When elephants die

The news that yesterday was Canada AM’s final day came as a shock. Then, my next thought was: When was the last time I actually watched the morning show? I couldn’t remember. It was reminiscent of the announcement in 2012 that Newsweek would stop publishing its print edition. Again, on reflection, I realized I hadn’t read it in years. There was a day when both Time and Newsweek were must-reads.

According to Globe writer Simon Houpt, the average Canada AM audience had fallen to 300,000 with only about one-quarter in the 25-54 age group most desired by advertisers. So three-quarters of the audience was 55 and up. Don’t they buy cars, golf equipment, go on vacations and need financial advice? Apparently not.

As an author, Canada AM was the prime part of any promotional campaign. If your publicist could book you on Canada AM, you knew your national tour and your book were both going to be a success. When one of my best-selling books, The Eatons: The Rise and Fall of Canada’s Royal Family, came out in 1998 followed by the updated trade paper version in 1999, I was on the show six times over those two years as the department store business went blooey. Canada AM said then that six appearances for one book was a record for any author.

In every case, the show’s limo picked me up at my home for the long haul to the studio at 401 and McCowan Road. After makeup and a four-minute interview, the limo took you wherever you wanted to go. It was the big time and I enjoyed it. There’s nothing left now but nostalgia.

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