Esteemed television producer, Brandon Lankar, considers his profession akin to putting together a puzzle. Each day, with careful consideration and diligent planning, he determines where best to lay each piece in order to focus on creating the bigger picture of which story he is trying to tell. He proactively challenges himself to develop an overall purpose for each project he works on and ensures that he works hard to remain true to that vision with each step he takes. In his eyes, every piece of art has a deeper message and although they are subject to varying interpretations, there is always a takeaway. He feels that the moment his work strays away from the message he is attempting to tell his audiences, he has failed himself. Fortunately, he has an affinity for identifying a strong message and fostering it from a project’s inception to its completion. He’s the ringleader of a circus; the puppet master in a play, and at the peak of his career, he continues to demonstrate to his audiences and his coworkers just how invaluable he is to the television industry.
To date, Lankar has been the brains behind a number of popular television productions and, in turn, has earned himself a reputation for being highly skilled, yet also reliable and determined. For instance, Lankar was an instrumental player in building the well-known reality talk show, The Social, from the ground up. It is hardly a coincidence, then, that the popular daytime talk show is now ranked as the highest rated daytime talk show in all of Canada. In addition to his work on The Social, Lankar has also offered his talents to a number of other productions such as Canada AM and iHeart Radio. There are very few limits to what he can achieve when he sets his mind out to create something entertaining and his fellow creatives in the television industry are all the more grateful for it. Lankar has spent several years working on one of Toronto’s most popular news networks, CP24, and his unique prowess as a field producer is undoubtedly the reason that they continue to ask him back for different coverage needs.
Bell Media’s, CP24, is a Canadian news network based in Toronto, Ontario, that focuses on breaking, local, national and international news. Its reputation as a reliable, trustworthy news network has earned CP24 a place as one of the leading sources of news in the country. It isn’t difficult to imagine, then, that the network only selects top industry professionals to work behind the scenes on the show and to maintain their strong presence in the news community. Lankar, being one of the industry’s best, first earned himself a position at their assignment desk; however, he ended up discontinuing his work there when he was asked to move over to The Social. As The Social rose to popularity, CP24 were eager to bring Lankar back on board and requested his abilities as a field producer for various government elections. He went on to work on the 2013 Ontario Liberal Party leadership election, the 2014 Toronto mayoral election, the 2015 Canadian Federal election, and much more. Handling such high profile, important content is not something every producer is equipped to do, nor willing to embrace all of the challenges it brings. Lankar, on the other hand, was itching to pair his in-depth knowledge of Canadian politics with his expertise as a field producer and show CP24, as well as their viewers, exactly why he is so highly sought after amongst his peers.
For the elections, Lankar was tasked with finding politicians before other news networks and convincing them to appear on CP24’s programming before anyone else. Adding to his strength as a field producer, Lankar is incredibly decisive. If he knows a story is no longer worth chasing, he doesn’t feel any qualms about neglecting to pursue it. It doesn’t matter how much time he has put into following a story, he is able to identify the moment it no longer becomes newsworthy and quickly redirects his resources to the next best thing. With that, he worked alongside a reporter, a camera person, and a truck operator to chase only the most important, engaging stories throughout the election periods. He was exhilarated by the fact that he could be en route for an interview, catch wind of a more compelling story, only to turn their car around and head straight to the more interesting opportunity. It’s an adrenaline rush that no amount of preparation can prepare you for. That’s why he considers himself lucky to have the necessary skill set and the wherewithal to know how to handle such a quick turnaround and fast paced environment.
“Working in the field during an election is an electric experience. When you’re around so many people who are so passionate about whom our leaders are, you feel a sense of patriotism. With that, you also feel a responsibility to ensure you’re painting a true portrait of what’s happening in the election. Every day feels like it passed within an hour. You could have spent the day planning for different interviews and locations, but that can mean nothing when it comes to election night. On the fly, I could hear from a source that a candidate is moving from one location to another and everything would have to change. It really keeps me on my toes,” told Lankar.
Lankar was motivated by the knowledge that his work would be seen by hundreds of thousands of individuals all over the country. For instance, during his election coverage in 2014, called Your Vote, Lankar’s work was witnessed by a staggering 1.9 million viewers, making it CP24’s most-watched day in 2014 and third most-watched day throughout the show’s history. He enjoys the sense of responsibility that comes with ensuring that he is producing thorough, direct, and reliable content to his viewers.
When it comes to news, there is no way of knowing how long a viewer will tune in, so he has learned which details are most important and which fluff he can eliminate from his agenda. Ultimately, he takes pride in knowing that he is a large contributor to the fact that audiences can depend on CP24 for factual information first.
Written by Sean Desouza