CBC’s Evan Solomon Fired — Talk-Show Host Breached Journalistic Standards And Earned $300,000 In Commissions

Canada’s CBC star host, Evan Solomon, learned the hard way that you cannot use relations developed through the shows to make money. The television network has fired the long-time host for profiting from the relations the host made during his shows.

The CBC had to fire Solomon after an investigation revealed he broke the public broadcaster’s Code of Ethics. Evidently, the Toronto Star has reported they have concrete evidence Solomon was “taking secret commission payments related to art sales involving people he dealt with as a host.” The publication is in possession of documents that show the host earned about $300,000 worth of commissions from art dealings. Apparently, Solomon had been profiting from his position as popular talk-show host for more than two years.

“Among the people to whom Solomon has brokered the sale of paintings are Jim Balsillie, co-founder of Research In Motion (now BlackBerry) and Mark Carney, the former Bank of Canada governor and current governor of the Bank of England. Solomon, as a journalist, has dealt with both men in his high-profile host jobs at the CBC. Carney, who is also a friend, has been a guest on both of Solomon’s shows.”

Solomon, 47, hosted the television series Power and Politics, and the weekly political affairs radio show The House. Openly acknowledging his dismissal, Evan Solomon issued a statement.

“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. I am deeply sorry for the damage that my activities have done to the trust that the CBC and its viewers and listeners have put in me.”

What makes the case interesting is that Solomon initially denied being involved with art dealings, only to retract his statements, adding that everything was “disclosed to CBC.” Moreover, CBC spokesman Chuck Thompson had initially protected Solomon, saying, “Evan didn’t trade on his journalistic contacts.” But when the news broke out, Thompson was left red-faced and said, “That comment no longer reflects the network’s position.”

At the heart of the case are multiple paintings and masks owned by a “flamboyant Toronto-area art collector to the rich and famous buyers.” The identity of the seller, on whose behalf Solomon brokered the deals, hasn’t been revealed. However, considering the fact that Evan Solomon made $300,000 on one of the dealings indicates the deals were very high profile. What’s troubling the press is that Solomon hid the fact from the buyer that he was earning commissions from the deal.

Brokering deals with contacts developed while hosting shows is unethical, and that’s the sole reason for him being so abruptly fired, confirmed the television network.

[Image Credit: Getty Images]

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