Brendan Kelly (a colleague at the Montreal Gazette) will get to sleep in on Wednesdays. His weekly Taste Test column, in which he introduces Daybreak listeners to new music, has been cancelled after many years, effective immediately.
Neither Kelly nor CBC Montreal offered any comment on this news when I asked about it, and neither would confirm nor deny it explicitly.
UPDATE: After this post was published, Kelly confirmed the news on Twitter:
I can confirm that I was told earlier this week my Taste Test column on CBC Radio's Daybreak has been cut. They say they'll get their music elsewhere. I've been doing this for years and years so I'd just like to thank all the faithful listeners who tuned in and texted in.
— Brendan Kelly (@brendanshowbiz) June 18, 2021
Kelly later offered a goodbye as well in a long Twitter thread:
Since Daybreak withdrew its offer to have me say goodbye on air, I'll do it here. Kind of incredibly, I first began doing the Taste Test in 1989, way back in the days when Jon Kalina was hosting.
— Brendan Kelly (@brendanshowbiz) June 22, 2021
And former Daybreak host Mike Finnerty had some kind words for his former colleague:
OMG when I started on @cbcdaybreak, I'll be honest, I did not know a lot about music. I never told @brendanshowbiz this(he must have known), but I would swot up for his Taste Tests and music columns. I needed to keep my head above water. The standard was high. Absolute highlight:
— Mike Finnerty (@finnertymike) June 21, 2021
That’s terrible. Brendan is a remarkable raconteur and has a passion for music. So many of the greats are being tossed out the window in private and public broadcasting.
Brendan Kelly always had interesting things to say about about new musical offerings and he had a loyal and enthusiastic following, myself included. Nothing is forever in radio-land, but – and I hate to say it – this cancellation is one less reason to follow Daybreak.
There is a foul odour to this, especially when no reason is given for the cancellation. Entertainment conglomerates don’t feel any sense of ownership and honesty with their listeners. One can only conclude hat they’re embargo offer up even a valid explanation of why this segment is discontinued. It’s heartless, more so because the CBC is a publicly owned institution that should feel some kind of obligation to its listeners. Brendan Kelly was a refreshing contributor to Daybreak. Pity that CBC Montreal doesn’t see it this way. Finally, this may have been the same type of decision made in response to its aging listenership who is probably responsible for the return of 3 bus of classical music on Radio 2 in the afternoon.
One less reason to follow Daybreak. Exactly. The decision is not about money. It is about directing Canadians to online where CBC can say they serve Canadians by noting our interests and responding with more similar content. See their “Cookies ” policies.
CBC told the CRTC they are all keen about Radio One; but what they mean and what Canadian listeners want are two different things.
“Baseline” radio (to you uninteresting content and to me the incessant repeats) is what shall be delivered across Canada and it will exist only until it has so few listeners, the content will not be of value anyway. CBC will say that online availability is followed enough that Radio One is no longer required over the air. There is no money in radio.
CBC executives offered Canadians nothing during COVID, kept their generous salaries, and still ask the Canadian government for more cash to execute their mandate which should have been revisited last year. This mandate from Trudeau’s government is to bring CBC into the Digital World. Your article is an example of radio being left behind. No one is saying drop digital for radio only; however, CBC Radio/Canada is Canada’s media safety net.
Let us envision Radio One separated from the rest of CBC. What might it sound like when freed from the governmental all-digital mandate given to the current executive, and Board of Directors?