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.
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.