Early exit for Dave Rutherford following flood coverage rant
Ryan White, CTV Calgary
Published Tuesday, June 25, 2013 11:15AM MDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 25, 2013 5:02PM MDT
A popular Calgary-based talk radio host says his tenure with Corus radio has come to an abrupt halt following his criticism of management during Monday morning’s broadcast.
In a Tuesday morning tweet from the @rutherfordshow account, Dave Rutherford confirmed his departure from Corus radio.
“I have just been taken off the air on Corus radio. Message: don’t criticize management”
Rutherford says he received a phone call Tuesday morning informing him that he would not be going to air. No explanation was provided for the decision during the call and he was told Corus Radio's legal team would contact him.
In April, Rutherford announced his plans to leave Newstalk 770 radio effective July 26, 2013.
The following is a transcription of Rutherford’s rant from Monday, June 24, 2013.
“We will live with this forever.” The words of Premier Alison Redford. We will live with this forever. That is how profound this disaster has been. And so it’s our ongoing commitment to keep bringing you whatever we can on the Rutherford show. It’s the only program that is across the province, and therefore we end up covering Edmonton and Calgary and everywhere else that can hear us. Rob Breakenridge’s show is also running in the evening, because his program (is) also province-wide. So Rob’s show and the Rutherford show, the only two programs really that can get province-wide. And I say province-wide because I mean broadcasting into the City of Calgary.
You know, in my 42 years of providing news and information, it has been my commitment, my personal commitment, my professional commitment, to provide as much information as possible, as fast as possible, in all the radio stations I’ve worked for. Including Corus in Alberta, based in Calgary. My first main contact was CHQR radio in Calgary. But through the Rutherford show over the last 20 years we’ve been broadcasting across the province bringing you the latest, the most comprehensive, the fastest, the best — yes I’m going to say it, some of the best — coverage over the past 20 years.
So it is with profound disappointment that I have to tell you that Corus in Calgary has decided to direct resources in places other than information radio. For those of you listening right now in the city of Calgary right now on Corus, and I don’t know how many of you there are, because over the past four days you’ve been relying on information coming through 630CHED (Edmonton station) to bring
you up to date on an emerging situation right around you. So I would completely understand if you went elsewhere for your information. Profoundly disappointed in Corus, which, uh, the Corus management decided to channel their resources that they had to the music stations to get the music stations continuing to play the music. And the resources were not directed at doing everything it seems to me possible to get information on an information radio station.
That’s an opinion, and I’ve been told categorically by management at Corus that my opinion is not being sought. My advice is not being sought and it is not welcome. So that’s fine. Corus management runs the radio stations they can make their decisions. It’s unfortunate the decisions ended up the way they are. And so for the forseeable future, you people in Calgary will be listening to a feed from 630CHED in Edmonton. And I just want to tell you: the people at both radio stations have made a tremendous commitment to get information to you. They are in a no-win situation. The people working at the radio stations are professionals. They want to get the information out. 630CHED is in a difficult position. They have to provide information to Edmontonians about Edmonton matters. Things that matter to them: traffic, other infrastructure issues. All kinds of civic issues. But they’re going to have to water down their broadcast to provide *something* to try to keep Calgarians up to date a little bit. Is has been inadequate, it’s been disappointing, and quite frankly I’m… well, I’ll couch my language a little bit. I’m just very upset about it. Professionally and personally. And there are other ways I think information could have been broadcast on 770 but it was not.
And I’m sure that the Shaw family that is a very big part at Shaw, a very big part at Corus, is disappointed as well. We’ll do our part. We’ll do the best we can. We’ll bring you the latest and the most broad coverage we can on the Rutherford program. There are just four of us here, but we’re doing what we can."
All mention of Rutherford has been removed from the Newstalk 770 and Edmonton's 630CHED websites. Rob Breakenridge replaced Rutherford as the host of Tuesday morning's show.
Garry McKenzie, Corus Radio regional general manager, confirms the early termination of Rutherford’s contract and says the decision was a “personnel matter”.
McKenzie says if Rutherford believes the termination is related to Monday’s broadcast, “he is entitled to his opinion”.
Newstalk770 is expected to announce plans for a new morning show in mid-July.