TORONTO – A former veteran CBC news director is returning to the network to take over the radio show “Q” following the firing of its scandal-plagued host, Jian Ghomeshi, the broadcaster said Tuesday.
Jamie Purdon, who currently works with a non-profit organization, will start Monday as interim executive producer, replacing Arif Noorani, who asked to be reassigned.
Thompson had no further information and Purdon could not immediately be reached for comment.
According to his online profile, Purdon spent nearly 30 years with CBC, working his way up to director of newsgathering until he left in 2012.
As director, he set the editorial agenda for both CBC television and radio.
Purdon is known for helping create programs for CBC radio such as “As it Happens” and “The Current.” He also has extensive experience as a television producer.
The top spot on “Q” opened up after Noorani asked to be given other duties. The CBC says he will be taking on unspecified projects, also starting Monday.
Noorani has denied hearing allegations from a former producer that Ghomeshi sexually harassed her at work. CBC has asked an employment lawyer to investigate its handling of Ghomeshi-related complaints.
The broadcaster fired Ghomeshi Oct. 26. It later said it had seen “graphic evidence” he had physically injured a woman.
Following his admission on Facebook that he was into rough but consensual sex, numerous women came forward – most anonymously – to allege he had physically or sexually assaulted them.
Police in Toronto opened a criminal investigation after at least three women complained to them.
Ghomeshi, who is suing the broadcaster for $55 million for defamation and breach of confidence, has denied all allegations of wrongdoing and has pledged to answer them “directly.” However, he has dropped from sight.
He has also filed a union grievance against the broadcaster alleging dismissal without cause.
Purdon is a graduate of Ryerson University in Toronto.
He also earned a master’s degree in public administration at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.