George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight Cancelled

XXXThere's lots going on in the world of George Stroumboulopoulos.

First Bob McKenzie reported that he was going to fill Ron MacLean's seat hosting Hockey Night in Canada and now CBC has announced they're not bringing back George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight next season.

Other than his annoying love of the Habs, I quite like Strombo. Not only does he know and appreciate music, but he had the integrity to quit his Corus radio show after what they did to his close friend Martin Streek.

And he was nice enough to call me once to chat about podcasting and the future of his radio show.

It's a shame to lose his talk show because he's a fine interviewer and it was usually interesting viewing. We'll see what's next for Strombo, and if there's another Rogers-owned talk show in his future.


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Comments (35 - click here to join in!)

Argie

The good news: No more wasting of taxpayers' money down a drain which only had about 40,000 viewers a night (which is a really bad rating.)

The bad news: Hockey fans will be subjected to this fawning kiss-ass.

March 10, 2014 @ 11:12 AM

Roshan

That's a shame. He's a great interviewer and a good show. What a letdown CBC.

March 10, 2014 @ 11:27 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Rogers has announced their HNIC anchors will be Strombo, MacLean, Cherry, Millard and Marek.

Marek will be on Toronto Mike'd next week to tell us exactly what he knows.

Rogers says Don Cherry and Ron MacLean will still host Coach's Corner, btw... so that won't change.

March 10, 2014 @ 11:36 AM

Argie

I hate Rogers. That is all.

March 10, 2014 @ 11:38 AM

519 Rob

Not a fan of Millard, but like Marek and Strombo. Nice to see some young blood.
Still, I can't help but think Rogers is gonna F this up.

March 10, 2014 @ 11:41 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

The fact is, Rogers has a virtual hockey broadcast (minus some existing regional contracts) monopoly in this country. So long as they telecast live NHL games, they really can't fuck this up. It's impossible.

I could host HNIC and people will tune in to watch the Leafs vs. Habs on a Saturday night.

March 10, 2014 @ 11:43 AM

Philly-Bob

Off topic I know, but Rob Ford doesn't even know what time it is...
http://blogs.canoe.ca/goodgravy/politics/what-time-is-it-in-ford-nation/

Robs twitter account reminded everyone to set the clocks an hour back for daylight savings...only problem is, in the spring we set them an hour forward...

That explains why Ford doesn't show up to city hall until noon...he means to be there by 10, but his clocks are wrong...

March 10, 2014 @ 12:12 PM

Zee

Agreed about Strombo's annoying Habs love. His show with Viggo Mortensen was a Hab love fest. I can't handle that on HNIC.

March 10, 2014 @ 12:16 PM

Corey

@Argie

That's why I referred to him as "golden boy" in the Open Mike. Fact is, he seems to do no wrong, even though his numbers don't back him up. No matter the timeslot or format, Strombo's ratings have always sucked. I think your numbers are low (by at least 50%) but regardless, Rick Mercer, 22 Minutes, Dragons Den all quadruple the numbers Strombo gets. Put it this way - when 3 times more viewers tune in immediately after your show to watch Coronation Street, you're not exactly over performing.

March 10, 2014 @ 12:26 PM

519 Rob

Right now in Canada, we have 3 hockey options.

If I was to rank them just for production value, hosts, and general appeal, Rogers (Sportsnet) is a distant 3rd behing TSN and CBC.

I can't stand the 'personalities' that Rogers has on staff. Kypreos, Millard, and (damn, blanking on his name..the old GM from Columbus).
I'll still watch Rogers' HNIC broadcast (assuming I still watch hockey - but thats another debate) - but I'll bet you I flip to another channel during the intermission.

March 10, 2014 @ 12:27 PM

Rob

I didn't watch Strombo on television but at least twice a year would go to CBC.ca/Youtube and go through a bunch of his interviews.

It is a shame, he was very good at doing interviews.

March 10, 2014 @ 12:29 PM

4x4 Time

I wonder if Rogers will continue to allow live streaming of HNIC games, or block people so you have to pay for a Rogers service. Anybody know?

March 10, 2014 @ 12:30 PM

Corey

@4x4

Jason from Sudbury posted a link to an article in the Open Mike post. It indicates that Rogers will put an end to the free streaming CBC offers. You will have to pay.

March 10, 2014 @ 12:37 PM

4x4 Time

@Corey, @Jason from Sudbury...What a surprise!

March 10, 2014 @ 12:43 PM

Speysidephil

Congratulations to Jeff Marek, he is an integral part of the Rogers broadcast.
Good for him.

March 10, 2014 @ 12:55 PM

elvis

@519 Rob - you're thinking of Doug MacLean

March 10, 2014 @ 1:07 PM

Oscar

I'm very disappointed. George is a great guy, but I don't think this is a good direction.

I think Friedman and Duthie would have been much better than Strombo and Marek. As for Millard... meh....

March 10, 2014 @ 1:25 PM

Argie

@Oscar
Rogers tried like crazy to get Duthie - but he's staying with TSN after they threw a bundle at him.

As for Friedman, the guy knows his stuff but has the charisma of a frog. He's good on a panel when all he has to do is provide information and the occasional opinion.

March 10, 2014 @ 1:29 PM

Gump

@Argie

Why are you negative *all* the time. You are so 1-dimensional and tiring.


I love Strombo. He brings enthusiasm to everything he does - even when I have no interest in it, like 90s rap or speed metal.

As for HNIC, I am going to miss Elliotte Friedman - well spoken, thoughtful, respectful of others on the panel and intelligent.

March 10, 2014 @ 1:37 PM

Argie

@Gump
Why are you so positive all of the time?

I was positive about Duthie. I like him and so do TSN and Rogers.

March 10, 2014 @ 1:53 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Gump

Is it for certain that Elliotte Friedman won't be back on HNIC? Surely there's a role for him... he's excellent.

March 10, 2014 @ 1:53 PM

Gump

@Mike

I would have no knowledge of this either way.
I had just seen his Twitter feed and, as usual, it was professional as he congratulating the others who are confirmed.

March 10, 2014 @ 2:07 PM

Gary

Strombo is one of those guys that we are supposed to like and I just can't seem to get there.

March 10, 2014 @ 2:50 PM

mrmojorisinca

I've met him a couple times, each time he has been very cool..
very knowledgeable about music and hockey..should be good addition to HNIC

March 10, 2014 @ 2:52 PM

Andrew

I've worked with all the players involved from TSN to SNET to CBC and all of them are good guys and gals. If Elliott isn't back that would be a disappointment, but too be honest, I hope he gets a time slot on The Fan as I love him on the radio. He is a super, super nice guy, really professional and not one ounce of haughtiness about him.

I've been told that next year will be the busiest for NHL in Canada ever. I've been doing this for 20 years now and I'm not sure I'm prepared for next winter. We've started to get tidbits about what is going on from a technical standpoint and for us covering the games, there's shouldn't be much different except for the voices calling them - and I still haven't heard who the broadcast teams are going to be. With Rogers having so many regional games, the travel logistics and such will suck.

I think we'll start to know more once the 2014/2015 schedule is fully released... at least I'll have an idea of where I will be... however, I need to get through the rest of the curling and Blue Jays baseball season first.

Strombo is a good guy... he'll do fine.
It's the people calling the games that I'm more worried about.

Cheers,
Andrew

March 10, 2014 @ 3:38 PM

Argie

As Bob Cole would say" "Everything is happening...."

March 10, 2014 @ 3:44 PM

Boomer

I know this will start a war but I want Bob Cole!

March 10, 2014 @ 4:32 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Boomer

Bob Cole is by far my favourite, but eventually he's going to want to retire.

But until he does, he's my strong preference for calling hockey games.

March 10, 2014 @ 4:35 PM

Speysidephil

Oh geez, we had to bring Bob Cole into this. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

March 10, 2014 @ 5:32 PM

dale

I would like to see Rominuk over Hughson calling games.
Play by play will be a challenge for all the games being shown.
Joe Bowen??

Why not?

March 10, 2014 @ 8:41 PM

519 Rob

@ Elvis
Thanks! That is who I was thinking of. It was on the tip of my tongue.

I used to really like Hughson calling games, but I find him very underwhelming now.

I watched a lot of the Spengler Cup this year (I much prefer international hockey), and Romanuk is by far the best play by play guy in the game today.
I still like Bob Cole, but he has lost a step or two. But he is much better than Hughson. I like Coles chemistry with Garry Galley (another guy I suspect will get lost in the shuffle, which is a shame).

It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out come next September.

March 11, 2014 @ 8:56 AM

Ryan P

Favourite ever guest was when he had Jean Chretien on within the last year. Such a great interview!

I'm happy for Strombo however I'm selfishly sad that his show is going to be done. He's such an awesome interviewer. I really hope someone picks him up to do those great interviews once in a while - we all know how player interviews work...

Maybe he'll land a 10 minute side gig doing those for some other show. Would be a pity to loose those intimate interviews.

March 11, 2014 @ 1:12 PM

Matt

I remember when he hosted much loud. Nice guy too, met him at The Scores street party a few years ago.

I'm glad he got the gig even if he is a habs fan.

March 13, 2014 @ 6:35 PM

Tricia

Hey Toronto Mike!

Glad to keep the conversation going, Toronto Mike!

It was definitely a good idea to look at your blog tonight after a long absence...Otherwise, I never would have found out that Strombo's show had been cancelled. I had read in The Buffalo News that he was picking up the Hockey Night In Canada gig, but I never dreamed that he would have to give up his show. :(

I am one of George Stroumboulopoulos' few and proud fans in Western New York. I started watching his show in 2006 when I came back to the area following a 10-year absence. I actually used to watch the 5 a.m. rerun of his show because I had a night shift job at the time and it was always the best way to "end my day." From the very beginning, I was immediately impressed with his hosting style and realized that he was MUCH better than anything that was going on in American late night TV. Compared to the "snorefests" that were/are the Leno and Letterman shows where they just seemed to be "phoning it in" every night and pandering to lowest common denominator, here was a guy who was from the same generation as me, shaped by many of the same cultural forces, who welcomed an eclectic array of guests and treated them all with respect. In three words, "he got it."

That being said, the responses here demonstrate what I have known, and loved, about Strombo for a long time - he's an acquired taste. For some, he is their cup of tea, for others, not so much. And if the ratings data is true, it just shows that a quality host and a quality program doesn't always translate into great ratings. Sadly, unless any television program, no matter how great, can attract enough eyeballs for the supporting advertisers, it runs the risk of getting cancelled. That's the way it goes... :(

Like Ryan P., I hope that George continues to get to shoehorn some great interviews into whatever show he's doing, somehow, someway.

I nearly had the chance to meet George one day...but things didn't go too well...I was standing in the lobby of the CBC headquarters on an October day in 2008...My fellow grad students and I who were there on a class trip were waiting to be cleared by security when who walks into the line, but George! "Hey, George," I shouted along with a few of my school friends. Alas, I don't think he was too happy to be recognized that morning...in his defense, he seemed pretty hung over, and I can only imagine that our shrieking, enthusiastic voices must have sounded like nails on a chalkboard at that hour of the morning. As I recall, he attempted to mutter a response and just kept advancing through the line.

There are many moments in my life I wish I could have back to do over, and that will always be one of them...I just wish I could have properly met George and told him how much I loved his show. :)

In short, while I am pleased that he has the HNIC job to look forward to, if his show is truly being cancelled, I will definitely be missing my daily dose of Strombo. Of all his interviews, and several stand out in memory, the one I enjoyed the most was with Kermit the Frog. It put a smile on my face to watch him never break the nostalgic facade and treat even a handful of felt, plastic, and wires like a living creature. :)

March 14, 2014 @ 11:41 PM


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