CBC replaces ‘q’ host

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The Canadian Broadcasting Corp.’s q will get a new host, the CBC announced Monday.

Tom Power, host of the CBC’s Radio 2 Morning, will replace current host Shad on the pop culture interview program. Shad, whose full name is Shadrach Kabango, will stay on at CBC and “explore new creative opportunities including a new radio show with CBC,” according to a press release.

Shad

Shad

“We are refocusing and reinvesting in q to ensure it continues to evolve and deliver what our audience wants from CBC Radio’s flagship music, arts and cultural program,” said Susan Marjetti, executive director of CBC Radio English Services, in the announcement. “Tom is a great fit for q. We look forward to exploring a new show with Shad that plays to his strengths and passion for music.”

Jennifer Moroz will also take over as executive producer of the show, replacing Nick McCabe Lokos and senior producer Lisa Godfrey, according to CBC News.

q’s audience has declined since 2014, CBC News added. The show drew 168,000 listeners in June, down from its peak audience of 282,000 in September 2014 and 220,400 in June 2015.

Shad took over the program in April 2015, replacing Jian Ghomeshi, who was fired after women alleged that he had sexually assaulted them. Ghomeshi was found not guilty of four of five charges and signed a “peace bond” that led to the dismissal of the fifth charge.

Public Radio International, which distributes q to U.S. public radio stations, has not responded to a question from Current about the show’s current carriage in the States. Its carriage had declined from 172 to in November 2014 to 160 in September 2015. Critics in Canada had called Shad’s interview style “unengaging” and “rudderless,” according to CBC News.

KUT in Austin, Texas, recently dropped the program. While the show started out “pretty well” on the station, it “really seemed to lose any steam it had with the audience” during the CBC’s lengthy search for a replacement for Ghomeshi, KUT Associate Director of Broadcast and Content Hawk Mendenhall told The Globe and Mail. “When Jian was on, it actually did quite well for us, but it has been very much on a downward slide after all the publicity and then them going through the hosts’ [audition],” Mendenhall said. “I think it took Shad quite a while to find his rhythm, and that didn’t help.”

A hip-hop artist, Shad did not have radio experience when he became host. At the time, he told Current that the lack of experience wouldn’t be a problem. “I’m new to the job, but I’m not new to the subject matter,” he said. “I knew it would be a lot of learning, but I am up for it.”

“It’s been an honour and a JOY to serve in this role!” Shad said in the Monday announcement. “Countless fascinating guests and don’t even get me started on my colleagues: smart, funny, and dedicated is just the beginning. … My relationship with the CBC remains strong.”

  • Peter Gumaer Ogden

    Tremendous improvement. Nevertheless Best Wishes to Shad.