It was a little more than 10 years ago, and Kimberley Sullivan, a kid from Sorel with degrees in psychology and education, wanted to do something that had nothing to do with either of those things: Be a broadcaster.
“I wanted to do media, and my father said if you’re not going to do it now, when are you going to do it?” she explained to me in an interview.
So she got a job doing traffic reports for the Astral Media radio stations in Montreal, and hosted a show on Virgin Radio. She quit her job, taking a severe pay cut, to follow her dream. Her career later took her to Winnipeg, then Ottawa, and back to Montreal, where three years ago she was hired at 92.5 The Beat, first doing evenings, then co-hosting afternoon drive with Cousin Vinny.
That gig ended this month when she was let go due to budget cuts.
But rather than spending her days shoving her face in a bucket of Häagen Dazs (though I suppose she could do that too if she wanted), Sullivan is busy promoting her new show on MAtv, about people trying things they’ve never done before but always wanted to.
It’s called The Checklist, and its official premiere is tonight at 9:30pm (though the first episode has already aired in other time slots). The 10-episode half-hour show invites a guest from the public (from among submissions sent through social media) to do something interesting, exciting and, above all, that looks good on television.
The show is similar to one she did for Rogers TV in Ottawa called “Before I Kick The…”, with the big difference being that she’ll experience these activities with someone else rather than by herself. “I wanted it to be other people, not just about me,” she said. “What I loved most about this show is seeing the emotions of others.”
Among those activities: jet boating, glass making, skydiving, riding in a helicopter, and having tea at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel. There are 18 activities in all in those 10 episodes.
Sullivan said she intentionally avoided calling the show The Bucket List, partly to get away from the whole death thing (for the record, Sullivan has no plans to die any time soon, and neither do her guests), and partly because the things they’re doing in this show aren’t really “bucket list” items. “Bucket list is Taj Mahal,” she said. But this show is more about getting people to experience things around town they wouldn’t have done otherwise.
“Everybody has something they want to do and haven’t taken the time to do it,” she explained. Even her. “I live two streets down from Moishe’s, and I’ve never been. I totally thought i was the type of person who did everything I want to do, and obviously I don’t.”
The Checklist got the green light last July and started filming in August. It was too late for the fall 2015 schedule, when MAtv first launched anglo programming. The plan was to launch the show in January, but Sullivan said that was a bit silly considering how many of these activities are outdoors in the summer. So they waited until May.
Because the show is on MAtv, it’s only available to people who subscribe to Videotron cable or Videotron’s Illico Club Unlimited streaming service.
It’s uncertain if this project will go beyond these 10 episodes. Sullivan noted that she’s a “media professional”, and it’s unclear if that means she can propose and host a TV show on MAtv and have it considered as “access programming” under the CRTC’s definition. When the CRTC came down against MAtv last year, it discounted some shows hosted by professional media personalities, many of them associated with Videotron parent company Quebecor. The commission’s decision doesn’t give clear guidelines for determining whether the person proposing a show is really from “the community” instead of the industry.
The Checklist airs:
- Mondays 3pm
- Wednesdays 11am
- Thursdays 9:30pm
- Fridays 3:30am
- Saturdays 3:30pm
- Sundays 1:30pm and 7:30pm
Also new: Black Wealth Matters
Also debuting tonight, half an hour before The Checklist, is Black Wealth Matters, a documentary series about economic matters in the black community. It’s produced by Henri Pardo, who was also behind StartLine, a show about local businesses in food, arts and multimedia.
Black Wealth Matters airs:
- Mondays 11:30am
- Tuesdays 3pm
- Wednesdays 8am
- Thursdays 9pm
- Fridays 3am
- Sundays 12:30am and 7pm
It seems participant Michael Saragossi from episode 1, is the Senior Account Executive of The Beat 92.5 FM. Kim’s friend I’m guessing(not a coincidence he was chosen)? I haven’t seen the show yet(I didn’t realize it has already aired in other time slots). On my Illico on-screen program guide, Studio direct is listed as the program scheduled for tonight at 9:30pm
O.K. so here i go. Please do not be offended by my comment but i need to say it.
If ever there is a show called White wealth matters hell will break loose and the medias will make a riot over racism accusations coming from the usual lobbies. Why is it o.k. then to use the same formula involving black people ?
I think it goes both ways and that this is a faux-pas that should have people thinking long and hard. Just sayin…
Because there hasn’t been hundreds of years of institutionalized racism against white people. White people aren’t exactly underrepresented in coverage of business matters.
That is the sort of mentality that makes the whole Bill 101 / OLF seem reasonable – the anglos “repressed” the French, so now it’s all fine that somehow they can repress the anglos back.
If black people want to bitch about racism, they need to start out by NOT defining things by race. Black Money Matters is a race based TV program, which is exclusionary and just plain wrong. It feeds the stereotypes and rejects other parts of the community.
I’m with Mario here, White Money Matters (or White Anglo Money Matters) would cause no end of hand wringing in the media. You can bet such a show would have a very short run (if it ever made it to air at all).
If only black people would ignore racism and not do anything to fix racism, then they could bitch about racism. OK then.
Since you have even the title wrong, I’m guessing you’re judging this program having not even watched it.
Whiff! That’s the sound of the point going over your head.
That I called it Black Money Matters instead of Black Wealth Matters is to miss the point entirely – it’s not money or wealth that’s important, it’s that it’s exclusive to the black community. Sort of like the sad “black lives matter” stuff – all lives matter, color shouldn’t be the issue.
Nobody is telling them to ignore racism. I am only saying that when they turn around and define things by race, they are creating their own segregation which reinforces a racially oriented message. Bitching about racism and then turning around and self-segregating, they are sort of not helping themselves out.
“Since you have even the title wrong, I’m guessing you’re judging this program having not even watched it.”
Since I wasn’t judging the program, only it’s title and premise, I don’t think it’s relevant. You can review it all you like, I am not.
Maybe you should read up on the Black Lives Matter movement so you can learn why that argument is stupid. Racism makes it the issue. This isn’t a black supremacy movement.
I don’t see how a TV show about black people in business creates segregation any more than a show about the Jewish community creates anti-Semitism.
Congrats, Kim. I remember the days when I was on air at CJAD on Fort Street. I would often stop by your studio before or after my show to chat and see your smiling face. I wish you well in the new endeavour.
I don’t know if you remember Sol, but Kim Sullivan auditioned for the CJAD Overnight Talk Show gig. She hosted several CJAD Overnight show editions.
I remember when she was on the short-lived EZ Rock Ottawa. A very likeable personality!
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