The CBC has abruptly dismissed a high-profile personality, ousting political host Evan Solomon over allegations he used his journalistic contacts to broker art deals and collect lucrative fees.
The public broadcaster announced the decision in a brief memo to staff on Tuesday evening, little more than an hour after The Toronto Star published a story detailing the popular television host’s dealings with art collector Bruce Bailey.
“I regret to inform you that CBC News has ended its relationship with Evan Solomon host of Power and Politics and The House,” said Jennifer McGuire, general manager and editor-in-chief of CBC News, in a memo to staff. “We will be making announcements about the interim hosting of these programs in the next few days.”
CBC spokesman Chuck Thompson confirmed Mr. Solomon was fired. Neither Mr. Solomon nor Mr. Bailey responded to calls or e-mails requesting comment on Tuesday.
According to The Toronto Star, Mr. Solomon entered an agreement last year with Mr. Bailey, a characterful Toronto businessman who has been a collector, dealer and patron of fine art. The newspaper story alleges Mr. Solomon helped broker the sale of art to prominent Canadians with whom he interacted as a journalist, or who appeared on his show, including wireless magnate Jim Balsillie and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney.
Mr. Solomon would collect a 10-per-cent commission on the sales he helped arrange and was paid more than $300,000 over two years through the arrangement, according to the Star’s report.
Mr. Solomon only disclosed the relationship to the CBC two months ago, Mr. Thompson said.
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