Dragons’ Den star rebuked by CBC ombudsman for phrase ‘Indian giver’

March 8, 2011

From Calgary Herald, “Dragons’ Den star Kevin O’Leary rebuked by CBC ombudsman for phrase ‘Indian giver'”

The CBC’s ombudsman has blasted businessman and commentator Kevin O’Leary for using the term ”Indian giver” on his CBC News Network show, denouncing the term as “unambiguously offensive.”

The executive producer for The Lang & O’Leary Exchange has apologized directly to Alex Jamieson, an aboriginal man who complained, but O’Leary is a contract commentator and cannot be forced to express regret, ombudsman Kirk LaPointe writes in the report, published last week.

O’Leary, known for his brash, provocative commentary, heads up global investment firm O’Leary Funds.

He cancelled an interview with the National Post because, according to his assistant, he was ”advised” not to speak publicly about the issue.

The CBC is looking at making an on-air apology for the comment and as of Monday had yet to speak with O’Leary about potentially doing the same, according to spokesman Jeff Keay.


Dragons featured in Toronto Star – Kevin O’Leary, Arlene Dickinson, Jim Treliving, Robert Herjavec, Brett Wilson

March 15, 2010

Reporters from Toronto Star have done a series of extremely well written and insightful interviews (not your usually fluffy and all positive interviews) with the five CBC Dragons: Kevin O’Leary, Arlene Dickinson, Jim Treliving, Robert Herjavec, Brett Wilson.

I greatly enjoy all of these interviews. And wish I could be as good in conducting some of my own interviews with people.

Note: The included excerpts (in the order they were published in TorStar) are meant to give you different sides of the dragons that we don’t usually see on the TV shows.

* Kevin O’Leary: Canada’s unrepentant Dragon – O’Leary is breathing fire (and building his personal brand) on CBC TV’s business reality show Dragons’ Den. Here is an excerpt,

What made Kevin O’Leary rich was the moment he calls the “massive liquidity event,” that is the sale of LCI to toymaker Mattel Inc. for $4.2 billion (U.S.). O’Leary wasn’t the company’s largest shareholder, not by a long shot.

According to 1998 securities filings, Thomas H. Lee Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm, held nine million shares. The Tribune Co. was next up with five million. Bain Capital had 3.4 million. O’Leary, the company’s president, had just over a million shares. O’Leary says he had more than that.

Within months of the deal, announced in December 1998, Mattel issued warnings of unexpected losses at LCI. Read the rest of this entry »


Kevin O’Leary in G&M

January 6, 2010

For the record. I will comment on the article if I can find some time later.

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Kevin O’Leary: Canada’s master of (harsh) reality TV by Andrew Ryan, Jan 6, 2010 G&M

Like all successful men, Kevin O’Leary is a study in contrasts.

On CBC-TV’s Dragons’ Den (which returns to the air Wednesday night at 8) and ABC’s Shark Tank (back on Friday at 9 p.m.), the Montreal native has become known as the bombastic investor who routinely dashes the dreams of budding entrepreneurs, quite often in the most withering manner imaginable. “Life is hard, money doesn’t care and your tears don’t add value,” was his brutal assessment of one product pitch.

The softer side of Kevin O’Leary can be found on his Twitter page, where he posts frequently on his business dealings (“I’m thinking good investment themes for 2010 will be pharma, health care, energy and biotech”) and his fabulous life (“Dinner tonight at the Auberge de Dully in Switzerland … Best roast chicken on earth!”).

Either way, the man knows his business. In 1999, O’Leary sold his software company to the Mattel Toy company for a staggering $3.7-billion (U.S.) – still one of the largest deals in consumer software history. Soon after, he founded O’Leary Mutual Funds, where he’s still chairman.

Love him or hate him, O’Leary is very likely the reason why more people are watching Dragons’ Den (CBC, 9 p.m.), which has passed the two-million viewer mark this season. He’s also the sharp counter to business reporter Amanda Lang on The Lang & O’Leary Exchange on CBC’s The National . How did a simple billionaire become such a Canadian TV fixture? Meet the man behind the mouth.

Why do some people think you’re such a mean guy?

I don’t consider myself to be mean at all. I just tell the truth. I don’t think there’s any room for being grey when it comes to money. In many cases these entrepreneurs are spending their own family’s capital and they’ve never really market-tested the idea. They’ve never gone to an investor that’s indifferent and has no relationship to them. If they don’t like the outcome of that, I’m sorry for them. If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

Are some Dragons’ Den contestants undone by their own cockiness?

Read the rest of this entry »


Dragons in Shark Tank

August 5, 2009

Kevin O’Leary and Robert Herjavec, two Dragons from CBC Dragons’ Den, are becoming Sharks on ABC Shark Tank. The show airs this Sunday, Aug 9th, at 10pm MST in Calgary on ABC (check your local listing).

Here are some info of the show and bio of the Sharks.

I hope the ABC series will do the Dragons’ Den format justice. Will see about that.