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Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Goodnight, Good Luck
Last night's episode of The New Music, aside from featuring Chromewaves, apparently marked the end of the Hannah Sung Era. She's walking away to help the children apparently. Very noble.

But, more importantly, MuchMusic has yet to name a replacement host for what used to be the network's signature show (younger readers may have to ask their parents about this) and the possible replacements are, shall we say, generally less than inspiring. Hey, we all want to help the kids, but surely Hannah could have considered the kids (and 20-something bloggers with little else better to do) who will still have to watch The New Music.

Before I offer my highly sought after endorsement, let's look at some of the candidates (assuming Much, which is currently tied up in a merger, won't be looking outside the company for a replacement).

Devon. My sneaking suspicion is that our boy Devon could be in line to take over the flagship - reward surely for agreeing to dress like a Disney on Ice character for the MMVAs. Last time I checked in he was hosting a MuchNews segment (the 60 seconds of gossip they squeeze in between Panic! At The Disco videos) and that's generally where they stuck Hannah and George before her - establishing them as serious journalists and keeping them separate from the inanity that prevails elsewhere. Of course, moving Devon to The New Music would mean shifting even more responsibility onto the formidable hair of our next candidate...

Tim. He's obviously got the music IQ. It's right there in his bio - "[A]nybody that lists Kurt Cobain, The Ramones, Michael Jackson and Madonna as some of the most influential artists in music history definitely knows his stuff when it comes to all things music." Tough to argue with that logic. Still, I'd like to think The New Music host should be able to regularly speak in full sentences.

Leah. The franchise. Absolutely irreplaceable. Carries MuchOnDemand (which long ago replaced The New Music as the most important program on Much) and is almost solely responsible for any male viewership that Much still enjoys. Take her out of her current role and the network probably crumbles by the end of the week. An icon-in-waiting.

Matte. Leah needs a sidekick.

Sarah. Definitely a contender. If Leah is MuchMusic's Hulk Hogan, Sarah is Randy Savage - technically more gifted, but forever over-shadowed and outdone. Shifting her to The New Music would definitely help her establish her identity a little more. But wouldn't she be better off just leaving Much to become a correspondent for The Hour?

Suffice it to say, the pickings are rather slim. But that's not to say that the eventual host will have won by default. At least so long as Much does the sensible thing and hires... drum roll please... Hannah Simone.

Now, we've already discussed Hannah's considerable virtues, but let's review, if only to further drive home how remarkable it is that they convinced this girl to be a VJ.

She was born in London, England and raised in Calgary, then moved to Saudi Arabia, which her family fled when Gulf War I broke out. In India she organized a charity concert for women and children living with AIDS. After completing a degree in international relations and politics, she researched a book for Lloyd Axworthy and became a human rights and refugee officer for the UN in London. Somewhere in there she tried her hand at theatre, taking on a lead role in the Vancouver production of the Vagina Monologues. Eventually she moved to Toronto, got a broadcast degree, worked at a radio station and became a Much VJ. She likes Gwen Stefani, has visited more than 100 cities across the world and, it probably merits mentioning, is rather nice to look at.

This girl should probably be in charge of the NDP or something right now, instead she's a VJ. Hosting MuchTopTens. It's probably fair to say she's being under-utilized.

So let's look at this one more time: The New Music, supposedly the smartest show about music on television and surely the smartest show on MuchMusic, needs a host. Hannah Simone, probably one of the most accomplished people on Canadian television and surely the most learned person at MuchMusic, is in need of something to do. I would never claim to possess the special gifts necessary to be a master of television production, but the answer would seem to be obvious, no?

Do you suppose the minds at MuchMusic need a memo? They must see this, right? We don't have to start a letter writing campaign on this, do we? (Cause, if we did, the appropriate e-mail address would seem to be info@thenewmusic.net.)

Surely MuchMusic won't screw this up. It's too obvious. And they wouldn't even have to change the personalized "Hannah S." towels in The New Music bathroom. This almost has to happen.

(Other possibilities to half seriously debate: Nikki Mah, Byron Wong, Frank, Ben Rayner, Michael Ignatieff, k-os, Douglas Coupland, Natalie Reid, Chuck Klosterman, Colm Feore and/or Robert Christgau.)

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