Brett Wilson talks to media about leaving CBC Dragons’ Den

Of all the reports/interviews I could find today (Feb 28th, Monday) about Brett leaving Dragons’ Den, I want to say I enjoy the report (see below) from Calgary Sun‘s Lisa Wilton the most (very detail and insightful). It is nice to be pleasantly surprised by Calgary Sun.

Reports (see below) in Ottawa CitizenNational Post, Canadian Press, NewsTalk980 all added a little something (see emphasis) and worth a read. And then there are reports in Toronto Star and Calgary Herald. (March 6th Update: CityTV Breakfast Television Calgary interview video, “What’s Next for Brett Wilson? – Brett Wilson is leaving the Dragon’s Den. He tells us why and what’s next on his agenda.“)

Here is an excerpt from Calgary Sun “Wilson opens up regarding ‘Den“,

[ Q ] – Did your reason for leaving just come down to a contract negotiation breakdown?

Well, it started in December.

They gave me three weeks to sign the contract, take it or leave it.

There were some issues with the contract. First of all, they tried to cut the compensation. We negotiated that and got that solved. And they wanted to stop me from going on any other networks, so we negotiated that and got that solved.

Where we got stuck was on schedule. When I told them I had a family vacation and I wasn’t prepared to vary, they told me that wouldn’t work.

So, I politely advised that I would have to be out of the show because I wasn’t prepared to walk away from the vacation. It’s the first time I’ve had all three kids in one place in two years so I wasn’t going to walk away from that. It meant more to me than another season of the show.

Then CBC moved heaven and earth, and I really give them credit for it.

They managed to get another Dragon to do one week and me to do two weeks.

But where we got stuck was using the words Dragons’ Den and CBC.

The first contract they sent me prevented me from even uttering the words CBC or Dragons’ Den.

They claimed it was because of their contract with Sony. Sony is the licensee of the format.

I never for once believed I could never use the words Dragons’ Den or CBC. We kept pushing back. After about a month we started making progress. They started making exceptions about what I could do.

At the same time, I was submitting advertisements to them trying to get clarity before I signed the contract. I wanted to know what would be allowed and what wouldn’t be allowed. I thought they were being relatively inconsistent in terms of how they were applying these new rules.

But I think they ran into a deadline. Because they had chosen to pick up another Dragon, my guess is that if they couldn’t cut a deal with me they would have to find another Dragon to do the whole season.

There was a deadline of when we had to have this solved by, and we didn’t have it solved. It’s as simple as that.

[ Q ] -Would you go back to Dragons’ Den if you were asked?

Nobody’s asked me that question yet. I think the honest answer is, I would consider it. It’s a lot of fun. I enjoy it. It’s demanding, it’s tiring, it’s exhausting. I’ve offered to do follow up and film any footage that revolves around the deals I’ve done. So, I’m certainly open to that.

My intention here isn’t to burn any bridges because there are no bridges that need to be burned.

From Ottawa Citizen [via The StarPhoenix] “No hard feelings over departure from Dragons’ Den, says W. Brett Wilson”,

“Wilson said he left because his new contract would have restricted how he associated himself with the show.

They were objecting to me using the words ‘Come see Brett Wilson from Dragons’ Den.’ Their interpretation of their contract with Sony said that wouldn’t be allowed and we weren’t convinced that was correct.

The two sides were working on the snag but ran up against the deadline, Wilson added.

I think two more hours of meetings with people pulling in the same direction we could have got there, but we just ran out of time,” he said.

“It’s difficult to not say the fact that I was on Dragons’ Den and that Dragons’ Den was a CBC show.”

From National Post “W. Brett Wilson leaves Dragons’ Den with a challenge”,

“W. Brett Wilson, the so-called “dragon with a heart,” is leaving CBC’s Dragons’ Den with a challenge. He called upon the Gemini-award winning show to offer budding businesspeople “constructive criticism as opposed to abuse.

There’s an entrepreneur hiding under the skin of most people. The show can foster that … rather than getting into Simon Cowell-type commentary,” the Calgary entrepreneur and philanthropist told the Post in an interview.

If they just play that game [at the carnival] called whack-a-mole where they beat everyone down, I don’t think it helps anybody.

[…] “Dragonsʼ Den fans tell me constantly that they are craving true follow-up shows — not superficial snippets of information,” he said. Wilson said that his contract re-negotiations for the sixth season were “complicated.” “I had committed to a family vacation with my three kids in April,” he said. His children live in Vancouver, Toronto and the British Virgin Islands. “That was a week that was very precious to me.”

He said CBC agreed to bring in another Dragon for one week but the other unresolved issue was “the use of the show branding to promote Dragons’ Den deals.” “We were very, very close to a resolution.””

From NewsTalk980 “Saskatchewan entrepreneur Brett Wilson leaving CBC’s “Dragon’s Den”” (emphasis added),

“”CBC licenses Dragon’s Den from Sony in Japan, and we ran in to problems sorting out what the licensing agreement really allowed, and I wasn’t comfortable signing a contract that didn’t have clarity,” said Wilson.

Where it started was they said you can’t even utter the words “CBC” or “Dragon’s Den,” it took a month to solve that problem, but at the end of the day we just ran out of time.”

From Winnipeg Free Press [via Canadian Press]”Brett Wilson says he hopes ‘Dragons’ Den gets a little nicer in his absence”,

“”Some would argue they built the show on the backs of some of that kind of commentary and the ‘Kevin vs Brett’ kind of interplay, but I think the show has the opportunity to take the whole game to another level,” Wilson said, referring to his fiery exchanges with brash co-panellist Kevin O’Leary.

“I think we can dial down the entertainment value and dial up the education and that will become the entertainment — that’s my view.”

[…] One of the biggest sticking points in negotiations was establishing Wilson’s rights to use the “Dragons’ Den” name.

“There was a bit of confusion coming out of their rights group as to what could be said or couldn’t be said. Initially they suggested I couldn’t use the words ‘CBC’ or ‘”Dragons’ Den”‘ without their approval. Period. And obviously that’s impractical and illogical,” he said.”

March 2nd Update: Toronto Sun, “CBC loses star over sticky rules”, Calgary Herald, “Dragon’s done – Calgary businessman at odds with CBC”, Financial Post Magazine, “Brett Wilson” profile

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