22.2.08

Mr. Grant has left the Building

Journal Entry. Winnipeg.
February 22nd, 2008.

Terrible, terrible news from the CBC.

In a week of turmoil and acrimony which more than one leaker has described to me as an internal "war zone" this latest fire-fight has claimed the professional life of DOUG GRANT.

Doug and I worked together for many years but were never close. He's a solid pro, a good journalist, and someone who cared deeply for the principles of public broadcasting. His exit however, is much more than an old journo getting whacked.

Doug was the head of the CBC Current Affairs department, and no head = no department. His firing symbolizes the end of an entire broadcast tradition as Doug will not be replaced.

The iconic, internationally lauded Current Affairs department of the CBC is no more.

I know...I know, they'll say that this is simply an internal re-adjustment. A shuffling of management faces ... a rationalization of resources and that the same superb work will continue. Traditions maintained. Legacies respected.

Hope it's true. But I wonder if the people spinning this could write a memo explaining the difference between "News" and "Current Affairs" ?

This is one of those tricky J-school questions I like to throw out to my class.

Here's a hint -- a long news piece is NOT a Current Affairs item.

From where I sit in the frozen cheap seats I think this has been a pretty important week in Canadian television.

Wonder if John Doyle noticed ?

Matthew Halton. Beryl Fox. Darryl Duke. Warner Troyer. Eric Malling. Roy Bonisteel. Patrick Watson. Laurier LaPierre. Larry Zolf. Ann Medina. Trina McQueen. Peter Herrndorf. Robin Taylor. Barbara Frum. Mark Starowicz. Terry McKenna. Tom Alderman. Bob Culbert. Gillian Findlay. Linden McIntyre. Bob McEwen

...and many, MANY more.

Recognize these names ?

Remember their work ?

Feel proud that they're "ours" ?

These are all Current Affairs people who've contributed enormously towards building a
much admired Canadian broadcast culture.

So this is why Doug Grant's dismissal should be taken seriously.

Because it's not just Doug who's been shown the door - but a piece of Canada too.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is it not ironic that Peter Herrndorf and Trina McQueen are members of the CBC Board of Directors? Both former 'Heads' of the Current Affairs department.

"The Book of Don" said...

Yes, indeed. And both admirers of Doug's.

Oh to be a fly on the wall next time RS appears before the board to defend his re-structuring plan.

Anonymous said...

PAH is a superb leader. I hope he shreds some heads.

Good job, Doug.