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Evan Solomon sacked by CBC over secret art dealings

Evan Solomon had one of the top jobs in Canadian political journalism: He hosted both CBC News Network’s Power & Politics, and the House, CBC Radio One’s Saturday morning politics show.

All that came crashing down late Tuesday afternoon as CBC decided to fire him for his moonlighting job — taking a secret cut of art deals he arranged for connected, powerful friends he dealt with as a CBC host.

From the Toronto Star (“CBC host Evan Solomon fired after Star investigation finds he took secret cut of art deals“):

The Star found Solomon has been brokering the sale of paintings and masks owned by a flamboyant Toronto-area art collector to rich and famous buyers. Solomon, in at least one case, took commissions in excess of $300,000 for several pieces of art and did not disclose to the buyer that he was being paid fees for introducing buyer and seller.

The CBC had taken Solomon off the air Monday pending an investigation “over the next couple of days.” That move came after the Star presented the CBC with the results of its probe of Solomon.

The network severed its relationship with Solomon on Tuesday without further explanation. McGuire, general manager and editor in chief of CBC News and Centres, said in the statement that the network would “be making announcements about the interim hosting of these programs in the next few days.”

Among the people to whom Solomon has brokered the sale of paintings are Jim Balsillie, co-founder of Research In Motion (now BlackBerry) and Mark Carney, the former Bank of Canada governor and current governor of the Bank of England.

Solomon, as a journalist, has dealt with both men in his high-profile host jobs at the CBC. Carney, who is also a friend, has been a guest on both of Solomon’s shows. …

The CBC code of ethics states that employees “must not use their positions to further their personal interests.”

In an interview Monday, Solomon first told the Star that he had no involvement in the art world.

“I have never been involved in an art business,” he said. “I have never sold any art to anyone.”

When the Star inquired further, Solomon said he was involved but had done nothing wrong. “I have been involved in an art business and it is all disclosed to CBC.”

Solomon then said: “I am no longer involved in the business. It is over.”

From Twitter:

 

Tue, June 9 2015 » Main Page, Media