Medium Rare (radio show)

Medium Rare was a Canadian radio program, which aired from 1987 to 1993.[1] Produced by CHEZ-FM in Ottawa, the program was syndicated to several radio stations across Canada.[2]

Hosted by CHEZ's news director, Ken Rockburn, the program was a two-hour news and public affairs magazine show which aired on Sunday evenings, including features and interviews on politics, arts, literature and culture,[3] although the show was ultimately most noted for Rockburn's interviews with writers.[4] The program made Rockburn the only host in Canadian commercial, rather than public, radio ever to win three Nellies from the ACTRA Awards.[5]

After an April 1993 change in CRTC regulations meant that music-based stations were no longer required to air a minimum quota of spoken word programming, the program was immediately dropped from the schedules of all its syndicated stations.[6] It continued on CHEZ for two more months, before airing its final episode in June.[6] During this time Rockburn was a contender for the job of hosting TVOntario's literature show Imprint following the departure of Daniel Richler, although he was not selected.[4]

Rockburn published a book of interviews from the show, Medium Rare: Jamming with Culture, in 1995.[7]

He subsequently moved to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, where he hosted the television interview show Rockburn and Company and CBO's afternoon program All in a Day.[8]


  1. ^ "Is TV ready for talk show host with a beard?; CHEZ news director at front of proposed Ottawa-based late-night program that would have more than idle chatter". Ottawa Citizen, October 17, 1990.
  2. ^ "CRTC quota proposal may be last straw for Medium Rare syndicator". Ottawa Citizen, November 8, 1992.
  3. ^ "Sunday evening radio offers plenty of interesting conversation". Ottawa Citizen, September 8, 1991.
  4. ^ a b "Rockburn right stuff for TVO job". Ottawa Citizen, March 9, 1993.
  5. ^ "Award-winning broadcaster enjoys 'challenge of sound'". Ottawa Citizen, June 24, 1989.
  6. ^ a b "Empty hole left as Medium Rare bids a farewell". Ottawa Citizen, June 20, 1993.
  7. ^ "MEDIUM RARE: Jamming with Culture; Half-baked interviews at the culture bar". The Globe and Mail, October 5, 1995.
  8. ^ "Rockburn named All In a Day host". Ottawa Citizen, March 7, 1996.