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CBC Radio programming just for men

The Story

It's the CBC's first radio show specifically for men, by men. Rod Coneybeare, the puppeteer on the CBC children's show Friendly Giant, is branching out as "editor-in-chief" of a new radio program called Man to Man. Right off the top Coneybeare says women won't like the show, warning male listeners to encourage their wives to tune out: "We don't want you to miss one word because of the wild screaming of protesting women," he says.

Medium: Radio
Program: Man to Man
Broadcast Date: April 27, 1959
Guest(s): Jim Cook
Host: Rod Coneybeare
Reporter: Roy Shields
Duration: 9:52

Did You know?

Man to Man was a summer replacement show that lasted just five months. Before its launch the Toronto Daily Star noted that this "girlie magazine of the air" seemed to be created because "it looked as though everybody was reading Playboy."

• Shortly after its premiere, Dennis Braithwaite of the Toronto Daily Star wrote: "Some of the joviality sounds forced, like a stag party that has gone on too late. Maybe men aren't that interesting by themselves, hey?"

• Six weeks into the show, the critics' knives were out. Nathan Cohen of the Toronto Daily Star said: "Man to Man has mainly stumbled and sloshed its way through a farrago of the hackneyed, the threadbare, the sophomoric and the oppressively dull... Every item is laboriously wrung through a mangler which squeezes out any suggestion of joy of life or adult wit and verve... This particular missile in CBC Radio's battle for audience attention bears every sign of being a total dud."

• Listeners had strong opinions on Man to Man, calling it "rotten," "low," and "offensive" in letters to CBC Times, the radio and television program guide. "I was thoroughly disgusted," wrote one woman. "How many marriages may be broken up by that program?"

• Other listener feedback was more positive. A mineral exploration crew in Flin Flon, Man., wrote: "Your program added a refreshing flavour to the monotonous diet churned out by the local radio station."

• Rod Coneybeare was also the voice of both Rusty the rooster and Jerome the giraffe on The Friendly Giant. He was a performer, writer and contributor for many CBC Radio and Television shows in the 1950s, '60s and '70s. He was half of radio's The Rod and Charles Show and, in 1969, co-created a TV show for older children called The Bananas.

• In the 1990s Coneybeare was a voice on animated U.S. children's shows X-Men and Super Mario Bros. 3.


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