The Strange, Sad Case of Richard Zussman, Ex-CBC Vancouver


Back when I was a young political reporter, a colleague and I decided to write a book about the shambolic government of Social Credit premier Bill Vander Zalm.

Keith Baldrey and I were both reporters for The Vancouver Sun based in the capital, and had unparalleled contacts and access to those in the best position to provide behind-the-scenes accounts of Mr. Vander Zalm’s chaotic administration. We sought the permission of our employer. Not surprisingly, The Sun was ecstatic we were pushing ahead with the project, asking only that it get first chance to publish any juicy content.

The newspaper was thrilled, knowing the publicity the book generated would be good for both the newspaper and two of its political reporters. As it turned out, Fantasyland became a best-seller and The Sun benefited enormously from it.

Which brings me to today, and the bewildering and troubling case of former CBC reporter Richard Zussman (pictured).

Mr. Zussman was recently fired for participating in a project not dissimilar to the one I embarked on a few decades earlier. He and Vancouver Sun reporter Rob Shaw collaborated on a book about the fall of B.C. Liberal premier Christy Clark and the rise of the NDP under John Horgan. With a scheduled release date of next spring, the pair had little time to spend on research and writing. But their extensive contacts with those in key political circles made a very tight timeline possible.

While I don’t know Mr. Zussman well, I can say he has forged a reputation in the Victoria press gallery as extremely likeable and incredibly hard working. The CBC won a major industry honour in October, largely on the back of his reporting on the last days of the Clark government.



  1. If you lose, Mr Zussman, you win. Just remember Evan Solomon, forced to walk the plank by CBC due to way-overblown allegations of victimless art dealing. Evan’s done the Happy Dance ever since as other media outlets, recognizing his superb communication skills, keep him busy on tv, radio and in print.

    I used to oppose privatization of CBC’s television assets. But am starting to come around to supporting divestment.

  2. Hey, why should we be surprised this happened?

    It’s the CBC after all…they operate in a universe of their own…

    Zussman is good and will land on his feet soon.

  3. Of course we do not know all of the details but certainly reading from the Mason Column and other Media Reports Zussman was treated very unfairly.

    This is infuriating and at the same time very sad. The CBC overreached here by a lot.

    The CBC are getting a lot of criticism over this dumb decision and they deserve the backlash.

    I have never tuned in CBC Radio even once in my life and the only time I tuned in to CBC TV was for Hockey a lifetime ago and to watch Coronation Street with my Mother in Law the odd rainy cold Sunday in the winter season.

    I hope CBC have a change of heart and I hope the relationship with Zussman can be repaired.

    In the meantime I will purchase a few of the Books and pass them out to Friends that are also supporters of the B.C. Libs.

    Sad thing is I am afraid this story might get lost with all of the other Media dismissals and controversy with Allegations of Sexual Assault etc.

    Good Luck to Zussman!


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