Canada's state broadcaster fires host over alleged secret art deals

Tue Jun 9, 2015 10:09pm EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's state broadcaster said it cut ties with a high-profile political show host on Tuesday after a media report alleged he had secretly taken commissions on art sales to big-name guests on his show, including Bank of England Governor Mark Carney.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which fired another popular host last year amid sexual assault allegations, said it "ended its relationship" with Evan Solomon, according to a note to staff from CBC's editor in chief, Jennifer McGuire. The CBC reported the decision on its website.

The swift dismissal of Solomon, host of CBC's flagship weekday television political show "Power & Politics" and a CBC radio show, came the same day the Toronto Star newspaper published a report on the art sales.

The report alleged that Solomon had brokered art deals with people whom he dealt with professionally as a CBC journalist, such as Carney and BlackBerry founder Jim Balsillie.

The CBC, citing a corporation spokesman, said Solomon's activities were considered by management to be "inconsistent with the organization's conflict of interest and ethics policy, as well as journalistic standards and practices."

Solomon did not immediately reply to an email from Reuters seeking comment.

In January, the broadcaster banned its on-air journalists from taking paid engagements after a business program host was criticized for the role she played in coverage of Royal Bank of Canada when the bank was embroiled in an outsourcing controversy.

The host, Amanda Lang, had spoken at events sponsored by the bank and acknowledged a personal relationship with a Royal Bank board member.

In April, an independent report, commissioned by the CBC, said the broadcaster failed to halt the abusive conduct of star radio host Jian Ghomeshi, who is facing criminal charges for sexual assault and choking.   Continued...