On the day the intolerant PQ government let loose its controversial Charter of Quebec Values, CJAD Radio made big news of its own by letting go longtime program host Ric Peterson, sportscaster Chantal Desjardins, newscaster Claude Beaulieu, weekend host Sharman Yarnell and demoting Suzanne Desautels to a more limited status. Over at the new Bell Media sister station, TSN 690, morning show co-host Ted Bird was shown the door. Is this just the beginning?
|Dan Laxer (with his daughter).|
"It felt fantastic to be back in that role again, even for just one night," Laxer told me. "That was my timeslot when I first started in 2006. I don't know what management has planned for evenings, but I've told Chris Bury that I'd gladly jump in there, if they'll have me."
I am quite shocked to see Beaulieu cut loose. We just spoke last week. Wearing my PR hats for Canadian Jewish Congress and the EMSB, Claude and I communicated regularly. An impeccably bilingual professional, it is sad to see him go.
"In radio, it's not if but when you get fired," he said. " Being on air is like being a star on a sports team. Eventually someone else comes along who hits more home runs or shoots the puck in the net more often. And like the sports personalities, radio personalities have fans who get upset when they're let go.
"I've spoken to Ric Peterson, Ted Bird and Claude Beaulieu since their departure and they're all taking it in stride - upset yes, but at the same time they're looking at others options. I wouldn't be surprised if some give up radio all together and do something else. I always told students when I taught talk radio in college, that they were getting into a profession where there is no gold watch waiting for them in 30 years.
"What is surprising with this round of cuts is the timing. Montreal radio is two weeks into the fall ratings season. Normally management makes these kind of moves before ratings or after the 13 week rating period. This isn't the first time local radio personalities have been let go and it won't be the last. It's not a Bell thing, it is just the nature of the beast called radio."