Allan: Solutions "R" Us

Allan sends me his comments on yesterday’s National Post story “Saving CBC with yellow stickies.”

Bullshit artists can often be quite brilliant.
Take Mark Shekter.
He’s a “television consultant”, and he knows something you don’t.
And neither does the CBC, apparently, and they’re prepared to pay big bucks for new ideas to stay in business.
Isn’t being a manager fun?
You don’t have to know what you’re doing. You just need to hire someone who does.
And the CBC thinks Shekter is that person.
So they hired him to fix The Hour and The Gill Deacon show, according to a nice promotional piece in The National Post. Not so much a news story as really a clipping created for him and his wife’s business, because at no time does the reporter question anything he says. Just writes down Mark’s self-congratulatory ability to hoodwink the incompetent who are worried for their jobs.
After the excellent Gill Deacon show failed to get more viewers than Lunar Jim, his solution was to rebrand the show into being “a discussion about modern women’s issues.”
Also to go easier on the big vocabulary.
It still failed.
And hopefully Barbara Walters didn’t see it, or she might have felt “knocked up”, if you know what I mean.
In the case of The Hour (revealingly described as an “ailing news show”) his eureka pitch was to add comedy writers.
What? At 11 o’clock? Why would anyone want funny at that time of night?
And young people are a notoriously serious and sour bunch, as anyone knows who shops at HMV and the Gap.
Are they ready for a good laugh at the end of the day?
Is Mansbridge not the dopamine they’re looking for once under the covers?

The real applause should go to the person who devised a way to fill an hour of broadcast time as cheaply as possible, and succeeded, with cross-channel use of celebrities on promotional tour.

Shekter’s real achievement is not in hoodwinking viewers, but television executives with George Costanza-size wallets hurting their delicate backsides.
But they’re only human.
And those Scientologists can be so damn persuasive.


  1. Anonymous
    Posted June 10, 2007 at 1:08 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Fulford is right on the money.

    And yes, Mark Shekter had the idea for that horrible, horrible Time vs. Paul Gross shite.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted June 10, 2007 at 1:00 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Was anybody paying attention to the fact that the ROM opening was actually scripted by L. Ron Hubbard? Those people are sneaky, huh?

  3. Johnny Happypants
    Posted June 10, 2007 at 9:50 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    The Fulford column on A20 (same paper, same day) has lot more on Shekter and it ain’t pretty. Responsible for the no-talent ROM opening show—a career low for both Gross and Pinsent.

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