Americans are tuning in to National Public Radio these days to listen to ‘Talk Radio, Canadian Style’. The host of CBC’s “Q”, JIAN GHOMESHI, is now heard on 120 US stations every weeknight. On CBC’s Radio One in Canada his show goes out coast-to-coast weekday mornings, and is rebroadcast in the evening. Writing in the New York Times on July 22/2012, John Schwartz says: “‘Q’ blends arts, culture and entertainment through long interviews, live music and an energetic daily monologue by the highly-caffeinated Mr. Ghomeshi. (“Q”) is the most popular cultural affairs show in Canada.”
Recently, Mr. Ghomeshi was named ‘best talk-show host’ at the international radio awards at the New York Festivals. “Q” is produced at CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) in TORONTO.
Sunday nights at 11:05 pm, Canadians from coast-to-coast get to spend an hour with Chicago Public Radio’s IRA GLASS on “This American Life”. Produced by WBEZ since 1995, the show is heard in the US on 500 National Public Radio stations, and on CBC’s Radio One network. It’s all about real people and their heartwarming, comical, sometimes bizarre stories, often done in a documentary style – which makes for great late-night listening.
Both IRA GLASS and JIAN GHOMESHI know how to use their medium, and most of all, they respect both guests and listeners without being maudlin. Give a listen!
After 4 decades of reporting on TORONTO’s traffic chaos, JIM CURRAN is retiring at the end of March. He’s the ‘king of split shifts’ – doing both the early morning drive-in (5:30 am) and the afternoon (3:30 pm) drive-out broadcasts. A Ryerson University alumnus, Jim is a man who loves radio broadcasting and the CBC. His reassuring voice will be missed.
<JIM CURRAN making stained glass, 2011>
It’s a Staples Business Depot with a glamourous past. Buried under a red and silver facade at 1133 Yonge Street, north of Marlborough Avenue, is a former Pierce-Arrow automobile showroom (PICTURE BELOW, 1930), and CBC television’s old Studio 4.
The basic shape of the building is still there; inside it’s just another big box store. But what a past! North America’s longest running television quiz show – Front Page Challenge (1957-1995) – came out of here. Panelists Pierre Berton, Gordon Sinclair, Betty Kennedy, Toby Robins and unflappable host Fred Davis faced international newsmakers – Indira Gandhi, Ed Sullivan, Pierre Trudeau, Randolph Churchill, Shania Twain, Upton Sinclair, Dame Edith Evans, etc. etc. (PHOTO – CBC Still Photo Collection)
From 1956-66, Juliette did her live coast-to-coast variety show on Saturday nights from here. Nightcap, a one hour late-night 1960′s comedy/satire show was another Studio 4 production. It featured June Sampson, Billy Van, Bonnie Brooks, Al Hamel and Vanda King. Early in Alex Trebek’s career, he was the host of Music Hop, an after school series for Canadian teens. Alex eventually went off to Hollywood and Jeopardy, and the rest is history. This little studio was in production several nights a week. Many of the shows were done live in front of studio audiences.
A wonderful book on 1133 Yonge Street – ‘The Pierce-Arrow Showroom Is Leaking’ by journalist and broadcaster Alex Barris is still available on ebay and several online bookshops.