This was Q
Among the logistical sciences is inventory movement and control. So with the recent firing of Q host Jian Ghomeshi, I began to wonder what will happen to the thousands of interviews he has recorded over the years for the popular Canadian Broadcasting Company program? Ghomeshi began hosting the program in April 2007. Since then, with at least three interviews per 90 minute program (2 hours on Friday), a conservative guess is that he has logged more than 5000 interviews in seven years. And they’ve included cultural icons ranging from Joni Mitchell to Kermit the Frog to Bjork. Many of stars he has talked with have died and thus, they are immortalized in the Q archive.
Q and the CBC own those interviews, but how will they replay them? Will it be a circumstance similar to the BBC, which for six years banned the voice of Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams? Or will a time come when Mr. Ghomeshi’s voice can be heard by listeners, but in doses? Or will the CBC begin the arduous process of re-editing those precious conversations with a different hosting voice? Right now, by all indications, he has been thoroughly scrubbed from CBC’s websites. But I bet those conversations of what to do with those priceless interviews are in process.
As I look at recent interview airings by Q since Mr. Ghomeshi’s October 26th firing, they are selecting conversations he has not conducted. But I’m guessing the ratio of guest host interviews to Ghomeshi’s interviews is tiny. That well may run dry relatively soon. “Encore”, “archived” and “evergreen” programs give a variety show like “Q” breathing room. Without a cushion of pre-recorded stuff, pressure is on to create it.
This is the double edged sword of a successful concern, no matter what it is. If it is mission based, people flock to it mostly for what it does. However, if it is personality based, people flock to it for who does it. Mission based is much more durable but much less sexy. And when the cult figure tilts and falls, what to do with that legacy, whether emotional or digital?