The CBC is re-launching "Q" on Monday October 24 with the new host, Tom Power. In fact, it would be more correct to say that this is the re-re-launch of "Q" (or is it "q"?) since the program was re-launched in 2015 with the now-departed host, Shad.
In this article from the October 22 Globe and Mail, it is said that the audience for "Q" has declined by 28% since October 2014 when Jian Ghomeshi was still the host of Q. (Interesting note: Jian Ghomeshi was fired from the CBC on October 26, 2014. So the re-re-launch of "Q" nearly two years to the day of Ghomeshi's firing is eerily appropriate. Or not.) Even worse, only 120 U.S. radio stations feature the program, down from a high of 180 stations when Ghomeshi was host.
Why did the audience fall so far, so fast? Quite simply, the CBC just doesn't understand the audience for Q.
When Ghomeshi was host the program consisted of a mix of programming, ranging from books to theatre to music to political commentary to sports. There was always something interesting to hear.
In contrast, since Ghomeshi's departure, the program has focused ad nauseam on "new music". Tune in on any day of the week and chances are that you will hear some obscure group from Tickle Cove, Newfoundland expositing on their new album, followed by a live performance of their latest song. (Nothing against Tickle Cove, mind you. Just an example.)
The thing is, we're just not interested. Just. Not. Interested. The audience decline might seem to confirm this.
So what are the plans for the new-new "Q"? More new music! Yeah, right, it didn't work for the last two years, so let's just double-down and make an even heavier bet on "new music". To quote the new executive producer:
“You know how sometimes you have talk programs that are blocks of interviews – and some of them are terrific, but that’s not what we’re going for here. We want layered use of sound throughout the show, so that sonically it really does jump out.”
Oh, great. Watch for the re-re-re-launch of "Q" in two years time.
Since newspaper articles have a habit of disappearing from the internet, here is the entire article: