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

Tue Jun 9, 2015 11:18pm EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's state broadcaster said it dismissed a political show host on Tuesday after a media report alleged he had received commissions from art sales to big-name guests on his show, such as Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, in violation of company policy.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp, 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, reported that 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."

In an emailed statement, Solomon said he last year formed a "private business partnership with a friend to broker Canadian art. The business involved only two clients."

The statement did not name the clients.

Solomon said the CBC knew about the business earlier this year and he took steps to end the art partnership this month.

"I did not view the art business as a conflict with my political journalism at the CBC and never intentionally used my position at the CBC to promote the business," the statement said.   Continued...