Stan Carew marched out of a Q-104 Halifax radio studio in 1995 leaving the roar of dead air behind him. The veteran radio personality was protesting against layoffs at the station as penny-pinching owners replaced live announcers with computers.
Carew, who played a concert with John Campbelljohn at Parrsboro’s Band Hall in March, is now on the march again, this time away from his gig as host of the CBC Radio show Weekend Mornings where he’s been entertaining listeners since 1997.
CBC is reporting Carew’s departure as though it’s a retirement, but that’s not the whole story. His job is one of 24 positions that CBC is eliminating in Atlantic Canada. Beset by sustained and sharp budget cuts that began decades ago, CBC management has decided to shift its priorities away from traditional television and radio programming to digital and mobile services.
Stan Carew’s last program will be heard on Sept. 27.
So far, there’s no word on what CBC Radio listeners will hear after that date on Saturday and Sunday mornings. A CBC spokesperson says that will be determined over the summer.
Here is a graph from the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting showing cuts to the CBC’s Parliamentary funding since 1991. The figures are expressed in billions, so the CBC’s total grant in 1991 was just over $1.7 billion or $1, 733.5 million. By 2014, the total grant was down by about $700 million. (Click on the graph if you want to enlarge it.)