Friday, August 6, 2010

Stursberg out at CBC; McPherson available

"The senate gig pays how much?"
BEVERLY HILLS, CA--Word has filtered down to the floor of the press tour session room that CBC president Richard Stursberg (left) is adios. Some tiff with the big boss at the public broadcaster, CEO Hubert Lacroix, apparently. We're hearing that Kristine Stewart is stepping up to clean up Stursberg's mess and that Christine Wilson is going to fill in at programming.
The news is not a complete shock to colleagues here at TV ground zero. Stursberg pulled a few stunts--along with ads--in his dealings with the media, which were never warm and fuzzy.
Showrunners with track records talk of deals falling through at the eleventh hour and a lack of flexibility at the corporate level. One big Canadian player told me recently his show was aborted when it was deemed too expensive. "That wouldn't kill it here," he said, meaning Hollywood.
All this is happening on the Cable portion of press tour. A TLC session for a show called Sister Wives featuring polygamists from Utah left critics queasy right before lunch. News that the Kate Plus 8 kids would be joining the Palins on the Mark Burnett miniseries Sarah Palin's Alaska (coming in November) had critics checking to see if it was a twitter gag.
As it happens, I'm in the middle of a series of cross country CBC syndicated radio interviews with calls coming up in St. John's, Calgary, Thunder Bay and Winnipeg. The topic is the new TV season and the view from the press tour.
I'm also on a Sunday Star deadline. And getting ready for this afternoon's Jersey Shore session...the death march with cocktails continues.
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