Canada's Pop Culture Source

Features > Pop Culture

Peter Mansbridge has left the building

Behind the scenes commentary from the CBC TV Season Preview
Behind the scenes commentary from the CBC TV Season Preview

Surprisingly, I had a really good time at the CBC TV 2006-2007 Season Preview last week. I say surprising because I usually shut down at these kind of events, since they’re all about mingling and glad-handing – stuff I’m not very good at. However, when I arrived at the CBC headquarters in Toronto, I picked up my media kit and the publicists recognized me! There was no “Popjournalism who?” or questions like “What exactly is Popjournalism?” That was a good start.

It was especially nice considering that this was the first Season Preview event I’d ever attended. I’m not usually the type to gaga over celebrities, but I’ll admit that it was sort of cool to see all the CBC TV and news personalities seated around the room. The studio that housed us was flashy too, with a movie screen over a white catwalk in the centre, surrounded by a horseshoe of chairs – the chairs were, charmingly, all mismatched and probably gathered from the prop department.

The presentation itself was all about glossy promotion, but The National‘s Peter Mansbridge lightened up the sell-sell-sell vibe when he got on the stage for CBC News. “Hi, I’m Peter Mansbridge and I come on right after the sports. Tell me, do you like the chairs?”

At the end of the presentation, the TV personalities and journalists were all asked to come on stage to do a group photo with the executives. Most complied, except for the fifth estate’s Linden MacIntyre.

As I passed by MacIntyre outside the studio, I heard him being asked by a publicist if he was going to join the group. He turned and said, “I don’t want to stand out there with that f–kin’ mob; it’s silly.”

You have to admire his integrity.

Still, that’s not to take away from the other journalists. I totally understand why this kind of line-blurring between journalism and PR is important. If you don’t promote your show, people don’t watch and then you don’t get to do journalism. It’s a necessary evil.

Fortunately, I had some great conversations with a lot of journalists and executives after the event – though I didn’t get to talk to the elusive Mr. Mansbridge. Despite my best efforts and those of the publicists calling around the building to find him, he was declared “M.I.A.”

In other words, Peter Had Left The Building.

Oh well, maybe next year.

Filed Under

Share This

About the Author

Robert Ballantyne

Robert Ballantyne is Popjournalism's Editor-in-Chief. Previously, he was a producer at the CBC on a number of news programs including the fifth estate, Marketplace and The National. He also worked as a staff writer at the Toronto Star and other media outlets. In addition to leading the Popjournalism team of writers, he built and designed its website.

Related Posts

Celebrating 10 years with a new look

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Popjournalism. It’s truly hard to believe we’ve passed the decade mark already. When…

Will Canada adopt à la carte cable?

For years Canadians have been paying cable and satellite providers for channels that we don’t watch. Worse yet, most probably…

CBC internal publicists are not ‘redundant’

Behind every good entertainment feature, there’s usually a good publicist. The best publicists give you freedom to weave in and…

Inside the mind of a Canadian magazine publisher

Editor's note from Popjournalism's debut print edition

Meet two people who invisibly influence the future of CBC

CBC union presidents Kam Rao and Jonathan Spence are presenting opinions from the public broadcaster's workers to decision makers

Mae Moore’s real life

The Canadian singer-songwriter reflects on her 'Collected Works 1989-1999'
Books & Publishing

Meet Jann Arden, best-selling author

The prolific singer-songwriter talks music and chats up her latest collection of personal journals

Inside the Mind of Rick Mercer

We speak to the comedian and Canadian icon, in the midst of the second season of his news satire show, 'Monday Report'

Canadian hitmakers Wild Strawberries get deep

'90s pop-rock radio duo thoughtfully evolve in their latest album, 'Vesper 50'

Everybody Loves George Stroumboulopoulos

Now that his program is on the main CBC network, 'The Hour' and its host prepare for a new set of challenges

Inside the mind of Canadian radio’s most important executive

A one-on-one conversation with Susan Marjetti, CBC's executive director of Radio and Audio

Jessica Holmes makes a big return to CBC’s Air Farce

The comedienne dishes on impersonating Céline Dion & Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, opening for Seinfeld, Ellen and Oprah

One-on-one with Global National anchor Dawna Friesen

The Winnipeg-born journalist talks candidly about sexism, news bloopers, and the fine line between family and work

Being Ben Mulroney

In a candid Q & A session, Mulroney talks about fame, family and the new season of 'Canadian Idol'