Breakaway, the afternoon drive show on CBC Radio One throughout Quebec (outside of Montreal and Gatineau), finally has a new permanent host: Saroja Coelho, a journalist who until recently was based in Germany.
Her first show is today.
— Saroja Coelho (@sarojacoelho) August 31, 2016
The hiring of Coelho, who worked for Deutsche Welle and freelanced for several outlets including the CBC, might be a bit of a head-scratcher, considering listeners here are unfamiliar with her. But also because Rachelle Solomon, who had been hosting Breakaway since 2014, seemed to be an obvious choice for the job. She will stay with the station and contribute to Breakaway.
Jacquie Czernin, the last permanent host of Breakaway, left the show more than two years ago to be with her ailing mother in B.C. Last December, she made the departure permanent.
UPDATE: I spoke with Coelho for a short story in the Gazette. I’ll have more from her later.
CBC’s press release announcing the hire is below:
SAROJA COELHO NAMED NEW HOST OF CBC RADIO ONE’S BREAKAWAY IN QUEBEC
Tuesday, September 6, 2016 – CBC Quebec is pleased to announce Saroja Coelho as the new host of CBC Radio One’s Breakaway.
Saroja is an experienced journalist and public broadcaster. Prior to joining CBC, Saroja worked for Deutsche Welle in Germany for eight years, holding positions as a radio and television presenter, senior editor and producer, writer, event moderator and media trainer. During that time, Saroja also worked as a freelancer for CBC, BBC, NPR, Ms Magazine and other publications. She has also contributed to CBC Radio on Global Village, Outfront and Metro Morning. Saroja’s first day as host is Tuesday, September 6.
“Saroja brings strong news and broadcast experience to CBC Quebec,” said Meredith Dellandrea, Senior Program Manager, CBC Quebec. “An adventurous traveller in Quebec and around the world, she seeks to understand people and new perspectives. We’re excited to have her join our team.”
“I couldn’t be more delighted about taking over as the host of Breakaway,” said Saroja Coelho, Breakaway host. “Quebec has a rich history and a vibrant culture that is reinventing itself every day. I can’t wait to connect with people across the province and continue Breakaway’s tradition of being an on-air meeting place where people tell their stories, challenge each other with new thinking and, hopefully, have a good laugh.”