Firing Bill Thorsell

Journal Entry. Edmonton.
October 14th, 1980

Fired my first person today. A freelancer called Bill Thorsell. It was weird and awkward.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: "Yes", that would be Bill "William" Thorsell.]

Thorsell is part of the group of freelancers we use to fill out the show.

Ethel Marliss - the bitchy consumer lady.

Tom Crighton - the drunken Scot, movie reviewer.

Rick Phillips - the cool classical music guru.

...and Bill Thorsell - the smart political pundit.

Three hours a day - five days a week is a lot of radio. I only have two researchers and a p.a. - plus Vicki and Gail. I try and line up some items myself but I've got to be at the plant at 04:30 am to prep the show. By noon...I'm knackered.

So we really depend on the freelancers. We pay Thorsell 60 bucks a week for his pontifications. But the truth is I find his commentaries unlistenable. This guy must gargle with a thesaurus.

"Denial of responsibility for ineffective public policy" is NOT a good radio phrase.

Today he described the Trudeau / Lougheed relationship as a "Geordian Knot of inter-provincial brinksmanship".

Geordian knot ?? WTF ??

So I've dropped him from the show. When I called to let him go ... I didn't quite know how to phrase it as I've had zero management training.

So, I did what I've seen other managers do.

I lied.

"Budget cutbacks, Bill. Budget cutbacks."


J. Kelly said...

What, like William Thorsell!?! Awesome.

Anonymous said...

Hey... you little dweeeeeeb! I was the guy who got Bill going. Ya, me.. the network producer who was responsible to fan the flames of western alienation across the Network. So, like... I call the Edmonton Journal and ask for the Editor.... and I sez to him "How'd ya like to do a commentary after the World @ 8....?" I started that man's broadcasting career...and now I find some single syllable quasi-Scottish researcer cum producer canned my guy years later. Sheeeeeit. You owe me bud. No matter how big your britches are getting...