That's show business!

It looks like former provincial Liberal cabinet minister Christy Clark won't be replacing departing CKNW afternoon talk show host Jennifer Mather after all. According to a memo sent to CKNW staff yesterday and leaked to Public Eye, program director Tom Plasteras writes that the news station has decided to fill the 1:00 to 3:00 slot with Charles Adler's nationally-networked, Winnipeg-based show.

The memo stated, "Charles is opinionated, brash, and one of Canada's best talk show talents. He is definitely on the 'show-biz' side of talk radio and has grown audience in every time slot he's occupied." Anticipating criticism that the station is eliminating local news programming, the memo rhetorically asks, "But why would CKNW air a nationally networked show in prime time?...This is a question programmers in our company have been hotly debating for years. But, as the debate has progressed, a couple of key points have emerged as indisputable:

"1. Our obligation to the listener is to provide them with the best show possible. Period. Where the show originates is immaterial...2. The very definition of 'local news' has changed. Local news has evolved from 'events that happened locally', to events that local people are interested in."

The show will start broadcasting on July 4. A version of this article was originally published in today's edition of 24 hours. The following is a copy of Mr. Plasteras's email.

***

MEMORANDUM

TO: All Staff
FROM: Tom Plasteras
DATE: June 21, 2005
RE: CKNW MID-DAY PROGRAMMING

With yesterday's announcement that Brian Burke will become the new General Manager of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks comes the resulting departure of Jennifer Mather as host of the midday program on CKNW.

Jennifer started with us in September 2003 and in her short time with us she grew into a very good talk show host with strong opinions, natural curiosity and a connection to the community. Jennifer is a very talented broadcaster and we're sorry to see her go. Please join us in wishing her and Brian all the best with their new life in California!

And, when one door closes another one opens. We are very pleased to announce the following line-up effective Monday, July 4, 2005.

First, we will be expanding the Noon News with John Ashbridge to a full hour, from Noon-1pm. Our highly-rated noon news package with Ash, JP McConnell and Bruce Allen's Reality Check has become an appointment tune and re-attracts audience to the station midway through the day.

Following that, we are very excited to announce the addition of "Adler Online" with Charles Adler from 1pm - 3pm.

Charles is opinionated, brash, and one of Canada's best talk show talents. He is definitely on the 'show-biz' side of talk radio and has grown audience in every time slot he's occupied. He's known to stir the pot and he's sure to get the phones ringing!

But why would CKNW air a nationally networked show in prime time? We're a local station!

This is a question programmers in our company have been hotly debating for years. But, as the debate has progressed, a couple of key points have emerged as indisputable:

1. Our obligation to the listener is to provide them with the best show possible. Period. Where the show originates is immaterial. Virtually every major news/talk station in North America airs some national programming and prospers from it.

2. The very definition of "local news" has changed. Local news has evolved from "events that happened locally", to events that local people are interested in.

Upon arriving at these conclusions we have been working on this national initiative with confidence and excitement and we look forward to its debute in Vancouver on July 4!

There has been a lot of change in recent weeks for CKNW, and change is never easy. But, with a line-up that now begins with the CKNW Morning News with Philip Till, followed by The Bill Good Show, The Noon News, Adler Online, The World Today with Jon McComb, Nightline BC with Mike Smyth, and Sportstalk with Dan Russell, we are perfectly positioned for the future and can now focus on making these programs the best they can be.

If youi have any questions about our-line I would be happy to discuss them with you.

Tom

30 Comments

I thought Christy was pretty good for a rookie. She could have grown into the next Rafe Mair, regaling us with stories of "When I was a cabinet minister thirty years ago..."

I agree -> but unlike Rafe, she doesn't exactly have a face for radio.

She should be on TV, her global stuff during the election was solid.

Gag. If she's going to play at journalism she has to at least try to show some nonpartisanship. Listening to her sour grapes on election night was really too much. Even with a Liberal win she couldn't muster a kind word for a rather remarkable NDP comeback. Even her equivalent Moe Sihota is capable of taking off his NDP blinders from time to time.

No he isnt.

And her radio show - which you apparently havent listed to - has been pretty non partisan, and I think she has had more NDPers on as guests than Liberals.

The role of former politicians as call in talkshow hosts is to be partisan. Talkshows are about opinion and neutrality is not part of the mix.

And a quick throw away factoid, the call in talkshow was invited in Vancouver

God forbid any woman should survive at NW.

"Even her equivalent Moe Sihota is capable of taking off his NDP blinders from time to time"

That could be the funniest line of the day.

Although she obviously has a partisan slant she always lets opposing views voice their opinion without demeaning them. Every time I listened to her, people that opposed her views always had more or equal time to vioce their opposition.

Personally I think she was doing a very good job. Much better than Jennifer Mather who was barely tolerable.

Obviously a former politician is going to have their biases, I recognize that, but out and out partisanship is not a good thing for a talk show host. Perhaps Christy has improved on that front (I'll give you that), but do you want to hear Christy Clark interview Gordon Campbell? Maybe, if you like to hear the softball questions. I'd rather not. I think it's known that Christy wants back into politics, so I just wouldn't trust she was really putting her pals on the hot seat during an interview.

The one for politician who, I think, who manages to transcend his partisanship is Rafe. I don't always agree with him or his style but I'm pretty sure he would stick it to whomever, no matter what their political stripe.

We agree on Jennifer Mather, anyhow.

"That could be the funniest line of the day."

Glad I could give you a laugh, but I've heard many roundtables with Moe and Spector where Moe would concede points to Norm. Again, in fairness I haven't heard Christy on NW, but her post election analysis was pathetic.

Right on N Moe and Norman used to be on channel twelve almost every evening until 12 chopped almost everyone. Sure they have opinions, don't we all, and they get paid, so we can hear them.

A lot of us from left or right took time to follow them. Yes as professionals they accepted the other persons position. One used to learn a lot from listening to those two.

Christy Clarke ducked out of politics and her way of debate is to try to talk over whom ever she is sitting next to. Glad to see she now has time for her child, which was the excuse for getting off the New Era ship.

From your last paragraph DL it seems that your only exposure to Christy Clark was on BCTV (?) during the election. When one is debating with someone like Joy McPhail the only way to debate is with talking over each other. Personally I thought those were good entertaining battles.

IF you concede that Moe Sohota does a good job then Christy is doing a fantastic job. Imagine Moe interviewing Carole James. It would be nothing but softball questions. Imagine Moe interviewing Jim Sinclair. Same thing.

CKNW has many other personalities to interview high ranking politicians with.

I don't expect Moe to be unbiased and he's not. He will concede points because no one really tows the party line 100% of the time.

Everybody has some bias, but from what I have heard from her on CKNW she has done a fair and admirable job. I think she should stay, especially if they are picking up a Winnipeg show to replace that time slot.

"Imagine Moe interviewing Carole James. It would be nothing but softball questions. Imagine Moe interviewing Jim Sinclair. Same thing."

Well yes, I wouldn't disagree. Would you want to listen to that? I don't think so, for the same reason I wouldn't want to hear Christy interview her former colleagues. IMO, NW did the right thing by not bringing her on, it wouldn't exactly help with their, "holding the government's feet to the fire" mantra.

"From your last paragraph DL it seems that your only exposure to Christy Clark was on BCTV (?) during the election."

If your question was for me, I've seen her on BCTV (yes, she would have to counter Mcphail) and heard on NW for post election and debate analysis. It was there that I felt she was over the top. She couldn't even concede that James had a good debate. Her take on it was so different form everyone else's I couldn't believe she saw the same debates. Like I said, she may have improved since, I haven't heard her on the Mather show this week.

Maybe Moe and Christy should be brought in as weekly guests on a roundtable or something. That might be amusing.

Woo Who!

I'm glad that Christy got the boot from cknw!

I could not stand her coverage on BCTV.

She is no journalist but just a hard-core federal liberal hack.

Hopefully she stays out of the public eye until 2009 when Iain Black will resign his seat so she can run in it.

Or better yey maybe she can get destroyed by James Moore in a future fed election.

Of course the biggest bs of all is that she quit politics for her lil'Hamish.

Pleeeeze! She was in politics pregnant and was a cabinet minister when he was 0-3 or 4.

Now that he's like 4 or 5 she quits for family reasons, what bs.

She had a friggin day care built for hamish near her cabinet min office.

The only good thing about the new and improved Christy Clark (aka Carole Taylor, our rookie MLA/Minister of Finance) is that Carole takes the mantle of biggest female fed liberal in the BC Liberal party away from Christy.

Cheers
Newman

CKNW is making a BIG mistake if they think Adler is going to appease the tough Vancouver market. Peter "Get on with it" Warren or Christy "Not Guilty" Clark would be a much better choice. Adler's not qualified to carry either's jockstrap. Adler's program is an absolute gong show of political "talk:" waaaay to many sound effects mask the fact this guy has less than two brain cells to rub together!

Christy Clark would be the perfect replacement for Jennifer Mather, but I'm glad they're hiring someone -- anyone -- else. Jennifer Mather was blatantly pro-Liberal and Christy would have been even worse. I agree with the previous writer who suggested that (even) Moe Sihota would be more neutral. I agree. I used to watch VIland News just because of Moe and have quit watching it since. I don't know about this Winnipeg guy, but he's gotta be better than Christy.

Has anyone heard Alder's show? Is it true he is a Canadian version of Limbaugh? If that's the case I certainly won't be tuning in.

Rush Limbaugh of Canada? You cant be more wrong my friend. Charles Adler's miles away from Limbaugh. I tune in Hannity and LImbaugh almost everyday8, if you listen to them sometimes, then it will be obvious to you why they are popular. Charles has got tons to learn before he can catch up. If it were up to me, I would get our Premier's brother to replace Jennifer, that would generate more than enough publicity for CKNW.

Sorry, I can't take Limbaugh fans seriously. Anyone else?

It's obvious that some posters have a huge bias that effects their ability to reason. How is Christy Clark more biased than Moe Sihota? Is it because you agree with Moe and not with Christy? Equals maybe, but saying Moe is more objective than Christy just shows your lack of reason.

Your praise of Moe Sihota as the objective unbiased political pundit is a little much.

Face it, your opposition to this has nothing to do with the job Christy Clark has been doing but more to do with your hatred for the BC Liberals.

As a radio host she has done well. All i'm saying is she is much better than Jennifer Mather and better than some guy from Winnipeg.

Maybe they should have Clark and McPhail in that time slot then everybody would be satisfied. Oh I forgot Joy is busy driving her Porsche to visit her millionaire husband in some sprawling estate.

It is like Rafe Mair but blantenly partisan big C Conservative and even more yelling.

I liked Christy's Show - although it had suprisingly little about politics in it, which I would have liked - and I agree that she doesn't have a face for radio.

Adler though ... that is just way too much testostorone for even me.

I guess Christy has found that there really isn't a market for her in the "real world" after all. Be interesting to see what her next move is. I can't really see her playing the "mom gig" full time.

Newman - what was Dave Barrett's radio hot line experience and Moe Sihota also - and of course they never, never, ever sprouted the NDP line - gimme us a break.

Is it not possible that this has nothing to do with partisan hackery, or even Ms. Clark's ability to draw ratings, but instead is just one more example of the continuing slide of the no-longer-so Giant98?

In other words, could this not be Corus cost-cutting pure and simple?

Hmmm. What would a job reference for Ms. Clark actually say?

Ms. Clark has consistently demonstrated an inability to organize her way out of a paper bag. When her disorganization creates too great a problem, she quits. This is a strategy she has successfully pursued ever since her days as a failed undergraduate.

On the other hand, Ms. Clark has a an overabundance of hot air and an ability to talk for long periods on subjects she knows little or nothing about. While it is true she has developed this skill in order to cover her basic incompetence, it could be a strength in a talk show host.

So long Jennifer, and her many interviews with her unemployed hubby to rehash the same lockout non-stories that were already saturating the sports shows. When that schtick wore out she went on an over-the-top crusade against rubber chicken and mushy peas at Peace Arch Hospital. Way to trivialize the health care crisis.

Christy was doing a great job, and going to any syndicated show won't go over well with listeners who put up with Jennifer because at least she was a familiar personality from her bingo-calling days on TV.

Re: "Posted by Newman on June 22, 2005 12:15 PM"

Newman: You have no idea what you are talking about. Get control of yourself.

CLAIM #1:

"She is no journalist but just a hard-core federal liberal hack."

FALSE:

She definitely is not a journalist, but she hasn't been involved in the Federal Liberal Party in 10 years.

CLAIM #2:

"Hopefully she stays out of the public eye until 2009 when Iain Black will resign his seat so she can run in it."

FALSE:

Why would Iain Black give his riding to Christy?

CLAIM #3:

"Or better yey maybe she can get destroyed by James Moore in a future fed election."

FALSE.

Christy is close friends with James Moore, and would not run against him. Besides, her interest is in provincial politics -- she has never expressed interest in running for a seat in Ottawa.

CLAIM #4:

"Of course the biggest bs of all is that she quit politics for her lil'Hamish. Pleeeeze! She was in politics pregnant and was a cabinet minister when he was 0-3 or 4. Now that he's like 4 or 5 she quits for family reasons, what bs."

FALSE.

Have you ever had a child? When they are 0-1, they are pretty much docile and can be taken around with you -- they can't walk, they don't talk. (although they make a lot of other noise!) They need lots of attention, but it mostly involves feeding and changing diapers. Once they are 2-3, they start talking, walking, demanding WAY more attention.

CLAIM # 5:

"She had a friggin day care built for hamish near her cabinet min office."

FALSE:

She hired a nanny out of her own money, and put a playpen in an office that wasn't even being used. No taxpayers money was used. Natta!

If she (or Jenny Kwan, or Judy Tyabji, or Sheila Copps ... ) couldn't have her child at the legislature, she couldn't have been a minister. Are you suggesting that young mothers should be banned from politics?

There would be little difference between Christy and Bill Good's interviewing of our premier. Good will go the extra mile and rescue the premier when he inadvertently asks a real question. Christy was adequate in her role. Not great. Time would have told whether she would have become more than adequate. I don't think she would have, personally. Jennifer's talents were constricted at CKNW in my opinion.

Tell me, out of our whole province, there isn't one talented journalist, newly graduated,or seasoned, who wouldn't be an asset in that time slot? We are graduating no female journalists?

I don't know how cknw will continue with high ratings. The same crazy extremist Conservatives call in, over and over again, which isn't a good sign. Crazy reactionary radio is on its way out. The writing is on the wall.

"Crazy reactionary radio is on its way out."

Jeez I hope so.

"Crazy reactionary radio is on its way out."

Jeez I hope so.

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