BNN's loss, CBC's gain.
CBC said today Amanda Lang, recently defected from BNN, will this fall host a new afternoon business show on Newsworld and contribute to "The National." Congrats are in order to both, Lang for honing her skill at business and political analysis and quick-witted commentary, and the CBC for re-committing to comprehensive business coverage.
The Lang-hosted "SqueezePlay" on BNN was a fast-paced run through the hot topics of the day, unusual - and unusually useful - for its breadth of business and non-business coverage. And for its lack of parochialism. It understood that the EU, Samsung and Carlos Slim have relevance to a Canadian audience. There was a similar lack of cutesy items even NPR and CBC Radio can't resist.
The downside (there always is one) was snark, especially from occasional co-host Kevin O'Leary, a bazillionaire whom BNN permitted to use its network to showcase for his financial services sideline. O'Leary never actually shilled them. There was simply a constant undercurrent that he actually knew something about business because, hey, "I had nothing but misery with that stock." Hint, hint. An outrageous conflict of interest, which fell short of the sister Globe and Mail's high standards.
Lang has been at her best in stand-ups, like the Black trial in Chicago, when she has stuck to straight reporting. In hosting, she has a mastery of segues and the other devices for making the train run on time. But she couldn't resist episodic know-it-all snarkiness of her own, which the CBC will iron out of her. Someone there will explain to Lang, for instance, why she took "heat for suggesting 'swine flu' be renamed 'mexican flu," as she tweeted in April. "Why do I think the folks upset by this are the racist ones?" Oy. Maybe the first mention of mad cow disease as "mad Canadian disease" will help Lang find the answer.
By now Lang's been described so long and widely as a sex goddess - the Canadian counterpart to America's Maria "Money Honey" Bartiromo - she might have let a little of that fandom get to her. The CBC will fix that too, as it did with Wendy Mesley.
For the purposes of this blog, the inception of the Great Recession in the U.S., the epicentre of the crisis, is taken as the start date for the global slump. The U.S. has been in recession since December 2007.