STOMPIN’ TOM SNUBBED BY CBC TV
For Immediate Release::
STOMPIN' TOM SNUBBED BY CBC TV
Since 1990 as Stompin' Tom's promoter I have been led to believe that CBC TV wanted a Stompin’ Tom Music Special in the worst way!!
From year to year from various CBC TV management, the pressure was on for Stompin' Tom to perform a CBC music special. Constant phone calls and meetings took place with the end result always indicating We want Stompin’ Tom; no matter what it takes we must have Tom on CBC.
This past September a 'live' concert was put to tape at Hamilton Place in Hamilton Ontario during a Stompin’ Tom concert tour. The results were superb and definitely a magic moment for Stompin' Tom fans. The event was produced in High Definition to meet the requirements for a growing much needed upgrade in good quality programming.
Upon completion, a copy of the proposed broadcast was sent to CBC's head of TV Variety on December 12, 2005. A letter acknowledging the receipt of same was issued December 13th. It advised that a decision could take a few weeks, but as CBC was aware of the project, it would not take quite as long as that.
After several emails over a 10 week period, no answer was forthcoming.. An email to the newly appointed Vice-President of CBC programming was sent. They now respond with a quick email sent March 3, 2006 indicating that CBC programming was moving far from music and variety and therefore did not feel the Stompin' Tom special would fit their strategy. The letter was sent to me, as I had forwarded the special to the CBC. They also sent the same letter to a third party who had absolutely nothing to do with this project. Not very good business.
Further attempts to contact CBC Executive Management and the Minister of Heritage have been personally unanswered. Yet calls or emails forwarded to us over the past 15 years have been addressed at once and answers received from us in a timely manner.
On May 11, another letter from the newly appointed Executive Director of Network programming was sent to Brian Edwards advising that CBC was not interested in broadcasting a Stompin' Tom Special.
In the same note references were made that Stompin' Tom would have been a great guest to perform a song on the CBC Hockeyville series or a tremendous subject for a Life and Times project. Both of these programs are not "music specials" which is what the CBC pressured us for in the first place.
One would think that at 70 years of age, Stompin' Tom would be given the much deserved special he rightfully deserves. After all, CBC did insist they wanted a Stompin' Tom special.
Stompin' Tom is one of the few Canadians not to have their own CBC special. In a time where the network is trying to attract viewers and save money, one would think that something they have wanted for years would be very attractive. In a recent reality show on CBC of the top 100 Canadians, Stompin' Tom placed 13 and was the highest rated of any musical performer. Strange, for a network to boast this to the Canadian public, yet deny the same artist a show on Canada's network?
TOMS OWN PERSONAL RESPONSE!
To whom it may concern. In Re:
STOMPIN' TOM SNUBBED BY CBC.
In cooperation with my Concert Promoter, Brian Edwards, of Rocklands Talent, based in Peterborough, Ont., who, over the last few years had gained assurances from the CBC Television Network that they wanted to air a Stompin' Tom Musical Special in the worst way, and after much encouragement from them we finally produced a Special in September of last year, 2005.
No cost was spared to produce this High Definition Superior Quality Special and not a cent of tax-payer's money came from the Government.
Then to our utter surprise and disappointment, upon receiving the Special, the CBC began to drag their feet, saying they would get back to us in a prompt fashion, which they never did.
Each time they were contacted they passed the buck from office to office until finally we were told by an E-mail on May 11th,/06 by the newly appointed Executive Director of Network Programming that the CBC was "not interested" in Broadcasting a Stompin' Tom Special.
In the same note, as a consolation perhaps, it was suggested that maybe Stompin' Tom might be interested in performing a song on the CBC Hockeyville Series or perhaps be interviewed on a segment of Life And Times.
If this is not a complete snub to Stompin' Tom Connors by Canada's own Television Network then I'd like to know what is.
While all this was going on, representatives of the CBC have been quoted in the newspapers proclaiming their desire to improve their dismal record on the amount of Canadian Talent Programming they've been airing in the last couple of years.
Well, up to the present time we have contacted the offices of Richard Stursberg, Fred Nicolaidis, Robert Rabinovitch, Kirstine Layfield and many other high profile executives of the CBC. But all to no avail.
As a last ditch effort we are currently trying to interest Ms. Bev Oda, the new Minister of Canadian Heritage, to see if she can look into this matter.
In the last 40 years there have been many entertainers in this country, both known and not so well known, who have had Specials on the CBC. Some made money for the Network and a lot didn't. But as this would be my first Special ever, it strikes me as extremely odd that I would be turned down so unceremoniously. And without reason.
As late as the Fall of 2004 the CBC's own National Survey, "The Greatest Canadian" rated Stompin' Tom as No. 13 overall, out of one hundred candidates from every walk of life, and No. 1 over all other musical entertainers. (I'm not 'strutting' this, I'm just telling the facts.) And if this alone is not enough to be deserving of a Special then perhaps the CBC should review some of the Awards and Citations received by Stompin' Tom in recognition of his lifetime work and dedication to the people of Canada.
To name a few: The Officer's Medal of the Order of Canada; The Queen's Jubilee Medal; The Governor General's Medal for Lifetime Achievement; Three Doctorates and Six Junos. And if this is not enough to warrant a CBC Special, maybe they should condescend and come out to see one of my concerts which consistently draws family members from the ages of 2 to 102. One of our shows last summer drew over 40,000 people. And what did these people come out to see?
They came to see a guy who sings and writes songs that Canadians can identify with. Not the gushy pie in the sky that all too often comes out of Nashville; the 'Here Today and Gone Tomorrow'.
To sum up: As far as I'm concerned, if the CBC, our own Public Network, will not reconsider their refusal to air a Stompin' Tom Special, they can take their wonderful offer of letting me sing a song as a guest on some other program, AND SHOVE IT.
STILL A "PROUD CANADIAN".