McCardell Says He Was Fired … Not Retired.

BCTV/Global icon Mike McCardell says he was FIRED by Global and did not just retire.

In an interview on Talk Digital Network internet radio (click here to listen) , the award winning 30-year veteran story teller says he was surprised when station management called him in recently and delivered his notice.

“I was fired. I was let go by Global,” McCardell told Talk Digital interviewer Jim Goddard.

“They’re going in a new direction, they told me, and I’m not part of it.”

It was a year ago when I first reported that McCardell’s future on the Newshour was in jeopardy.  At that time, as an employee turning 65 years of age, he was facing retirement.

But … apparently in the face of negative public reaction …the station relented: McCardell did retire as an employee, but was then immediately hired back under a one-year individual contract.

My understanding is that contract expires in September and McCardell was told it would not be renewed.

“”I’m not feeling very good about it,” he told Goddard.

His last story on Global was run almost two weeks ago and the veteran raconteur is currently on vacation … but said that when he returns, he WILL be looking for work, somewhere where he can continue telling his stories.

Stand by … the McCardell story is not yet over …

Although I suspect Global wishes it was!

Harv Oberfeld

P.S. Another interview on the Turmoil in Media theme: David Chesney on Talk Digital Network 

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22 Responses to McCardell Says He Was Fired … Not Retired.

  1. morry says:

    shame on the small minded management at Global News Hour. They also will be toast in a a year or two as their ratings continue to tank. Bye Bye

  2. John Twigg says:

    I suspect similar things are happening to quite a few of the leading senior journalists because the companies are dumping big paycheques regardless of talent or merit, eg the recent losses from the VanSun newsroom of Baines, Manthorpe and others. But maybe it’s not just paycheques but also independent voices who challenge authorities and thus run up legal bills. The world is changing, and often not for the better. Democracy is dying.

    (Response: I don’t think Mike challenged authorities much with his stories …except once. He had trouble quite often getting a camera person in the do-more-with-less age and one time, he did an in-house story using pieces of paper with stick men to tell us how things worked at a tv station, with the brass sitting upstairs in their offices or boardroom making decisions that affected the workers down below. It was hilarious …I believe one of his best…but management were not amused! But I think he found it easier after that to get a camera. h.o)

  3. G. Barry Stewart says:

    Global… where ARE they headed?

    McCardell now has the choice of scaling back and doing his story-telling as a hobby — as you have, Harvey — or perhaps setting himself as his own business.

    If he’d like to keep making $$, he could perhaps go web-based and sign up sponsors for his site. He could also turn his stories into books, which he has done before.

    If it’s just the buzz that he gets from meeting people and hearing their stories, he could do that any time, any place.

    (Response: Interesting ideas. But I’d bet he’s hoping for something at CTV or CBC. h.o)

  4. D. M. Johnston says:

    I know who Mike McCardell is, a long time and well known TV essayist sort of chap.

    The real question is what is Global and why do I care?

  5. R says:

    Like CKNW.?

  6. Mike says:

    I think Global is becoming complacent, what with being ahead in the ratings in BC for the last few decades. They think they can make whatever changes they want and the viewers will still all come back. If the competition was stronger Global might be more inclined to make more significant improvements to their news instead.

    (Response: Well, management have said they are moving in a new direction this Fall. Time will tell if it’s up or down. Hard to believe this station, which one boasted 650,000 Newshour viewers each night… is apparently down to 400,000 or LESS, despite all the population growth over the past two decades. And yet, some managers there hate me for pointing out where and why they are slipping … but haven’t seemed to change a thing. Maybe this Fall? h.o)

  7. John Vernon says:

    The only reason I stuck it out with the last half hour of the 6 O’clock “News” was to hear what Mike had for us.Recently I have pared that down to the first ten minutes and then back at 6:55.

    Mike will be sorely missed and I hope we can look forward to watching him on a venue which
    deserves him.

    (Response: They found MANY viewers left the show after the weather…and that’s why Mike was positioned as the last item: it kept a LOT of people from leaving or brought them back for the last story…and concluding ADVERTISING, which is what the station really wanted. I have been watching CTV a lot more lately …still some lineup problems in my view …but doing more and more stories equal to and better than Global. McCardell could draw them viewers … older ones, but after all, we’re supposedly the ones with all the disposable income. h.o)

  8. Ephram says:

    Global is going down like the Canucks offence!! Mike McCardell was funny, witty and showed the human side of life of ordinary folk. Mike is genuine, not like frozen face Jill Krop, stuck up Sophie or the fake reporter Jennifer De Palma!! Global is trying to be trendy and they are going to fail badly.

    (Response: Clearly there is still a market for McCardell’s style and stories. Hear that CTV? CBC? h.o)

  9. morry says:

    nothing foretells your imminent death than when you TRY to become trendy. By then your autopsy report is on the way of being filed

  10. Larry Bennett says:

    There was a show by Walt Disney (a few here may remember) wherein a little deer fawn (the eponymous, Bambi) is being chided for his awkwardness, by a baby rabbit called Thumper. As I recollect, Thumper’s mother tells him that if he can’t say anything nice about someone, then he shouldn’t say anything at all. And the moral of this story is …… crickets!

  11. I’m in my early 30’s and Global has always been my choice for local news. If what you’re saying is true about Mike, then the pieces that kept me coming back have all departed.

    First to leave was this excellent investigative reporter who retired in 2006 after 38 years – you might know him 😉 – to be replaced with younger, “hipper” ones; unfortunately they didn’t really carry on the mantle as “investigative” reporters and mostly just regurgitated what was fed to them.

    A changing of the guard happened slowly and Tony “retired”. When he showed up for work at CBC shortly thereafter I considered following, but decided to stay loyal as Global still offered enough that was unique to hold my attention – Mike was definitely one of those things.

    The world’s best weatherman retired and while I’ll miss his crazy shirts, I wish him only the best (after 44 years he deserves a break!).

    That left me with Mike McCardell, his segment has always been my favourite. Whether it’s a story about ducks crossing the road, or an elderly couple celebrating timeless love, his stories reminded me of the humanity around us and the community we live in – something easy to lose touch with in this digital age.

    I don’t need to watch Global (or any other TV newscast) to keep up with what’s happening elsewhere in Canada/the world; there’s a million other ways to keep on-top of that these days. Where they have the ability to add real value is with local news, really digging into what’s happening here and helping us stay connected to our own backyard. If that’s not a part of Global’s plan for the future then I don’t want their newscast… heck at this point I don’t even want one of those coveted ballpoint pens.

    (Response: You certainly have good taste! LOL! I know it’s inevitable that people retire or head off to do other things: but the key to maintaining success should be to hire similarly talented if younger replacements. But in the world of bean-counters and lesser management types at the helm, the HUGE mistake was hired young inexperienced and historically and politically uneducated neophytes who work cheaper, can be pushed around more easily, have poor writing skills, almost no investigative abilities and are given little or no time or training to improve. That’s why there is now so much news-on-a-platter coverage: accidents, shootings, press conferences, released reports, studies and frankly promo-type puff pieces. And then the brass wonder why ratings are dropping or barely growing. h.o)

  12. 13 says:

    BCTV unlike NW has a lot of local competition. When the bean counters destroyed NW we really didnt have another local talk radio station. For 6 pm news we have choices. I choose to watch anywhere McCardell ends up.
    Bottom line = bottom ratings. Welcome to third world buisness economics.

  13. Mike says:

    Other than the Christmas special. There is one McCardell story I will never forget. An asian man sitting in his car tossed a bag of McDonlads garbage out of his window. Mike questioned the man and as he drove off, Mike threw it back into his car. I had a good laugh at that.

  14. J & S Nylander says:

    Even when our kids were in their teens, the call “McCardell’s on in a minute” would bring the whole family running to watch. So the news of his firing is not well-received at our house. Global has always been our station of choice – but, with all the other slippage at the station over the past few years, we’ll be going where Mike goes. Good luck, Mike! (and, in a completely different tone of voice: “Good luck, Global…”)

    (Response; Of course, change can sometimes be for the better. The word at Global is that they’re going to move in a new direction this Fall: maybe it will be great. Better. Groundbreaking. Informative. Entertaining. … Stop laughing! But we can hope. Or switch. h.o)

  15. OldIslander says:

    Thanks for posting that link — McCardell has led an amazing life. His stories about New York City in the early 70’s were unbelieveable. I recall McCardell doing the occassional story about things that had angered him in Vancouver, and they were powerful. SWMBO and I will switch to the news outlet that hires him — we’ve pretty much stopped watching Global over this.

    Goddard would do well to talk considerably less about himself and allow his guest to talk more. I felt there were things Mike was trying to say, but never got out due to Goddard’s constant stream of personal stuff.

    But it was still good….

    (Response: LOL! Not Goddard’s best interview. I could almost sense Mike’s confusion … or was it frustration …as he listened. But it was still good to hear/listen to the bits from Mike. h.o)

  16. NewsTalker says:

    That interview was painful. I tuned in to here Mike, but all I got was Jim Goddard. He’s had some great guests of late, but blows the interviews by talking about himself…to the point where I ask myself, ‘is this some sort of prank?’ I think Mike had about 3 minutes talk time in that 19 minute piece! Poor Mike, he deserves better.

  17. Norm Farrell says:

    I recommend a person should record his/her favourite news show on a PVR then watch with a finger on the advance button of the remote control.

    Skipping commercials saves about 18 minutes, and lowers the blood pressure because you don’t have to see government paid ads. Skipping the weather and traffic saves 9 minutes and cutting out happy talk and pet adoptions eliminates 7 and sports and entertainment babble another 12.

    Bouncing over fake news distributed and promoted to television newsrooms by commercial interests shortens the program 6 minutes. Ignoring medical reports and studies that will never be heard from again saves 3 more.

    Follow this procedure and you can watch an hour of prime time TV news in precisely 5 minutes.

    (Response: Geez…that’s shorter than some of the features I used to do! h.o)

  18. GT says:

    Gobble News has been awful for years. I watch maybe the first ten minutes of any of the local newscasts. Gobble have to be the cheapest bunch of operators out there. Re-hashed news from previous days and news that is sometimes days old. Lots of lost dog type stories and You Tube vids. Mike should have tried talking in a little girl voice like Deb, maybe he might still be working there.

  19. thomas says:

    Mike is very good at what he does and full credit and respect to him for that. He’s a good story teller people obviously like. I do not mean to criticize him personally in any way. I am sure he is a good and honest person with great talent as a broadcaster. He brought out the personalities of ordinary people, but let’s face it, one could just as easily argue that his talent was wasted. His talent was used to chat with people about insignificant things.
    He was hardly Mark Twain.
    Any serious discussion of journalism related to this topic should include an realistic assessment of his sort of work. It is not useful journalism. He is not a serious journalist and society will not be any worse off for losing him from the airwaves. His work is entertainment, a higher form than some with its very small dab of societal introspection, but entertainment nonetheless.
    The fact that some people watch the news only for his stories is a really sad statement about the newscast or about those people.
    If Global were to replace him with a hard hitting journalist, or even an eager young journalist, I would be a big supporter.
    Of course, they’ll probably just replace him with cheaper entertainment.

    (Response: I understand your point about serious journalism. But even top investigative, hard-hitting shows like 60 Minutes for years had someone light … eg Andy Rooney … to soften the mood, entertain and yet still inform after their serious stuff. I don’t think Mike ever pretended his stories on the Newshour were hard-hitting news …but if you can have Sports … why not a bright human interest spot too to wind it up? My concerns would be more about the first 58 minutes than the last 2. h.o)

  20. Larry Bennett says:

    Norm/Thomas – Dignum et justum est! Though weatherman Wayne Cox was always a class act; don’t know if he was pushed or jumped.

  21. morry says:

    I think Thomas is missing the whole point of what Mr. McCardell offered.

  22. Graham says:

    Global has been running BCTV into the ground for years. The only real reporters they have over there are Jas Johal and John Daly. Linda Aylesworth just regurgitates the latest Greenpeace press release and Deb Hope’s condecending babble belongs in a kindergarten classroom. Their sports coverage is still pretty good but the morning news is god awful. CTV is looking better and better.

    Harv you should come out of retirement, get a bunch of quality veteran reporters together and form your own news channel. I’m sure there would be some deep pockets out there that would be willing to bankroll the endeavour.

    (Response: Really appreciate the thoughts…but I’m loving retirement, sleeping in till 7 a.m., going for walks, lunches with friends, travel, blogging. The solution to good tv isn’t to keep the veterans working till they croak: it’s to replenish the supply with GOOD writers, FINE journalists and EXPERIENCED story tellers….that’s where a lot of them have fallen down badly and are paying the price. h.o)

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