Vancouver's Duncan McCue New Host of Cross Country Checkup

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Vancouver's Duncan McCue New Host of Cross Country Checkup

Postby jon » Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:14 am

Duncan McCue named new host of CBC Radio's Cross Country Checkup
'There's a lot to be gained from Canadians hearing from each other'
CBC News Posted: Jul 26, 2016 10:00 AM ET
Last Updated: Jul 26, 2016 10:00 AM ET

Cross Country Checkup, one of Canada's most venerable shows, is heading into new territory with its latest host: journalist Duncan McCue.

A CBC News reporter based in Vancouver for nearly two decades, McCue has guest-hosted Canada's national call-in radio program several times since longtime host Rex Murphy's departure last fall.

"There's nothing more important to me than listening to a caller. I want to hear what people want to weigh in on and draw them out and help push along that conversation," McCue told CBC News.

"We are not a talk show where people come in and holler and scream and make all kinds of inflammatory comments. It's a place where we can have smart, respectful conversation and that's going to continue with me."

Cross Country Checkup pulls in more than 500,000 listeners each Sunday afternoon for a lively debate between callers and special guests on the topic of the day. An average of 5,000 to 10,000 people attempt to call in to join the discussion for each broadcast. The show marks its 51st anniversary this year.

Though Checkup will continue to cover current news and policy issues, McCue said he'd like to expand the show and tackle topics "that matter in the homes of all Canadians."

'There's a lot to be gained from Canadians hearing from each other, coast to coast to coast.'
- Duncan McCue

"For myself, that means opening up the conversation on the relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians, and we're also going to try to do our best to hear as much as we can about pop culture, sports, music and make sure that younger Canadians are also involved," he said.

Another new direction he's interesting in exploring is how to extend Checkup's conversations beyond its weekly two-hour radio slot through social media.

"The way that people phone in to a radio show may not be the way they want to comment on Facebook or Twitter or all the other social media platforms people are using," he noted.

"It'll be a different approach in some ways, but I do think it's important ... we are the only national network phone-in radio show and I think there's a lot to be gained from Canadians hearing from each other, coast to coast to coast."

Listener surprises

McCue said he's thrilled to be joining a show with a tradition of such "formidable" media pioneers and memorable broadcasters as host, including Percy Saltzman, Betty Shapiro, Dale Goldhawk and Murphy, who stepped down in September after more than 20 years in the role.

Past guest stints hosting Checkup have introduced him to a particular "pleasure" of the gig: hearing surprising revelations when "meeting" callers through the intimate medium of radio.

"The things that they want to share with you about a particular topic never cease to amaze me," he said.

"The callers are so smart and informed, they really do help me learn about a topic and broaden my understanding."

McCue officially takes over as Cross Country Checkup host on Aug. 7, after relocating to Toronto. He will continue to report, part-time, for CBC News's The National and remain a professor for the University of British Columbia's School of Journalism.
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Re: Vancouver's Duncan McCue New Host of Cross Country Check

Postby dmehus » Thu Aug 18, 2016 4:12 pm

That's a decent choice actually - one that makes sense. I've been fond of his reporting, especially his long-format reports along with a couple other correspondents I can't think of right now. I didn't realize Rex had given up this gig nor did I realize it gets 500,000 listeners on average. 5000 phone-ins/attempts likely gives it a bigger audience than BNN's "Market Call Tonight" program, too. Wow - that's more than "The National" gets on many days now, I'm sure. Sounds like it'll be based out of CBC Radio's studios in Vancouver, which seem top notch.

I actually think this would be a great cost savings tool for CBC, to revert its CBC News Network to a less flashy, less sensationalized "news" outlet that cares more about doing quick interviews via Skype and the like and have live programming 24 hours a day by simulcasting the audio with a video feed of CBC Radio programming and news from across the country. That guy that hosts the morning program...what's his name...and his interviews air sometimes on "Our Vancouver," he's great. :)

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