Amanda Lang, the CBC's senior business correspondent whose paid speaking engagements led to conflict-of-interest allegations last winter, is leaving the public broadcaster for a position that an internal memo described as "a new opportunity outside the CBC in television."
Ms. Lang, who joined CBC from BNN in 2009 as the co-host of the afternoon business show The Lang and O'Leary Exchange with the fractious Kevin O'Leary, had been touted by some as a possible successor to Peter Mansbridge. She was a highly visible presence on both CBC's News Network and The National on the main network, and after Mr. O'Leary left CBC in the summer of 2014, the network retooled the show around Ms. Lang.
The Exchange with Amanda Lang was projected to attract an average audience of about 60,000 this fall, according to network sales figures.
The news comes as Bloomberg LP prepares to launch a Canadian business TV network on Nov. 16. Industry speculation has been that Ms. Lang may join the network, which announced Tuesday that Pamela Ritchie a former host with BNN, will anchor The Daily Brief. Ms. Lang would not comment on the rumour.
Rhonda Messieh, a spokeswoman at Channel Zero, an independent media company and Bloomberg's partner on the network, said in an e-mail: "We don't have anything further to announce at this time … We look forward to making additional talent announcements before the end of the year."
In the CBC staff memo, Jennifer McGuire, the general manager and editor-in-chief of CBC News said: "Amanda's two decades of experience as a business reporter furthered our commitment to quality business coverage."
But Ms. Lang, who frequently landed exclusive interviews with business leaders, was sometimes seen as partial to business.
In the spring of 2013, she clashed with an investigative reporter at CBC, Kathy Tomlinson, over labour practises at Royal Bank of Canada. (Ms. Tomlinson is now on staff at The Globe and Mail.) After a report by Ms. Tomlinson – about RBC hiring temporary foreign workers – aired on CBC, Ms. Lang conducted an interview with the bank's CEO, Gord Nixon, that some critics said was too soft. It was subsequently revealed that Ms. Lang was in a relationship with a member of RBC's board.
Last winter, after reports that she and other CBC personalities had accepted speaking engagements paid for by companies they might have occasion to cover, the network altered its policy to ban such appearances by on-air staff.
Ms. McGuire launched an investigation of Ms. Lang's reporting on RBC that analyzed her coverage since 2013. The review showed no evidence of bias. Ms. McGuire also noted that, according to an external review conducted by Cormex, a media research firm, The Exchange's coverage of the banking sector showed "no evidence of partiality."
Still, last May, CBC ombudsman Esther Enkin took note of Ms. Lang's ties to the bank, and wrote that it is the responsibility of CBC and the individual journalists on staff to ensure that, even if there is no actual conflict-of-interest, they must act to minimize the potential for appearances of a conflict. Ms. Enkin wrote: "CBC policy was violated in the case of Ms. Lang's involvement in the coverage of RBC."
Ms. Lang's final day at CBC will be this Friday.
With a file from reporter James Bradshaw