Exit Interview?

This afternoon, CBC announced the resignation of CBC News publisher John Cruickshank.

The former publisher of the Chicago Sun Times and chief operating officer of Sun Times Media Group joined CBC News in September of 2007. He leaves to accept the position of publisher of The Toronto Star, the country’s largest newspaper.

Jennifer McGuire named interim publisher


  1. Allan
    Posted November 30, 2008 at 11:17 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I think there’s a video that illustrates your concern for joe, Denis, and your efforts in trying to help him be a better person …

  2. Fake Ouimet
    Posted November 30, 2008 at 10:32 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Yeah, sorry, Fatboy, I’™m back to writing books now. Look for my pearls of original thought there.

    Wait ’“ didn’™t you write that show that was ripped from the headlines?

  3. Fake Ouimet
    Posted November 30, 2008 at 12:41 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Organizations don’™t have feelings to be hurt, Fatboy.

    I’™ve said it before and I’™ll say it again, in a modestly-updated formulation: CBC may recover its ’śbrand’ť and the Tea Makers may start making nice to everybody, but you will always be the writer of Charlie Jade.

  4. Fake Ouimet
    Posted November 29, 2008 at 8:51 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    We work from the vantage point of Her Majesty’™s Loyal Opposition. We aren’™t here to cheerlead, Fatboy.

  5. DMc
    Posted November 29, 2008 at 4:19 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Black is white and up is down — you’re the positive one and I’m the negative one? Awesome. Glad we cleared that up. Let me know when Moses returns your calls and imparts all that 21st century, up to the moment broadcasting knowledge that will save the flagging CBC…

    Muddleheaded claptrap. I’m sure it’s great succour and comfort to the masses. Why try and effect change in the real world when you can just whinge on the internet?

  6. Allan
    Posted November 29, 2008 at 12:59 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Get that potty-mouth away from me.

    Your philosophy that everything is fucked and it’s all hopeless is often voiced when discussing the CBC.
    It wastes time and slows down production.
    But at Tea Makers there is both passion and hope, and although some can’t see it, it is very much a part of a larger plan.

  7. DMc
    Posted November 29, 2008 at 1:14 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    You know Allan, you’re totally full of shit..but whatever. Who isn’t?

    You kind of try to have it both ways though in your comment. Is Moses the shit, or not?

    To anyone close to the truth, he was a fascinating case study. Moses “running” Citytv and the “Chum Empire” was a myth for a very long time before he was finally elbowed out. And for a long time afterward, too. It’s amazing how many people, long after he left, would still talk about the place like every decision came from Moses’ mouth to God’s ears.

    What he was, and what Canadian media sorely misunderstands, was the brand. He was way, way more useful in the last few years as a maverick symbol than as an actual innovator. The internet? He didn’t get it. Changes in broadcasting beyond the magazine show? He didn’t understand it.

    the 1990’s were a decade where all that was actually good and different about the place that he built got co-opted by other broadcasters — including the CBC.

    His strength as brand far outlasted his strength as innovator, as reflected by ignorant comments by folk such as ye who still drink the kool aid.

    I loved the guy. I loved him when he gave me shit, and I loved him when he was imperious, and I shook my head when he was forced out. But if you actually talk to anyone who was making television in the place when he left, he wasn’t a force, and hadn’t been for a few years.

    But the fact that the public — those that cared — saw him as such was a useful thing that they never capitalized on.

    The brand of Citytv and Moses were inextricably intertwined. Like with Microsoft and Gates, or CNN and Ted Turner in the early days, they operated on the charismatic leadership model. That model always suffers when the leader leaves and/or is deposed, and the organization suffers a period of drift from which they either reinvent or do not survive. CityTv, the Moses Model, ultimately didn’t survive because he was not a very good businessman, and because the Waters family, who were lost their patriarch. The company was sold about six months to the day after Waters died.

    Now that there is the truth. You can bloviate all you want about that. But the truth is that CBC has a brand, too. And it’s a pretty good brand. There are things about how it’s being changed now that are good, and things that maybe are not so good. But here on the Teamakers, everything, every change, every whisper of difference is bad. Maybe that’s fruit of the poison lockout of 2005. I don’t know. But it remains that this site, most of the time, is the ugliest reflection of the ugliest part of the Canadian character — the desire not to invest, or improve, but to bitch. And to bitch endlessly, with absolutely no ideas how to make it better, but a complete and utter confidence that the people who are trying to effect change are fucked.

    Maybe they are fucked. Time will tell.

    But pointing to Moses as the way out? That’s just…fucked.

    Passion, like hope, is not a plan.


  8. Anonymous
    Posted November 28, 2008 at 3:45 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Allan, Moses WAS vaguely interesting 10 or 20 years ago. He’s part of television history now. Celebrate him, but he’s not a serious contender for any big job nowadays.

  9. Allan
    Posted November 28, 2008 at 1:36 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Denis ‘Writer-Without-Border-Job’ continues to share his self-confidence and tips for aspiring screenwriters at his lively blog. And it’s always great when he deins to drop in at Tea Makers, but we all know we must be careful around Denis ‘you-won’t-like-it-when-I-get-mad’ McGrath.
    But sometimes we simply must risk his wrath and disagree with him.

    There’s plenty of reason to dismiss Moses Znaimer as irrelevant, “old”, self-infatuated and, well, let’s say that anyone wanting to write a “Rules The Universe” blog about him has a lot to work with.
    But the plain facts of life are that no one else in this country is more open to change and innovation in the field of broadcasting than Moses Znaimer.
    He has always stood for something, in an industry that’s about as progressive as General Motors.
    And that something is the spirit of “let’s try something new, let’s give a voice to something other than the predictable middle class and their political correctness. Let’s change not just the subject matter but also the medium”.
    It’s fair to believe that he still sees himself as part Svengali, part Marshall McLuhan and part horny Hollywood producer. And with such galactic ambitions that as long as he’s alive his legacy is incomplete, his impact on broadcasting not yet clear and certain, his true potential as yet unfulfilled.
    While his masterpiece at 299 Queen is being decimated, Moses sits at the other end of the street with a radio station in each hand, a glossy, meaningless magazine, and a marijuana lab ready to cash in on widespread compassion.
    He may be older than Ziggy but he’s not finished yet.

    Now, it can be argued that Moses was never the source of anything new and daring, but rather just a guy who hired people that were.
    It can also be argued that his wealth and success at City and Much was a fluke that happened in spite of him.
    As well, that his current media empire is stuck in a safe holding pattern that’s going nowhere.
    But one thing is clear.
    He wants to play.
    And for a long time the CBC has needed someone who really wants to play

  10. DMc
    Posted November 28, 2008 at 1:02 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Wow. As a Znaimerista, old school, I gotta say, pointing to Moses as the savior of broadcasting, c. 2008, is…well…let’s just nod and smile and judge all broadcasting ‘advice’ from the same quarter, through the same prism.

    1972 does not equal 2008. Thanks for playing.

  11. Anonymous
    Posted November 27, 2008 at 6:34 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece


    Moses is a 114 years old. He’s not going to get anything more than a smoothie.

  12. Allan
    Posted November 27, 2008 at 5:01 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Is there the slightest doubt that Cruickshank left because he didn’t like his job, didn’t like be an underling to a fake (RS), and didn’t understand broadcasting?
    “I want to go back to newspapers because I understand them and love them. I miss the feeling of being directly involved with a story from conception or event right to the doorstep,’ť ~ Cruickshank said.
    It’s the only outcome for a person who has no passion for broadcasting, let alone an interest in trying new things. Nice guys are great to work for, and being able to respect their judgement is even better, but he caved at the first sign of criticism (where is Krista Erickson now?) so that hardly inspires and motivates the front lines.
    He’s far more secure being a mere figurehead that gives a company Bay street cred, while still free to meddle in the day to day as if he were making any difference at all.
    And of course he couldn’t leave until the Fung misadventure was concluded.

    Sadly, Znaimer is the only one left standing with any juice to revitalize broadcasting in Canada, and there’s reason to believe that Stursberg will soon be creating the vacancy that Moses is waiting for.

  13. Anonymous
    Posted November 26, 2008 at 9:45 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Losing John Cruickshank is another body blow. He was good.
    When are radio news people going to band together and document the corrosive effects of integration? Integration is a failure for radio news. Co-operation, not integration. Where is the Guild on this issue???

  14. Anonymous
    Posted November 26, 2008 at 7:27 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Integration (including the costly and useless idea of moving radio studios and all the wiring up one floor) was costing $10 million last summer. They estimated it was going to cost just $3 million and when they found it it would cost a big ten spot, it was stopped. That was before the meltdown and the $45 million “shortfall.” (Are you reading this comment Ken Rubin?????)

    Integration if necessary, not necessarily integration, if there is integration, it will be done on the cheap, especially if takes away money from entertainment and means that Richard would have to have his dinner meetings at Oh La La.

  15. Anonymous
    Posted November 26, 2008 at 6:59 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    What do they say about rats and sinking ships?

    There goes the last opposition to totally
    integrating TV and radio newsrooms.

    Mr. Cruickshank was one of the only big-wigs who saw integration as total madness.

  16. Anonymous
    Posted November 26, 2008 at 4:51 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    So can we ditch this made-up position then?

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