The Assassination of Theo Caldwell by the Network Sun TV News

Props to National Newswatch for first reporting Tuesday night that Sun News Network had gassed Theo Caldwell’s two-hour afternoon show.

Caldwell was dispatched with Orwellian aplomb. His bio was expunged from the website and there was no mention of his exit on air. Instead, Sun News ran lots of promos for his replacement, author and sometime AM talk radio host Michael Coren.

Viewers might well wonder if Theo had been but a figment of their imaginations, like that long forgotten military action in Eastasia.

For anyone who ever watched The Caldwell Report, it’s departure comes as faint surprise.

But was it fair, based on the numbers it pulled?

I took a peak at the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement numbers for the week the most recent five days before Caldwell’s exit. They show that Caldwell actually held his own during the afternoon, compared to other daytime Sun shows.

Indeed, average viewership on the network took a slight dip when Krista Erickson took over from Caldwell at 3 pm, these numbers show. On Friday, he scored 50,000 sets of eyes, though finished well behind TVO’s ersatz monkey lemur on Zoboomafoo, with 73,000.

But at night, Caldwell swooned. On Thursday, for example, he drew but 6,000 viewers (all numbers here based on individuals age 2 or greater, average viewers per minute). By contrast, the top show at that time, E-Talk daily, pulled 568,000.

Caldwell’s show was the second-worst rating that night at 7 pm, according to the BBM numbers. The only thing with fewer viewers? Darts, on Sportsnet East+, which got 5,000.

Worth noting, however, is that Caldwell’s numbers tanked even worst on Friday, but he was up against the NHL draft on TSN, with 1.1 million viewers in the average minute.

The numbers also show that radio host Charles Adler isn’t burning up the track in the attractive 8 pm time slot, either. The numbers aren’t great for David Akin’s The Daily Brief, but in fairness, he’s up against the big boy evening newscasts.

Clearly, wacky conservative bloviating carries the day, as Ezra Levant and Brian Lilley rate at the network studs. On Friday night, Lilley pulled an audience more nearly twice the size of CTV News Net was pulling at the same time but about half the share of CBC News Network. Still, not bad for a start-up.

TIME SLOT SHOW Tue. Jun. 22 Wen. Jun.22 Thu. Jun. 23 Fri. Jun. 24 Mon. Jun. 27 AVG
06:00 FIRST LOOK 1,000 3,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,400
08:00 ROUNDTABLE 5,000 6,000 16,000 7,000 12,000 9,200
11:00 NEWS WIRE 13,000 8,000 29,000 13,000 7,000 14,000
13:00 CALDWELL 31,000 26,000 44,000 33,000 24,000 31,600
14:00 CALDWELL 39,000 8,000 45,000 50,000 37,000 35,800
15:00 CANADA LIVE 24,000 34,000 37,000 37,000 37,000 33,800
17:00 THE SOURCE 30,000 46,000 44,000 45,000 36,000 40,200
18:00 DAILY BRIEF 9,000 38,000 20,000 16,000 26,000 21,800
19:00 CALDWELL 15,000 30,000 6,000 1,000 19,000 14,200
20:00 CHARLES ADLER 37,000 16,000 5,000 16,000 28,000 20,400
21:00 BYLINE 51,000 17,000 12,000 70,000 67,000 43,400
22:00 THE SOURCE 54,000 36,000 18,000 39,000 34,000 36,200
23:00 CHARLES ADLER 9,000 15,000 24,000 4,000 5,000 11,400
24:00 DAILY BRIEF 3,000 7,000 15,000 2,000 7,000 6,800

48 thoughts on “The Assassination of Theo Caldwell by the Network Sun TV News

  1. Theo’s evening show was a shorter version of the noon time show which is why I didn’t watch it so much. But I always timed errands so as to be able to watch The Caldwell Account from noon until 2:00 pm. I’m very disappointed to learn he is gone from Sun News Network.

  2. Are Caldwell’s Friday-at-7:00-PM ratings correct? I realize he was up against the 2011 NHL Draft, but I have trouble believing he’d draw only a thousand viewers at that hour. The Sun News Network ratings are rather disjointed in spots, which I assume has to do with how BBM gathers its data.

  3. I was looking forward to Theo’s interview with Ann Coulter Tuesday and was confused when his program disappeared with no explanation from Sun News Network. I finally learned of his demise on this blog and all I have to say is best wishes Theo and so long Sun News Network. You’ve just lost me.

    1. I agree with Merv. Caldwell was brilliant, and the best fresh face I have seen on Canadian TV for decades. I also have not watched Sun News since Caldwell left.

  4. It’s too bad we never saw the original Daily Brief format with Mercedes Stephenson… Akin’s show runs like a very amateur 6:00 newscast.

  5. It actually makes sense that Byline and The Source rate as high as they do, and that’s for one main reason… the largest provider of the channel, Shaw Cable & satellite is western based. Byline and The Source are on at the prime time spots in the West, and as such all those Shaw viewers are just settling in when those two guys come on. I would suggest that if Adler were an hour later, he would be seeing similar numbers to Byline.

  6. I liked Theo Cladwell (and Mercedes Stephenson and was sorrry to see her gone right at the beginning) and will miss his show which I taped consistently (the 7:00 p.m. show). Michael Coren is supposed to be taking over his time slot and I wish him luck (I hope he has a long term contract…I watched him for years and hope he does not become another Sun reject)….only Ezra is left.

  7. I started recording Theo Caldwell’s afternoon show when I realized there was an extra hour to his show so I wasn’t watching in the evening timeslot. I will miss his Market account. I’m sad to see him go.

  8. First there was Peter Weisbach on CHED, then Dr. Laura, then Glenn Beck, now Theo Caldwell. All favorites of mine, all yanked with no word of farewell. I, too, scheduled my day around Theo’s time slot and was so looking forward to his segment with Ann Coulter. Both Ann and Theo are wordsmiths and I was sorry that I was not able to see them parry their way through the interview.
    I even borrowed his book, Finn, the Half-Great, just to get more of this word-monger. I wish him the very best and hope someone appreciates his abilities and launches him onto greater things.
    Anne from Alberta

  9. I understand ratings and all that but dont they (Sun TV) realize you need to give some time for things to catch on. I was telling everyone about this network including theo which I enjoyed much.I have (had…hope not) watched more canadian news since the launch of Sun TV then any point in my adult life. I hope they dont try to become like all the rest. be strong. And bring theo back please

  10. Like you said…………Like you said…………he was too agreeable, & actually would repeat almost
    word for word his guest previous statement/opinion. In another forum it’s mentioned it was pain-
    ful to watch. I found myself tuning him out last 3 weeks knowing he was a weak link.
    Back to family business for Theo. All the best

  11. Like you said…………Like you said…………he was too agreeable, & actually would repeat almostword for word his guest previous statement/opinion. In another forum it’s mentioned it was painful to watch. I found myself tuning him out last 3 weeks knowing he was a weak link.
    Back to family business for Theo. All the best

  12. Why would Sun News want to become a Fox News clone? With “The Caldwell Account ” it had a truly Canadian flair .Our subtle sense of humour is part of our identity (unlike any other country). I enjoyed having lighthearted moments injected into extremely serious news !

  13. I loved the Caldwell Account. Please do not replace Theo with the annoying Krista with all her silly hand waving in guests faces and constant interruptions. Get on your knees and beg Theo to come back. He was the best host you had and so knowlegable about everything.

  14. SNN made a big mistake letting Caldwell go. He is a sharp wit, intelligent and informative. His tv presence was as some have mentioned, a breath of fresh air. I’m looking forward to Michael Coren but he should have been an addition to the network, not a bloody replacement for Caldwell.

  15. Theo was a breath of fresh air and gave us opinions to counteract the left media in this country. His political incorrectness
    was refreshing and what we need more off. Let’s hope Sun News does not become just another mainstream TV outlet in Canada.

  16. Come back to us Theo, on second thought, you are the weakest link, good bye … he’s nothing but a failed bible thumper….Now lets hear some more CBC bashing from the right wingers about left wing this and left wing that. Hillbilly’s each and everyone of you I say, Hillbilly’s. Yeeeeehawwwwwwwwww, why we gots ourselves 4000 viewers at SunTV and that aint not bad I say, YeeeeHaaaawwwwwwwwww, get the shotgun grandma, weez a gunna celbrate, YeeeeHaaawwwwwwww…I gots a grade 3 edjamacashun and I’zzz a gunna use it…YeeeHaaawwwwwwwwwww, Yeeehaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwww, pow, pow, YeeeHaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwww……………………..

      1. who’s the idiot? i think anyone that watches and believes ANY news that’s fed to us is the real idiot. ALL so called news is propaganda from the rich to keep us dumbed down and blissfully ignorant to their thieving of our resources and tax base. Theo caldwell was and is an IDIOT! anything for a paycheck is his motto.

  17. The way Sun News conducted itself is disgusting. I had to search everywhere I could to know what was going on. Theo’s account updates were gems. Since he’s gone, I have tried watching SNN but for Ezra they all look rather dull compared to Theo’s sparkling wit. I’m going back to Fox News.

    Quebec City

  18. I am very disappointed with Caldwell’s departure. I especially valued his coverage of the US presidential election as he seemed to clearly grasp its significance. The guests he brought to his show were very impressive, and the way Caldwell went right to the heart of the issues was refreshing and made my viewing worthwhile, unlike some of the frivolous chit chat.

  19. As someone who awaited Sun News with bated breath, pestering my cable provider to make sure it was on my lineup, I am sorely disappointed. As a source of news, it falls very short. I stopped watching Fox when Sun came on and was a devoted follower of the Caldwell Account. Now, it’s just hour after hour of opinions. For real news, it doesn’t come anywhere near CHCH as a news channel. When I tune in to a news channel, I want news, not round-table chatter. And I don’t want the same talking heads commenting ad nauseam. Neither do I want sound bites. Sun News needs a bit of maturity and start thinking from the viewers’ points of view — not with regard to political opinions, but how the news is presented. Coren is a good broadcaster but he is not a news man. Caldwell did a great job of making the news relevant. He will be sorely missed.

  20. In defence of Theo, why in the world would you burden him and us with two straight hours of Theo early in the day and leave Brian Lilley with just one hour in the evening. Since Lilley does competitively with Ezra you should have given Lilley one of Theo’s daytime hours, or structure it so he has that one-two punch with ezra like you do in the evening. i really liked theo’s mind – he just had super-nerves making him speak too fast. Still you could have left him with one hour, maybe in try him with the evening news approach you’ve take with David Akin, who really is the odd duck. All your good work rebalancing Canada’s leftwing bias is truncated with Akin because he always WITHOUT FAIL slips a snide remark in about Harper as if he’s a honcho from the west – Akin takes all the prejudices of Eastern liberals! In the Election he couldn’t help himself and he admitted he’s a Liberal. “We have to do some cleaning up in the party after the election, blah blah blah.” WE meaning WE card-carrying Liberals. He’s just the typical cynical Liberal type to put down ALberta or Calgary, and to make fun of Palin or Bachmann – the very thing in the MSM we’re trying to get away from – he defeats your whole drift!!! So I’d sack him, and call BACK Theo! You can for a halfhour have him read the news with a suitable babe and then second half hour he could interview people in more in-depth analysis! That would be a WORTHY hour – plus he could give a brief THeo’s Signature View or Sign-off two-minute impact statement of OPINION at the end like Murphy. And give us Lilley twice in the day with one hour earlier nearer to Ezra. I Love Lilley’s straight-backed Canadian integrity approach – a fantastic Ontario look to balance Ezra’s Alberta take flight approach.

  21. Sun media, you’ve made a BIG MISTAKE I was thrilled when you opened! Theo and Ezra are my favourites! I’m now looking for more of the balanced reporting to enjoy elsewhere!

  22. Sun Media, you took the same “Cowardly” way to dump one of the best and most intelligent tv personalities that I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch. My wife and I used to PVR his TWO hour show and we learned so much about the world and especially the economy that it isn’t funny. If this guy had been given a better time slot I think he could have been the top star of the station and by convention the network. But the real reason that Theo is no longer with Sun TV will probably never come out. I say “Nuts” to Sun TV, thanks for the memories Theo.

  23. My husband and I watched Theo religiously. The man had a screen presence that made you feel like you had come home when his show came on. He was shy yet opinionated, but stood his ground when he thought he was right. Unfortunately he had principles, principles that got him fired. Sun TV should be proud that they had the priviledge of Theo working for them , instead of the embarrassment of having fired him.


  24. The reason for him leaving………my theory.
    Mon- ‘join me tomorrow my guest will be Anne Coulter’.
    Tues- ‘Anne Coulter will now be on with me Thursday’
    Thur 7:00 pm – Anne Coulter is on Byline with Brian Lilly,having also been on with
    Ezra Levant previous week. Theo feeling slighted/insecure throws a hissy.
    Back to family business for Theo.

  25. Please bring back Theo!!!!!! I was addicted to his show in the morning in B.C. He’s a genius broadaster, a breath of fresh air like I never thought I would see on Canadian TV. I had to have my face surgically removed from the screen to carry on the rest of my day when he was on. I love Ezra and Brian too but I miss Theo bigtime. Whatever happened, please make it right and get him back!!!!!!!! I can’t believe SNN could have made this big a mistake (dumping Theo) already.

  26. I must agree, Theo was indeed a breathe of fresh air, no one else comes close to Theo on your network, the females (chicks) all seem to be, wanna be models and none are that attractive, I can switch to the other news channels and see wanna be models that are way more attractive.
    I know your network is new and you have to work out the kinks but please listen to your viewers from now on.

  27. Stopped watching Fox when Sun started. Now that Caldwell’s gone, the whole spectrum of broadcasts is disintegrated and disjointed, and I can hardly bring myself to watch. He made it “world news that’s important for Canadians” and now it seems to be, “Gee, shouldn’t we talk about abortion?” I’m so disappointed with what’s left of this network it makes me want to cry – I had such high hopes.

    1. Unfortunately, Sun News has lost its lustre. As a source of news, it’s second rate. The same promotions over and over and over again, ad nauseum, make it annoying to watch. You’d think they would have a bank full of promos so that they can change them every once in a while. If you want to know what’s going on in the world, you still have to go to another news broadcast or Fox, which I thought I had abandoned once Sun came on air. If there is one thing that describes my feelings about Sun it’s “disappointment.” It could have been so great instead of so amateurish.

  28. Still agreeing with this thread (except for “Proud Canadian”, who may have a negative IQ). Proof that Caldwell was brilliant, and was seen widely as a rising star, were the quality of guests he was able to command, and how positively they responded to his high level of discussion and integrity. Individuals such as Michael Barone and others do not give their time to a potential ‘dud’ or ‘flash in the pan’.

    Sun has gone in the tank without Caldwell.

    And the Wikipedia page for Caldwell is a joke ( Apparently it is under consideration for deletion, partly because Caldwell is not ‘notable enough’. Give me a break, in light of the fact that almost everyone has a Wikipedia page. And statements such as “Caldwell has been criticized for his interviewing skills, notably his fast-talking and frequent interruptions”? Were these made by anyone who is objective and watched his show? He was not an “interrupter”. Talking too fast? Maybe if your IQ is 4 he talks too fast (Proud Canadian – did Theo talk too fast for you? they talk slower on CBC, you can watch that instead). Actually, looking at the citation, apparently some Quebec journalist complained about his talking too fast – likely because she couldn’t speak English.

    Like so many other times in Canadian history, we trash our best, and are left with substandard talent.

    1. Absolutely right about his high quality of guests and how they responded to his reasoned line of questioning. And as often as not, a guest would burst into laughter in genuine appreciation of Theo’s comments, and then proceed to answer thoughtfully. Made me adore him, that he could raise life or death questions, so to speak, address them thoroughly and objectively, and still make us laugh.

  29. We just came back from holidays and could not find Theo Caldwell anywhere!!!!Thought he was on vacation.
    But we investigated and to our utter surprise and disappointment, we found Theo was gone and no one seems to know why.
    If ratings were the reason then enough time was not given to fully manipulate the scheduling so that a proper reading of popularity could be obtained.
    Time is of the essence…BRING CALDWELL BACK. He is a joy to watch listen and learn.
    You are not just going to lose Caldwell………BRING BACK CALDWELL

    1. Theo Caldwell was SUN TV !!! I am still in shock, and miss my daily fix of Theo. Hell, I could listen to just him for the two hours he was on, you can’t say that about ANY of the other “Personalities” at the Sun. Bono was great as well, but like the other people have said here, Theo had the GREAT guests, they were experts in their fields and I learned so very much about what was going on in the world and WHY. Now tell me Brian Lilly fills that gap? Don’t get me wrong, Brian is a great guy, but he is NOT Theo.

      Can we somehow start a movement of sorts to “Bring Back Theo”? Who will champion this cause? Somebody, please do something. I’d do it, but I can’t organize an orgasim. We all miss Theo, at least we MIGHT find out the real reason he is no longer on Sun TV.

  30. I really did enjoy him … a bit frenetic … but looked forward to him. Some others, like Adler … yawn.
    I also enjoyed his guests, and direct approach.
    His current replacement frankly just isn’t worth listening to… she is a good news anchor but thats about it.
    I would like to write to the network to protest directly… anyone know how to contact them?

  31. I went on holidays and came back the first thing I did was go to Sun News network and was looking forward to Theo Caldwell an the Caldwell Account and to my dismay he was no longer there. I ‘E’ mailed the Sun News Network and did not receive any answer.
    I am very disturbed by the news that he is no longer there. Theo was a very refreshing difference to the standard CBC type news I have missed you Theo best wishes to a greater calling.

  32. We want you back theo…love the way you did the news….please come back…will not watch sun news without you!!!!

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