Search Engine podcast cancelled, picked up by rival public broadcaster

Search Engine -- the most popular podcast on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and some of the best tech news reporting in the world -- has been cancelled by the CBC. Again.

The good news? It's moved to TVOntario, the other public broadcaster in Ontario.

"I could have argued about how great our numbers are or how cheap the show is to produce or how important our subject matter is, but ultimately there was no way for me to do that without essentially making the case that some other show should get axed instead," explains Jesse Brown who notes the decision was purely a financial one for CBC.

Thankfully Brown met Miner while working on a story about Conservatives stealing TVO footage.

"When I found out that his podcast wasn't going to be renewed, we quickly moved to bring it over to TVO. It all came together amazingly quickly. Everybody here is a big fan of Search Engine, so it was clear right away we wanted to have it, we just weren't sure how quickly we could dot every i, cross every t," says Miner of the deal that came together in an astonishingly quick day and a half.

Search Engine restart (Thanks, Ben!)


  1. IMHO TVO is one of the best independent programmers in the world. This is right up their alley. I will never forget my first exposure to such programs as Dr. Who, Don’t Ask Me?, Magic Shadows, Vision On, as well as Readalong, Bodyworks, and panoply other important programs that would not have fit the revenue profile of other Big Name broadcasters. This sounds like a good fit, and I’ll keep tuning in!

  2. Oh thank goodness Search Engine will be around. It’s the only podcast that I’ve felt the need to skip through. It’s always interesting. Often-times I listen to an episode more than once.

  3. I think it’s really unfortunate that the CBC can’t afford to carry on with such a unique and incredibly relevant show.

    Glad to hear it’s going to continue.

    I’ve been making my way though a backlog of episodes recently, and I’ve been consistently impressed by the quality of the content and analysis of the issues at hand. I think Jesse is improving.

  4. Still, it’s a net loss for the rest of the country unless one doesn’t mind paying for cable and a specialized channel.

  5. I suppose the CBC canceled it because, um, they wanted to reach the younger, er, demographic instead. No, wait!

    The CBC canceled it because it was SUCH an expensive show to produce. Not wait!

    I know: they canceled it because the CBC Radio is on a Holy Mission to alienate all faithful listeners.

    And to think they invested in the Sirius satellite, rather than their shows, or in web-based distribution.

  6. I say excellent move, TVO, and I agree with Clemoh. Over the years, TVOntario has shown what it means to be a strong public broadcaster, consistently supporting thoughtful programming.

    How great to see a small public broadcaster take advantage of the internet.

    Not surprised at CBC’s decision either, as they consistently shy away from niche content.

  7. Thanks for mentioning us, Cory and thanks to everybody for the positive response. I’m the Miner mentioned in the story, and we’re thrilled to have Jesse on board.

    iaminnocent: it’s not a net loss to the country. Search Engine is a podcast, so you can subscribe to it and listen to it anywhere in Canada and anywhere on earth.

    Jesse is probably going to be making appearances on TVO’s The Agenda, and that goes up online the day after the broadcast.

    You can read the announcement and subscribe the podcast here:

    It’s a link to a blog post for now, but soon it will be a stand-alone site.

    And this is the Agenda:

  8. I’m a big fan of TVO. Not only do they produce/carry great programming, they also let CKCU (Carleton University’s radio station) piggy-back on their transmitter.

  9. Thanks for writing about this, Cory. And thanks everybody for the kind words and excitement about Search Engine and TVO.

    You can subscribe to the podcast here:

    There’s also an interview with Jesse about the move.

    IAMINNOCENT: there’s no net loss for Canada. It’s a win for the Net. Because Search Engine is a podcast, you can download it anywhere, inside and outside of Canada.

    Also, Jesse is going to be making some appearances on the Agenda (as will, we hope, a certain other web personality of note) and that’s available online, streamed or for download at

    So no need to pay for anything and no geographic restrictions.

    Also of interest, Boing Boing wrote about the incident Cory mentioned that brought Jesse and I together:

    Thanks again everybody. Jesse’s first podcast at TVO will be up next week.

  10. I can’t wait for the new Search Engine podcasts!! They’re very interesting and informative.

    #5: Search Engine can be downloaded for free online… you don’t need “cable and a specialized channel”

  11. Hey thank you Mike, Cory and especially dear Anonymous who are legion ;)


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