Farewell Fisheries Broadcast

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Furlong moves to new role with Radio Noon

John Furlong, host of the Fisheries Broadcast, is leaving that position to serve as host of CBC Radio Noon. He’s been host of the Broadcast since 2005.

Current Radio Noon host, Ramona Dearing, is taking a one-year leave of absence and Furlong will hold the fort until she gets back.

“A few months ago just before the crab season got underway, there was another price dispute,” Furlong said, in an email exchange. “Crab fishermen went to the Union office looking for answers. I interviewed two boat owners about the dispute, and then interviewed Earle McCurdy. It was the same two fishermen I interviewed two years ago and got the same reaction from Earle as I did two years ago.

“I made a mental note that it was time I looked for something else to do! The only thing worse than doing something for eight years is ‘sounding’ like you've been doing it for eight years!”

Furlong said he the told that story to the station manager, Denise Wilson.

“When the opportunity to host Radio Noon for a year came up, Denise approached me and I jumped at the chance.”

I pointed out that he has the same option as Dearing: to have someone else keep his seat warm until he comes back. So why make it a permanent move?

“I think I need a break from The Broadcast and the Broadcast could probably use a break from me! I'm not sure what I'll be doing after the year is up. I tend to measure out my life in much smaller increments.”

There’s been a bunch of hosts on the Broadcast over the years, and Furlong was without question the best of the bunch (which is no small statement, given that it’s the longest continuously-running current affairs program on CBC). Sure, you can argue this point with me if you like, but you’d be wrong. Furlong brought a number of strengths to the program, including inquisitiveness, a personable style, a willingness to ask tough questions and an unwillingness to take crap from anyone.

Furlong’s blunt commentaries have prompted a lot of discussion on the cbc.ca/nl website, and his final installment as host is no exception. He offers a few fond memories sprinkled with some humour, then closes with a parting shot at government’s inability to deal head-on with issues that plague the fishery.

“Some of the regulations are aimed at socially engineering the fishery to gain maximum part-time employment, supported by E.I.,” he writes. “Little wonder no politician has the stomach to tackle the issues. We are operating in a global fishery that is of mammoth proportions yet continue to act in isolation, hoping the world will beat a path to our door. In actual fact, it may be passing us by. For how long more is the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery going to wait for the good ol’ days to come back?”

You can read the full text of Furlong’s farewell column here:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2013/07/12/nl-john-furlong-goodbye-broadcast-713.html

Of course, the Broadcast’s loss is Radio Noon’s gain. Furlong has hosted other daytime programs on a temporary basis and usually does a stellar job of it. He can be acerbic, funny and unpredictable. But he is also knowledgeable and unafraid to ask probing, sometimes politically incorrect questions. The final word on this goes to Furlong:

“I'm sure looking forward to expanding my range. I CAN talk about lots more than just the fisheries!”

 

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  • Tim
    August 07, 2013 - 15:32

    From Tuesday CBC morning show, paraphrased quote: "...aaaaaand that was Serena Ryder with........um......I don't have it here........ahhh well, it doesn't really matter does it." And from the FB on Valentines Day (last year?), again paraphrased... "........Happy Valentines Day to you all, X O X O, also X X X X, O O O O, or even maybe O X O X. Nobody offended? Good." Dry and doesn't skip a beat in moving on, classic John Furlong!

  • BAYMAN
    August 02, 2013 - 19:57

    Good for John. We look forward to him being on Radio Noon. What a blessing Ramona is on a twelve month sabbatical. Hope she is going to Journalism school to learn how to really to do an interview.

  • fish or cut bait
    August 02, 2013 - 07:10

    Furlong will make an excellent Radio Noon host, he does not pander to any of the "usual suspects" as I would call them. I am sure that Furlong will take his new posting as a breath of fresh air. The fact that he stayed on the Fisheries Broadcast as long as he has, and tolerated the nonsense that the fishery is laced with is amazing quite frankly. I suspect a certain amount of burnout is at play here. The Peg Norman's of the world may not be thrilled with Furlong's new posting, especially since the left leaning listeners/callers have found Radio Noon to be sympathetic to their viewpoints. Perhaps Furlong can stir things up a little and infuse a little debate on issues that traditionally on Radio Noon have been firmly entrenched in one particular camp.

  • David Kennedy
    August 01, 2013 - 09:25

    The Fisheries Broadcast still needs an intellect as stunning as John Furlong' s to watch over it. Radio Noon does not. Furlong is 99% thinking journalist and probably less than1 % radio host.This move is irrational,and quite unkind to those who are yet under siege in the fishing industry.I would like to see Furlong sitting in the Broadcast's chair for another 60 years. But, that's just me.

  • David Kennedy
    July 31, 2013 - 12:34

    It is beyond the power of my tiny brain to comprehend the logic of moving a superbly functioning intellect like John Furlong's from attending to the beleaguered Newfoundland fishery to the weeding Wednesdays and Friday's Trivial drivel of Radio Noon.Ramona Dearing is perfect for that task. The mightily besieged persons of the fishing industry have never before needed a mind like Furlong's so badly. To reveal.To question.To observe.To suggest.To demand reason and rational thinking. Never! Moving Furlong to Radio Noon is like moving Stephen Hawking to the VOCM Open Line Show.It's way over my head!!!!!

  • Sarah
    July 31, 2013 - 07:34

    I think it's going to be great to hear Furlong's views on issues other than the fishery - his bravado and "no BS" attitude are what make him such a great host. In response to Chris Noseworthy's comment: if you're going to be a true journalist, you're going to end up making a few enemies along the way. Especially when there are so many close-minded people out there - not unlike yourself.

  • Susan
    July 24, 2013 - 09:15

    would love to see Chris O'Neill Yates back after her sabbitical - she's best of the bunch TV, radio, everything - NL and beyond. great journalist, respectful, personable. have been a fan of her work for years.

  • Chris Noseworthy
    July 23, 2013 - 07:33

    I am surprised that he got a shot at the host chair again after this: http://meekermedia.blogspot.ca/2007/05/all-out-attack-on-freedom-of-speech.html.