Shad is leaving Q

Q will be reinvented, says the CBC, as Shad is given one last day on the job

Rapper Shad is shown in an interview with The Canadian Press in Toronto on Thursday October 17, 2013. (Frank Gunn/CP)

(Frank Gunn/CP)

TORONTO — Shad is leaving his role as host of CBC’s most prominent arts program Q on Tuesday.

After not quite 16 months in the hot seat of the popular radio show, Shad will now “explore new creative opportunities,” the public broadcaster said Monday in a statement, adding he could host a new CBC radio show.

“Well, my time at Q has come to a close…. My relationship with the CBC remains strong. We’re discussing the possibility of developing a new show together,” said the rapper – who was not available for an interview – in a statement.

“In the meantime and either way, I’m looking forward to having more time to put into music and I’m grateful for an amazing experience.”

His exit from Q comes after his turbulent start in April 2015, when he was parachuted into the job as a replacement for Jian Ghomeshi, who was fired in October 2014.

Shad, whose real name is Shadrach Kabango, came to the high-profile show with little hosting experience and was sometimes criticized for throwing softball questions to his guests and not engaging in deep conversations.

Some users on social media suggested that Shad failed to make the most of a big interview with pop superstar Adele, who spoke about motherhood and how music related to raising her son.

“I used to really look forward to Q every day but now can’t be bothered,” said a user named Sinsyder on a Reddit forum earlier this year.

“It was always conversational, it has lost that and now feels wooden and lifeless.”

Tom Power, host of “Radio 2 Morning,” will take the reins at Q in October. The 29-year-old native of St. John’s N.L., joined the CBC in 2008 and hosted the show “Deep Roots,” focusing on folk and roots music.

A new host for “Radio 2 Morning” has not yet been announced.

“We are refocusing and reinvesting in ‘Q’ to ensure it continues to evolve and deliver what our audience wants from CBC Radio’s flagship music, arts and cultural program,” said Susan Marjetti, executive director of CBC Radio English Services, in a statement.

“Tom is a great fit for Q. We look forward to exploring a new show with Shad that plays to his strengths and passion for music. Shad remains part of our CBC family.”

Shad, who was chosen for the job from a pool of nearly 250 candidates, previously acknowledged that the gig came with heavy baggage given the allegations that swirled around Ghomeshi’s dismissal.

“Certainly – that was a big deal what went down,” he said in an interview with The Canadian Press a month before his Q debut.

“If there’s something I have to offer, it’s that I wasn’t around for it.

“So I’m going to try to hop in and have all the optimism and enthusiasm that comes from just starting something brand new; fresh, clean slate.”

CBC fired Ghomeshi after seeing what they described as graphic evidence that he had physically injured a woman. The popular host had said publicly he enjoyed “rough sex” but that it was always consensual.

Later, after a number of women came forward with allegations against Ghomeshi, he was charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of overcoming resistance by choking. He was acquitted in March on all counts.

Ghomeshi also faced another charge of sexual assault, which was withdrawn after he signed a peace bond and publicly apologized to former CBC colleague Kathryn Borel for “sexually inappropriate” conduct in the workplace. She had accused him of sexually assaulting her at work in 2008. Ghomeshi’s lawyer told the court that the resolution was not an “admission” and the judge in the matter also said the signing of peace bond was not an admission of guilt to any criminal offence.

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Shad is leaving Q

  1. IF the current Q is the “flagship”, then it must be a pretty pitiful convoy it is leading into battle.
    Q in the past 16 months went from very broad interest pieces to a tabloid pop-culture ‘zine’ targeting a mainly amarkan audience (so CBC could sell Q to US stations) of 30-somethings… very few Canadian acts/celebs/artists (except for those who’d already ‘made it’ stateside, and therefore appealed to an audience that already knew about them); almost no Canadian political content… and very little else “reflecting Canada to Canadians” (CBC’s former mandate before the Harper-crite cuts).

    It wasn’t all Shad’s fault — as he was ‘programmed’ by the management and producers and researchers — who fed him his scripts, arranged the interviews, and were Q’s ‘show runners’ behind the glass. Shad may have been light-weight in front of the mike, but it was a CBC team that let all of Canada down. “They coulda been a contenda”, but instead they didn’t even get past the first round.

    And no, I don’t listen to it any more — because even the stand-in hosts are required to adhere to the same failed formula!

  2. Oh, come on. Half this article references Ghomeshi, like he had something to do with Shad’s under-performing. Shad wasn’t a good choice. He had no broadcasting experience to speak of, and didn’t show much aptitude for it. As time went on, it became more frustrating to listen to him, and I became less inclined to give him a break. Yes, the CBC management bears a lot of the blame, but Shad’s hubris also allowed him to think that somehow he was ready for the challenge. It would have been much more appropriate to give him a weekly half-hour and let him build his skills.

    It was sad that there are so many other people who excel at the role and yet somehow Shad was chosen. Gill Deacon is excellent. I thought Daniel Richler would have been a great choice. But Tom Power deserves it, he’s been working his way up for 10 years and he handled interviews very well when he was guest host on Q.

    But the CBC has lost a lot of goodwill on my side. It’s the opposite of a Golden Age right now. All the shows sound the same, they cover the same ground, they talk about the same things, they’re incredibly derivative of each other. I think it’s funny that people find it frivolous. For me it’s gotten painfully earnest, which has led to really predictable discussions. And the desire to appeal to the youth has led it to let a number of inexperienced people loose in the studio. I’m fed up with it. But Tom Power is one of the few I won’t switch off.

    The best radio is on after midnight, when Monocle comes on, with some fabulous panel discussions. The contrast in quality between the wee hours of the morning and CBC prime time is really disturbing.

  3. I love when Gill Deacon is host, I hope she has the opportunity to continue (more frequently than just guest host!). There is something very engaging about her upbeat tempo & tone of her voice, in addition to her wit and positive disposition. I remember listening to an interview she was conducting, and thinking that she seems to make every/any topic interesting, or at least worth listening to.

    Shad was a good host, but there was something about his tone and tempo that was less engaging to my ear. However, kudos to him – it must have been brutal to follow Gian who has been described as having a voice of chocolate. (The chocolate helped me continue listening in spite of Gian’s sputtering and fumbling style of questioning. It would drive me crazy how he could drag the shortest of questions unto an hour).

    Anyhow, point here – nobody is perfect, can’t please everyone. I think the secret to success recently has been to mix it up. Any reason there can’t be group of hosts?

  4. Tom Power should have been Ghomeshi’s replacement from day one

  5. No one cares. CBC Radio is done. Stick a fork in it.

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