CBC executives let go after critical report on host case

AP News
Posted: Apr 16, 2015 2:38 PM

TORONTO (AP) — Canadian Broadcasting Corp. has severed ties with two top executives after an independent report released Thursday found management condoned inappropriate behavior by a disgraced former radio host.

CBC said it is severing ties with suspended executives Chris Boyce and Todd Spence.

The CBC fired Jian Ghomeshi in October after media reports of sexual assault allegations against the radio host first emerged.

Ghomeshi, the host of "Q," a popular radio show that was heard on many public stations in the United States, has denied the allegations, saying the charges stem from consensual "rough sex."

Ghomeshi faces seven counts of sexual assault and one count of choking. His lawyer has said he will plead not guilty to all charges.

The report complied by lawyer Janice Rubin found that CBC management knew or ought to have known of Ghomeshi's behavior and failed to take steps to stop it.

According to the report, for which Rubin interviewed 99 people over five months, a majority of witnesses described Ghomesi as engaging in "a pattern of behavior and conduct" that was "deeply disrespectful to employees," including yelling, belittling and humiliating others, playing pranks and cruel jokes, and in a small number of cases, sexually harassing colleagues.

The report found that managers who worked with Ghomeshi failed to investigate his behavior or take steps to stop it.

"We saw no compelling evidence that Mr. Ghomeshi was ever told his behavior would have to improve, or he would have to refrain from certain types of behavior, or else face disciplinary action including termination," the report said.

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CBC president and CEO Hubert Lacroix and CBC executive producer Heather Conway apologized to the broadcaster's employees and all Canadians during a media conference call Thursday.

Lacroix called the report "troubling and disappointing," and said it pointed to lapses at the corporation.

Conway said the company will be working with the Canadian Media Guild to review the nine recommendations outlined in the report and "implement as many of those as we can, as quickly as possible."

Ghomeshi is free on $100,000 bail with numerous conditions and is due to return to court on April 28.