Q (radio show)

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Q (radio program logo).svg
Running time 90 minutes
Country  Canada
Home station CBC Radio One
Syndicates Public Radio International (USA)
Host(s) Jian Ghomeshi (2007—2014)
Recording studio Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto
Air dates since April 16, 2007 (2007-04-16)
Website www.cbc.ca/Q/
Podcast Qpodcast.xml

Q is a Canadian radio show, which airs on CBC Radio One. Previously hosted by Jian Ghomeshi, the program is a national arts magazine show. The program is also syndicated to public radio stations in the United States through Public Radio International.[1]

The content features interviews with prominent cultural and entertainment figures. However, the show's subjects and interviewees also deal with broader cultural topics such as their social, political and business aspects. For instance, the show has weekly panels on sports and media issues on Mondays and Fridays respectively.

Q is the highest rated show in its timeslot in CBC history, surpassing even Peter Gzowski who previously hosted the second hour of Morningside during the slot.[2]

Since Ghomeshi's dismissal from CBC Radio in October 2014, the program has been hosted by a series of guest hosts, including Brent Bambury, Piya Chattopadhyay, Tom Power, Wab Kinew,[3] Rachel Giese, Damian Abraham, Candy Palmater, Shad, Daniel Richler, Sean Rameswaram, Measha Brueggergosman, Kevin Smith and Talia Schlanger.


The program airs live Monday to Friday at 10:00 a.m. (10:30 NT), and an abbreviated edition of the morning show is then repeated 12 hours later. The program runs for 90 minutes, except for Fridays which runs for two hours which includes the "Friday Live" segment. The evening repeat runs for one hour, although due to lesser time restraints (such as less time lost to news breaks) it is able on most days to air all of the feature content from the 90 minute daytime edition, although some shorter interstitial segments are edited out. Stations carrying the show in the United States also broadcast the one-hour edition.

It is broadcast mostly from CBC's Toronto studios, although the show will air from another city in connection with a major event, such as the 2010 Winter Olympics or the Sundance Film Festival.

On Fridays, the show includes a theme called "Friday Live" where featured musicians are invited for an interview primarily as the opening segment with live performances throughout the program. Weekly contributors include Elvira Kurt, with her "Cultural Hall of Shame" segment, and Torquil Campbell, with his "Rant or Rave" segment.


Former host Jian Ghomeshi in March 2009, during a live taping of Q

Q first aired on April 16, 2007, replacing Freestyle in the network's afternoon programming block. It moved to its current time slot, replacing Sounds Like Canada, in fall 2008.

The name was chosen by the staff of the show from a list they themselves had compiled. A test run of the show was made using the name Radar. Other possible names (some clearly tongue-in-cheek) included "State-of the-Arts in Canada", "Awesometown", "Afternoon Delight", "Smells like Canada", "Full Duplex Repeater", "Skybox Three" (the room in Toronto's Rogers Centre where much of the show was created), "Ghomer's Pile", or one even closer to Jian Ghomeshi, the show host of Iranian descent, "Royal Canadian Air Farsi". Names a little closer to the mark included Studio Q and The Cue.[4][5] According to Ghomeshi, "a couple of the... suggestions came close", when the name 'Q' was brought up "there was a pause in the room and [the Q team] went 'yes, that's it.' It felt like the right name. It's an enigmatic letter [they] hope will become associated with the show."[4]

Beginning in 2013, a one-hour weekly spinoff series, Q The Music, was added to the CBC Radio 2 schedule, airing a selection of interviews and performances by musicians previously broadcast on the daily program.

2009 Thornton interview[edit]

On April 8, 2009, Billy Bob Thornton and his musical group The Boxmasters made an appearance on Q that was widely criticized and received international attention after Thornton was persistently unintelligible and discourteous to host Jian Ghomeshi.[6][7] Thornton eventually explained he had "instructed" the show's producers to not ask questions about his movie career.[8][9] Ghomeshi had mentioned Thornton’s acting in the introduction. Thornton had also complained Canadian audiences were like "mashed potatoes without the gravy".[10][11] The following night, opening for Willie Nelson at Toronto's Massey Hall, Thornton said mid-set he liked Canadians but not Ghomeshi, which was greeted with boos and catcalls.[12] The Boxmasters did not continue the tour in Canada as, according to Thornton, some of the crew and band had the flu.[13]

Ghomeshi and comedian Alan Park made a mock follow-up interview promoting the 2009 Air Farce Live television special. The sketch has Ghomeshi asking Thornton (Alan Park) about his plans for new years, leading to the actor responding similar answers to the April interview. The two continue to banter until they break character and laugh around.


Filmed footage of interviews and live musical performances from the radio program airs on CBC Television and YouTube.[14] The show began to be syndicated in the fall of 2014 for weekend airings to commercial television stations in the United States through PPI (the former Program Partners), a major syndicator of Canadian programming into the American television market.[15] Due to Ghomeshi's dismissal from the CBC, the PPI package now features a 'best-of' compilation of the week's interviews and musical performances (similar to some sports radio show television simulcasts), rather than the intended format of replays of archival content with Ghomeshi throughout several years.


  1. ^ Q Public Radio International. Retrieved Oct. 27, 2014.
  2. ^ Zekas, R. (May 1, 2010). "Minding His Peace & Q's Artist in Residence Jian Ghomeshi, Host of CBC Radio's Q, Lives Quietly in a Victorian Loft in Old Cabbagetown.". Toronto Star. 
  3. ^ "CBC ponders new name for ‘Q’ in light of Jian Ghomeshi scandal". CityNews, November 12, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Cobb, C. (May 5, 2007). "CBC radio reconsiders its audience". Star (Phoenix). 
  5. ^ The Story of Q from assortednonsense.com
  6. ^ "Billy Bob Thornton Gives Bizarre Interview On Canadian Radio". The Huffington Post. April 8, 2009. Retrieved October 2, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Billy Bob Thornton has a Joaquin Phoenix moment". The Sydney Morning Herald. April 10, 2009. Retrieved October 2, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Thornton obnoxious in CBC interview". UPI. April 9, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Thornton clashes with radio host". BBC. April 9, 2009. 
  10. ^ Schmidt, Veronica (April 9, 2009). "Billy Bob Thornton does a Joaquin Phoenix on Canadian radio". The Times (London). Retrieved April 26, 2010. 
  11. ^ Kreps, Daniel (April 8, 2009). "Billy Bob Thornton Attempts To Outdo Joaquin Phoenix In CBC Interview". Rolling Stone. 
  12. ^ Wallace, Kenyon; Raju Mudhar (April 10, 2009). "Billy Bob not done with the barbs". The Star (Toronto). 
  13. ^ Marlow, Iain; Andrew Chung (April 10, 2009). "Billy Bob ends Canadian tour". The Star (Toronto). 
  14. ^ Q TV at YouTube
  15. ^ "Q with Jian Ghomeshi". PPI Releasing. Retrieved 27 October 2014. 

External links[edit]