. Among the channel’s original offerings is About That, a half-hour weekday explainer series hosted by Andrew Chang, who was until recently a host of the network’s flagship nightly newscast The National.
About That is a major shift for both Chang and the CBC itself. Each episode generally devotes itself to a single topic. Chang has traded in his anchor’s rigidity, suit and tie for a fashionable hoodie and more palpable ease in his own skin. He rolls up his sleeves and gets elbow deep into stories that demand more unpacking than a minute-thirty will allow. And it’s the way that he — and the show — let those stories unfold that shows the real power of About That.
In this Talking TV conversation, Chang explains how the show is bringing its own take to the explainer format and looking to engender greater viewer trust in the process. He shares how About That manages broadcast-quality production values while working far more leanly than his on-air peers.