CBC Taps Shad to Replace Q Host Jian Ghomeshi

new cbc host Shad Kabango poses on the red carpet at the 2011 JUNO Awards
AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young

Shad Kabango poses on the red carpet at the 2011 JUNO Awards in Toronto on Sunday, March 27, 2011.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has recruited the rapper Shadrach Kabango (aka Shad) as host for its flagship culture affairs radio show Q. 

Shad, who has won a Juno Award and garnered three career nominations for the Polaris Prize, replaces Jian Ghomeshi, who was sacked from last October after he was charged on multiple counts of sexual assault.

Shad's a regular on CBC, though typically he's been sat on the "talent" side of the table. The Globe and Mail notes he has appeared as a guest in the past, playing and chatting with his predecessor about his music.

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"Joining the Q team is an honor," Shad told reporters. "My mission in music has always been to make a unique and positive contribution to culture and to people's lives. This is an exciting opportunity to pursue that same mission in a new way, alongside a brilliant, passionate team."

The public broadcaster had cast its net wide for a replacement over the past four months, looking at more than 200 potential candidates. The new hire ultimately got the nod for his mix of smarts, humor, originality, and for his relaxed interview style. "We were looking for someone who is an original thinker, curious and emotionally intelligent," said Cindy Witten, executive director of CBC Radio Talk. "Also, a good conversationalist who is witty and fast on their feet. We wanted someone steeped in arts and culture in this country. We found there were different points of connection with the guests when the host was a creator or an artist themselves."

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According to CBC, the new Shad-led show will be relaunched in mid-April. It'll have more musical performances, will be less structured, and will have a "more conversational tone to allow more live spontaneous moments." And it'll retain its name.

The 32-year-old Shad was born in Kenya to Rwandan parents, and relocated to Canada soon after. His third release, TSOL, won the 2011 Juno for rap recording of the year. His fourth and most recent album, Flying Colours, was shortlisted for the Polaris following its 2013 release.