RIP, TGCTS

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I don’t know why, and very little about how it happened, but Marty Gold’s Great Canadian Talk Show on Winnipeg’s 92.9 Kick FM [Red River College’s campus station] is not longer.

You can read far more about the demise of the show here, or here. If you believe the whole RRC “kills freedom of speech” spin, you can go here to participate.

I’ve been a quiet fan of the show for some time now, for the sole reason that regardless of one’s feelings about its host, it was information about Winnipeg that you just couldn’t get anywhere else.

In my view, the show’s recent coverage of the civic election was must-listen radio for those interested in civic issues. Each Friday afternoon [my day off] for the last few months now, I would grab a good cup of coffee and go through the archive of the week’s shows

I wrote recently about the 10 things from the civic election campaign I was going to miss.

Number one in the list was how the alternative media had a unifying theme that gave way to a lot of good debate and discussion about the city, its future and the quality of our leadership.

Well, thinking about this again this morning, I realize now what a huge part TGCTS played in fuelling the debate.

In addition to presenting long-form sit downs with the mayoral and councillor candidates, Marty Gold featured the best of local bloggers and other civic-minded guests on a number of occasions and engaged them in discussions that were insightful and interesting.

On a number of occasions, the show broke stories about civic issues that the MSM was forced to play catch up with. If that’s not a marker of good, engaging radio that people would enjoy, I don’t know what would be.

However, one recent moment stands out in my mind, and I’m still thinking about it today in how it may have been a portent for the show’s future.

Former Katz adviser turned policy blogger and author Brian Kelcey was on as a feature guest, and at one point, he offered Gold a small piece of advice.

“Push, don’t point,” he said, in reference to the host’s predilection to name names and call out officials for their various behaviours and perceived wrongdoings — one of the things that made the show special, if not downright jarring on some days.

Push, don’t point.

Like I said, I don’t know why the show was cut.

It could be that the new president of RRC couldn’t understand why her school’s flagship radio show was run by a person who didn’t attend classes there. It could be because the school was threatened with legal action. It could be because a provincial election is on the way. It could be because it was just time for it to be done.

It could be because Gold pointed at the wrong person where he should have pushed.

I don’t know.

What I do know is that as citizens, we’re worse off for its demise.

And I have to find another Friday afternoon tradition.

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