If you’re going to shitcan a show, have the guts to really shitcan it

CBC Radio programming director Chris Boyce:

And when we looked at Search Engine, we really liked what it was doing as a program, but we started to look at “Was half an hour every week the best way to get the content onto the airwaves?” And at the end of the day, what we felt was this shouldn’t be something that just sort of lived in this half an hour a week. Was there an opportunity here to get the same content on other shows across the network?

He said this on a brand-new 20-minute podcast of Search Engine, a show that was supposed to have been cancelled. Except now it obviously isn’t, because it’s a podcast, i.e., its format remains unchanged for its core audience, who never listened to it on the radio anyway.

Was half an hour once a week “the best way to get the content onto the airwaves”? I guess not, but the show still exists – with, admittedly, one-third the staff. Meanwhile, functionally equivalent arguments were trotted out for shitcanning Moving On, but almost no converage of disability issues has taken place on any outpost of the CBC since then.

Not only were we fed the lie that Search Engine was cancelled, the show still coexists with another radio program and podcast about technology, Spark. That gives the topic two full shows on CBC, plus guest hits from Jesse Hirsh and the like.

Meanwhile, Jesse Brown –  a continuing victim of horrifically unflattering official photographs – used the resurrected podcast to pre-sell a big segment he’s doing for The Current. (So he is being redeployed! That wasn’t a lie.) Meanwhile still, the BBC has three full disability-related shows on TV, on the radio, and on podcast. Any one of those could be used as a model. Let’s not pretend the CBC doesn’t look to the BBC as a model.

J. Brown ended the show with special thanks to me. You’re welcome. Now get somebody to give me my cripple shows back. I mean, you got yours back.


  • Fake Ouimet says:

    Here, let me type it correctly this time:

    Well, J., I accepted the correction (stated originally in comment 2 by our friend Anonymous).

    It’s OK that tall, amusing Jesse Brown keeps his own show. I just want CBC to be honest about what it did with, and to, Moving On: Used its cancellation to eliminate disability coverage wholesale.

  • J. Roberts says:

    I understand your frustration about the lack of disability-related programs, but I’m not sure I comprehend what you are trying to say in the first portion of this post.

    You appear upset to have been “fed the lie” that Search Engine would be cancelled, but this was never the plan. Brown described what was going to happen to the show at the end of last season, and it seems that this is what’s happening. As he recapitulated on the blog:
    “Here’s the deal with Search Engine:

    * “The Radio One show won’t be back in September
    * “I will be back, bringing Search Engine stories to other CBC shows on radio and TV
    * “The Search Engine blog and podcast will live on, but will be very different, since I will no longer be making the show with a team.”

    Are you upset that it wasn’t axed altogether? Or that the CBC still is devoting resources to 1.5 tech shows and has nothing on disabilities?

  • buschic says:

    I Watched MOVING ON, Every week and I found a lot of good information on that show, after CBC “shitcanning” a bunch of my favorite shows, both on TV and Radio, as well as the pathetic revamping of CBC Radio 2, I have basicially quit watching/listening to it, other than Antiques Roadshow (UK) I just got sick of the crap-filled shows that CBC have been inudated with….

  • Anonymous says:

    Honestly, “Search Engine” wasn’t that good. Deal with it.

    A particularly poor episode was the one where they went to great lengths to dismiss the significance of the group “anonymous”, but then spent several minutes trying to goad members into coming onto the show. If they’re so insignificant, why bother?

  • Anonymous says:

    boyce and nora young are quite tight. winnipeg and DNTO allegiances run deep. maybe that’s why spark lives and the other doesn’t.

  • Fake Ouimet says:

    Well, no, Anonymous ‒œ they claim to cancel the show, do so only for radio, keep the thing online, and also redeploy Jesse Brown for other shows. Admittedly, he lost two producers, and grannies won’t bumble into hearing the show when they can’t get out of the rocker to turn the radio off. And Spark is still on the air.

    Meanwhile, they promised us lots of disability coverage after they shitcanned Moving On. Where is it?

  • Anonymous says:

    Um, so the problem here would be??? It actually sounds like a smart decision was made to move the content out across platforms. Nice to see CBC management following through on a promise.

  • Fake Ouimet says:

    I guess they really meant it, hmm, Anonymous?

    And surely you meant “results,” Dwight?

  • Anonymous says:

    Um .. it’s no surprise that the podcast continues, esp. since JB said as much in a post back in June: “The Search Engine blog and podcast will live on.”

  • Dwight Williams says:

    Well, I’m not complaining about the consequences.

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