Kim Sullivan and I had planned for some time to connect this week to discuss her new television show The Checklist on Videotron’s citizen-produced MAtv channel. I certainly did not think our conversation would take place only hours after she got the bad news that she was getting laid off from The Beat 92.5 FM as co-host of the Drive Home Show with Cousin Vinny.
Kim was hired to host weeknight evenings on The Beat nearly three years ago, a job in retrospect that was a lot more secure than sharing duties on the Vinny and Sulli Supershow. Cogeco, the parent owners of The Beat, had already let go program director Sam Zniber a few months ago. They terminated general manager Wayne Bews after luring him away from Bell Media. My late father always told me that radio was a brutal business.
Kim told me she has taken her dismissal in stride, understanding that these things happen. She loved her time at The Beat and hopes that another opportunity will come around. Perhaps Virgin Radio will bring her back into the fold.
One positive bit about the timing is that it coincides with the launch of her new 10-part MAtv docu-series showcasing activities one should do in Montreal before dying. “I submitted the idea about a year ago.” Kim notes. “I had done a similar show like this when I lived in Ottawa. Originally they wanted it to air in the winter, but because of the fact we have such features as skydiving, they moved it to what is now a May 26 9:30 p.m. launch on Videotron Channel 609."
As the show’s host and creator, Kim filmed 10 episodes involving 18 activities last August through January. The skydiver is a 73 year old woman. Jet boating and helicopter rides are also featured. A woman in her 30s, who works at a steel mill, achieves her dream of becoming a pin up girl. Then there are mild episodes like the person who wanted to experience tea at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel.
This show might just be the vehicle to get her a more permanent TV gig. Born and raised here, she obtained three degrees, travelled to over 30 countries and lived on three continents before becoming a teacher at the Mackay Centre School. This past year she taught a media course at Riverdale High School in Pointe Claire.
You cannot tell by her name, but Kim is actually a francophone from Sorel. She attended College Notre Dame and Brebeuf.
MAtv continues to produce new quality programming. As a community service, this channel is available exclusively to Videotron customers and mirrors Quebec's diversity, offering access and encouraging participation in broadcasts designed for self-expression. MAtv features local interests while promoting the emergence of talent to the 1.7 million households it serves. The station is carried on channel 9 and in HD on channel 609. It is also available on illico TV (channel 900), on the Web (illico.tv), on iPad and Android tablets (through the illico.tv app) and on illico mobile.
The Checklist is one of four new shows, two in English and two in French, that address contemporary concerns and lifestyles.
Black Wealth Matters is the other English entry. This 10-episode documentary series is about efforts by members of the Greater Montreal area’s black communities to plan and build a wealthier future for their community. The series will focus on the International Black Economic Forum, an event that aims to help realize the promise of black economic empowerment. The Forum will support up-and-coming entrepreneurs through networking and mentoring programs and will promote investment in tech. Filmmaker Henri Pardo, who came up with the idea for the show, is the host. He will meet with key figures to discuss all facets of the issue of financial success in black communities and seek concrete answers and solutions. It premieres a half hour before the Check List.