A Canadian Broadcasting Corporation host, Evan Solomon is part of the network's major makeover beginning this Monday. Solomon discusses CBC's new format and how his upcoming Ottawa-based show on politics will rip the veil off Parliament Hill.
If you live in Canada, by now you have likely heard about Canada's national public broadcaster announcing wide-reaching changes starting Monday. Not only will the nightly news program The National and its 24-hour news channel, CBC Newsworld, be revamped, but CBC brass promise more local coverage and an emphasis on in-depth current affairs programs.
One of the soon-to-be-launched shows is led by Evan Solomon, 40, known previously as the host of CBC's Sunday Morning news show. Now, Solomon is in Ottawa to anchor Power & Politics, debuting Oct. 26 and running Monday to Friday at 5 p.m. ET to 7 p.m. on CBC NN (formerly Newsworld).
The show focuses on the many angles politics affects Canadian lives, while also featuring interviews with some of the most prominent politicians and business leaders in Canada.
Solomon spoke to DigitalJournal.com about what makes Power & Politics unique and why viewer interaction will be a key part of the show.
Digitaljournal.com: What do you think is most important about CBC's latest announcement?
Evan Solomon: I'm really excited about the changes at the network because we’re investing in news. There’s huge excitement at CBC in the midst of all this media turmoil because this network is committed to news and current affairs. They are also trying to make more Canadians part of the conversation, part of the newcast.
Digitaljournal.com: I'll ask you about that later. So tell us about Power & Politics. What should viewers expect from this show?
Solomon: We're expanding the notion of what politics means to people. We won't just cover the Hill but also how we interact with the rest of world, with businesses, with NGOs. Let's be honest, buying a cup of organic coffee is a political statement, since that kind of act touches so many lives.
Power & Politics will hold MPs accountable for their actions, we'll make sure the spin stops. There will be a watchdog element to the show. Since we have two hours to do it, we can cover politics in a more comprehensive way.
Digitaljournal.com: What will be the format of the show?
Solomon: We'll have pundits and politicians on for interviews, but also CEOs and everyday Canadians. Since we'll have access to major political players, we'll be making sure to get those kind of personalities on the show.
On the Sunday show, I did 40-minute documentaries on the Wall Street swindle, for example, but that's not what viewers will see on Power & Politics. We'll be using all the journalistic resources CBC has to offer to make sure we can hold our politicians accountable.
Digitaljournal.com: You are the co-creator of Shift, which was one of the first Canadian magazine to cover the Web. Since you are so entrenched in new media now, how will your show engage people online?
Solomon: We are introducing something called The Pound, where we encourage viewers to call in to speak to their politicians virtually or live in the studio. Political blogger Kady O'Malley left Maclean's to write for us, and she claims to be the first full-time paid blogger.
We will also be exploring how the online world is affecting politics and vice versa. Just look at how an NDP industry critic has recently talked about a spam bill that could ripple through the entire industry. We don't think people realize how much is going on. We're here to sort it all out.
Digitaljournal.com: On a more personal note, you've made the big move from Toronto to Ottawa this year. Was that a tough decision to make?
Solomon: Definitely. I have a wife, two kids, and all our friends and family are in Toronto. But Ottawa has some beautiful nature, and we're in the heart of the political capital. I'm part of one of the most important TV shows in the country. It's a dream opportunity.