This Week’s Podcast: Exit Tom Clark

You gotta feel for Tom Clark. He was the guy who stayed, and stayed and stayed, hoping some day Lloyd would stop drinking the blood of young virgins, unplug his constantly changing hair hypnotiser and return to pyramid duty.
But Lloyd did not. He outlasted Keith Morrison, Pamela Wallin and now Mr. Clark. All worthy successors as anchor of CTV National News, but as mere mortals doomed to drop out of the CTV anchor seat sweepstakes.
At 76, Lloyd Robertson has announced that he is taking a year-long victory lap and then leaving Canadians to figure out the headlines for themselves. He’s earned it. Nobody in North America can touch him for consistency and longevity. The man is the Gordie Howe of news anchors.
Lisa LaFlamme was recently announced as his replacement. Tom Clark was not.

So, on Tuesday, Clark tweeted he was packing it in at CTV. Lloyd made it official that night, offering a quick adios at the end of the newscast. Clark somehow put in nearly 40 years at the Agincourt bunker. He must have been 13 when he started. He takes with him impeccable credentials as a foreign correspondent, covering six theatres of war. He also covered every federal election since 1974.
CHML’s Scott Thompson wanted to know all about Clark’s departure on this week’s podcast. Have to admit I have no inside knowledge on Clark’s sudden exit, no lead on where he might be headed next. Clark tweeted late Wednesday night that “the spin that i was ‘bitter’ or ‘couldn’t find acccomodation’ and that I left CTV, is just wrong” and that there would be more to come on all of this.

He joins ex-Global anchor Kevin Newman on the sidelines. Newman was quick to tweet his support of Clark.
Which tells you exactly how relevant all this is. If two of Canada’s preeminent newscasters are tweeting the news to each other, who’s watching the 11 p.m. nightly newscast?
Well, almost 1.1 million tuned in to Lloyd Tuesday night, a shade ahead of Newman’s old newscast at 5:30 p.m. (although well behind Global in the 18-49 demo). The news habit is strongest among older viewers, not so much with kids under 50. Still, as long as pharmaceutical companies have Cialis and Viagra ads to place, newscasts will continue to be profit centres for networks.
You can listen to the podcast here.

One Response to “This Week’s Podcast: Exit Tom Clark”

  1. I dislike anyone who’s main career impression is that of bucking for someone else’s job, year after year after year after year. And nor do I think anyone should be holding down any leading full-time position after reaching the age of 72 – and thus blocking everyone else’s (and their families’ well-being) progress.

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