CBC Radio has canned Barbara Budd, co-host of As It Happens — radio that’s too cheeky to be Canadian. She leaves the nightly call-out news program April 30. “I would never, never, ever walk away from a show that I still truly love,” Budd told the Toronto Globe & Mail.
As with NPR decisions that led to Bob Edwards’ departure from Morning Edition, the CBC is putting more reportorial folks in hosting jobs, Guy Dixon wrote in the Globe & Mail. “In a general sense, it’s true that with the evolution of the show, we are looking to put more of a focus on hosts who are also journalists,” a CBC spokesman told Dixon.
Budd acknowledges that she’s a presenter in a fizzy, congenial interview on CBC-TV. Her earlier career as an actress caught up with Budd, says her onetime CBC boss, former NPR ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin in his blog. “After 17 years on the job, Barbara is a journalist, as far as I am concerned.” Dvorkin suspects that the CBC regards radio talent as expendable and wants to try out younger TV journalists on the show.
Budd or the CBC made her departure more graceful than Edwards’ was. Budd said on CBC’s website that many strangers had recognized her voice over the years and would typically remark, “Well, I’m so glad to finally put a face to the voice.” And she’d reply, “We’ll, I’m so glad to put a face to the ears.” So Budd has asked listeners to send photos for that purpose (address: firstname.lastname@example.org).
The program is distributed in the States by American Public Media.