Re-Reimagine the CBC

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Catchfire Catchfire's picture
Re-Reimagine the CBC

Continued from here.

The impact of past and future cuts on the CBC

[quote]Last summer, all federal government departments and agencies, including the CBC, were ordered to submit plans for 5% and 10% budget cuts. The goal of this fiscal restraint is to achieve a balanced budget by 2015.

In the case of the CBC, the 10% scenario is particularly severe because it could result in not just a $110M cut but, combined with non-renewal of the annual ‘top-up’ of $60M, which successive governments have delivered to CBC toward the end of each fiscal year since 2002, could yield a $170M shortfall, or 15.5% of CBC’s parliamentary allocation.

The CBC has “prepaid” its share of this year’s anticipated federal budget reductions. So have its loyal listeners and viewers, who have felt the impact in the form of reduced quantity and quality of service.

Over the past fifteen years, while overall government spending has risen by more than 50% in real terms, the value of the Parliamentary allocation to the CBC has fallen by more than 15%.

Inevitably, the results of all this are evident on our screens and speakers. If there were any room for “efficiencies,” they have long since been made. Every dollar cut now comes right out of programming. Eventually, the service will be so much less attractive that few Canadians would notice or care if it were to disappear altogether. (Could that be the plan?)[/quote]

 

Then
Now
Future
Award-winning, thirty-hour documentary series A People’s History of Canada, produced in both official languages 2000-2001. Single two-hour made-for-TV movie on Sir John A. Macdonald for CBC’s 75th anniversary in 2011. Few if any major programs on Canadian history.
CBC historically invested millions to record and broadcast Canadian music and musicians of all genres. Sharp reductions in live music spending – especially classical music. CBC effectively out of the music business; Radio Two potentially sold or closed.
Multiple news programs with distinct personalities and content, e.g. The National, World At Six, etc. “News integration” means same reporters and stories show up over and over on all channels. Further cuts to news-gathering resources = less credibility and relevance.
Foreign correspondents permanently based in key overseas locations. Reporters sent from Canada when news breaks; increased reliance on stringers and agencies. Canadians will have to turn to non- Canadian sources for international news.
Fully Canadian prime-time CBC Television schedule. More US shows; Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy mainstays of the schedule. The “Not-So-Canadian” Broadcasting Corporation.
Strong local stations in all regions, producing a full range of TV and Radio info and entertainment. Local stations are news-only operations, with more and more syndicated content, contributing less and less to the network. The “Toronto Broadcasting Corporation.”
Regular arts programming on TV in prime time, e.g. Adrienne Clarkson Presents, Opening Night. Very occasional TV arts performance specials. No cultural programming on CBC Television.
Socially relevant and cutting edge TV drama. Increasing emphasis on mindless entertainment and “reality” shows. Increasingly hard to distinguish CBC- TV from commercial channels.
CBC Radio links the country and defines the Canadian identity. Fewer innovative shows or in-depth documentaries; more chit-chat and repeats. CBC Radio less and less relevant to Canadians.
CBC News renowned for investigative journalism and in-depth reportage. More “happy talk,” consumer stories, YouTube clips and promos on The National and supper-hour news shows. Even less depth, quality, diversity and distinctiveness in CBC News.
Regions: 
Gaian

Thanks for digging that up, Cf.

Can't imagine why anyone could not clearly see that future in store for the CBC under Conservative stewardship.

6079_Smith_W

Petition to preserve the CBC musical archive:

 

http://boingboing.net/2012/03/14/petition-to-preserve-the-cbc.html

Gaian

Begging for crumbs?

Any greater chance of success that in the gun registry battle?

6079_Smith_W

It is a slightly different situation Gaian, in that I expect there are plenty of people within the CBC who would like to see that archive preserved (and an archive is a bit different than a stack of guns). If you don't think it is worth it, fine.

And no, it is not begging. It is fighting to preserve something that we built and is ours. You're complaining about other people's perspective on the CBC? This is no different. If you don't see the worth in working for it, at least don't work against it.

 

 

Gaian

Saving the crumbs was my initial response to this thread on Feb. 19: quote:Hmm. "Surprised no one wants to reply to this yet."

"This thread began as an apology for the suppression of public broadcasting and in very naive fashion, is proceeding to an "oh dear" conclusionn with the March budget and deserved to be ignored."

The tenor has changed radically with Cf's posting about the fate of the CBC over time. Your appeal for saving the dregs returns it to the original wishful note. But "saving" anything from the pre-neo-con era would always leave the blot on their tasteless and insidious record for all to see and remember. Dictators never allow that to happen.

I have left a message with the secretary of my Conservative MP, imploring him not to destroy the only listenable radio in the land...even while knowing that the Conservatives have in mind only the "drowning in the bathtub," of the last vistage of anything public.

6079_Smith_W

Well I appreciate your willingness to stand up for what you believe in, and I hope our efforts bring some success.

 

 

 

 

Kanada2America

What's actually frightening is that some people on these forums think the CBC is always right (or maybe that's left), on everything it does. As for the personal attack about how far my head is up my ass, I"ll ignore that leftist name-calling since it clearly belongs to the type of people who are furiously handwringing about their precious elitist, small-clique corner of the world that taxpayers are supposed to pay for over and over again.

I guess these things were okay, 50 years ago, or maybe 75 years ago. But they are not ok today.

Oh and what was that capitalist sentiment? That to get better more qualified journalists like the type you find at the CBC, you have to pay MORE money? Wow!!!! Now where exactly on this left wing forum could such a CAPITALIST idea show up?

Me thinks that some people here want to have their cake and eat it too. Invoking capitalist ideas when it's convenient and attacking them when it's not. Nice!

Fidel

Marx was right, capitalism's a nightmare.

6079_Smith_W

@ K2A

I'm sorry.... who was it you said  came up with the idea that paying workers a fair day's wages for a fair day's work was the best way to build a quality operation and get the job done right? 

Somebody had better let Sam Walton know that he was running the bigget company in the world all wrong!

And yes, Marx was right. Capitalism is a nightmare: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9OUIk4Oaq4&feature=related

Kanada2America

Hey I'm not the one proposing capitalism as the great ill, or the great solution to everything. But if CBC workers and their ardent supporters want to re-imagine their broadcasting service they may want to take a few lessons from the private sector once in a blue moon.

Like I said - the CBC is not going to be destroyed because of this, gi-normous cut that it is allegedly facing. In fact it is going to get better.

I don't know anything about Sam Walton other than Walmart and the fact that almost every Canadian I've ever met shops there and complains about how much better prices in the US Walmarts are compared to Canada. Strange.

Nice Youtube link. It's an American corporation too, and the Marx brothers sure ain't from Canada. Well I guess even the extreme left has to use America for something at one point or another.

Gaian

quote:"... almost every Canadian I've ever met shops there and complains about how much better prices in the US Walmarts are compared to Canada."

Somehow I just knew that you brought your ideas from that milieu.

6079_Smith_W

Kanada2America wrote:

I don't know anything about Sam Walton other than Walmart and the fact that almost every Canadian I've ever met shops there and complains about how much better prices in the US Walmarts are compared to Canada. Strange.

 

There's a reason for that; I guess you think it is because they are paying workers up here too much, and spending too much of their business tax on the CBC. 

Let me tell you a little off-topic story. I was trying to buy an item which, in the same online store (not WalMart. I DON"T shop there) was $70 here in Canada, and $20 in the states. A little bit more than any hokum about the difference in the dollar or taxes.  I tried to buy it online from the states, and they just bumped me back to Canada.

They do it because they CAN, and they have what they think is a closed market, and until someone comes along and does it cheaper (and in my experience that is just as often a small store as a big one) they'll keep doing it because they make more money that way.

Is that the lesson we are supposed to learn from the private sector? Get as much profit as you can and PREVENT access to a free market? 

I think you're missing the problem entirely, because these cuts are first and foremost ideological. If this government can pay what it has on fake lakes and gazebos and the military they can fund a public broadcaster (which sorry, is not the same as the private stations, has a far broader scope, and mandate). They are making these cuts, and pressuring changes in programming because i think the PMO would much prefer if it did not exist at all. He is treating it the same way he treats everything else he considers an enemy.

And I was actually giving a little elbow to someone else's comment about capitalism. I don't think I have mentioned it. And I also don't think I have said anything against Americans other than the fact that I think they have a very insular, limited and propagandist (relative to ours) news system. And the fact is there's actually some evidence to back that up; it's not based on some grudge because somebody messed with my cables way back when.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture
Kanada2America

Gaian wrote:
quote:"... almost every Canadian I've ever met shops there and complains about how much better prices in the US Walmarts are compared to Canada." Somehow I just knew that you brought your ideas from that milieu.

Oh don't worry Gaian. I know which forum I'm posting on. I'm quite aware of how far off-kilter my thoughts must be. It's just my considered opinion that this is why mainstream Canada can never reconcile what your thoughts are, with what their daily reality is.

I'm sure me and my less educated opinions are a little too lowbrow for ya all and the esotoric arts are a little beyond my understandin of the world and all, but hey, I can't help it. Experience speaks more volumes than professorial mythmaking about what is to come for the CBC.

Oh and Smith? Why is it ok to complain about online shopping and call it a closed market but not ok to talk about the CBC and its "closed market", not to mention why it dallies in the private sector and rakes in an extra $600 million from revenues? Is that ok with you too?

Sounds like you want the CBC to have it both ways. Public broadcaster with a mandate and public funding, and then again - competing with the private sector and raking in extra money from the private sector. And then we get to wages. Why is a CBC producer paid $20K more than the same job in the private sector? Shouldn't CBC staff be working in the public interest for the people who fund it? And make sure their wages are in line with the private sector? Are they an island unto themselves?

6079_Smith_W

Um..... speaking of having it both ways, do you want to have more taxes going to the CBC or less? Kind of hard to reduce that if they can't raise any revenue.

And besides,  private sector does not mean  no revenue or not for profit. You are near enough to Saskatchewan to have heard of SaskTel, SaskEnergy, STC and SGI. 

I pay for my car insurance, even if it isn't quite as much as they do over the border in Alberta. I'm kind of glad I have them dallying in the marketplace, actually.

Gaian

Kanada2America wrote:

Gaian wrote:
quote:"... almost every Canadian I've ever met shops there and complains about how much better prices in the US Walmarts are compared to Canada." Somehow I just knew that you brought your ideas from that milieu.

Oh don't worry Gaian. I know which forum I'm posting on. I'm quite aware of how far off-kilter my thoughts must be. It's just my considered opinion that this is why mainstream Canada can never reconcile what your thoughts are, with what their daily reality is.

I'm sure me and my less educated opinions are a little too lowbrow for ya all and the esotoric arts are a little beyond my understandin of the world and all, but hey, I can't help it. Experience speaks more volumes than professorial mythmaking about what is to come for the CBC.

Oh and Smith? Why is it ok to complain about online shopping and call it a closed market but not ok to talk about the CBC and its "closed market", not to mention why it dallies in the private sector and rakes in an extra $600 million from revenues? Is that ok with you too?

Sounds like you want the CBC to have it both ways. Public broadcaster with a mandate and public funding, and then again - competing with the private sector and raking in extra money from the private sector. And then we get to wages. Why is a CBC producer paid $20K more than the same job in the private sector? Shouldn't CBC staff be working in the public interest for the people who fund it? And make sure their wages are in line with the private sector? Are they an island unto themselves?

The milieu I was referring to was the one of underpaid, part-time, benefit free workers.

As to your defense from the battlefront: "It's just my considered opinion that this is why mainstream Canada can never reconcile what your thoughts are, with what their daily reality is "

But of course, their "daily reality" is often that of the 902,000 part time workers, half of whom would dearly love to be working full time, but the numbers of those looking have begun to decline looking, out of hopelessness. And you know where they go from there.

No, K2A, you're just another one adding to the emiserating effect of the policies of a comprador government that can't keep people working. You shop WalMart and don't care that the workers of Loblaws et al are losing their better-paying jobs with benefits.And of course that kind of mind wold be kept awake nights making invidious comparison with those on the CBC payroll...at whatever level.

6079_Smith_W

The story hasn't hit the internet yet, but I just heard it reported on CBC that Rogers wants to back out on some of its committment to locally-produced Saskatchewan programming it agreed to as part of its deal to buy SCN. For now, here's some background:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/tv/story/2010/03/24/sk-budget-scn-closing.html

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/story/2012/01/17/sk-scn-roger...

This is what public broadcasters are supposed to learn from the private sector? 

(edit)

Here's the story:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/story/2012/03/20/sk-scn-sale-...

6079_Smith_W

And I guess the province dropped the second shoe this afternoon. 

 

 

Fidel

Kanada2America wrote:
I don't know anything about Sam Walton other than Walmart and the fact that almost every Canadian I've ever met shops there and complains about how much better prices in the US Walmarts are compared to Canada. Strange.

And it's a good thing for NAFTA because without it we'd be paying higher prices for the exact same products made in China. Oh wait? We already DO pay more than Americans for the same products made in China. 

WTF? 

Kanada2America

6079_Smith_W wrote:

The story hasn't hit the internet yet, but I just heard it reported on CBC that Rogers wants to back out on some of its committment to locally-produced Saskatchewan programming it agreed to as part of its deal to buy SCN. For now, here's some background:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/tv/story/2010/03/24/sk-budget-scn-closing.html

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/story/2012/01/17/sk-scn-roger...

This is what public broadcasters are supposed to learn from the private sector? 

(edit)

Here's the story:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/story/2012/03/20/sk-scn-sale-...

Public broadcasters are supposed to learn that taxpayers are not sheep to be manhandled by bureaucrats and special interest groups for a left wing agenda. There is always a public good in many things in society. SCN is an example of a 1980 Lada. Oh and is it a coincidence that SCN is based in the same building as the CBC? So now the CBC is doing its usual hysterics about public broadcasting? Yeah, lots of credibility there, and on my dime too. But hey, enjoy. It's only money right?

Kanada2America

Fidel wrote:

Kanada2America wrote:
I don't know anything about Sam Walton other than Walmart and the fact that almost every Canadian I've ever met shops there and complains about how much better prices in the US Walmarts are compared to Canada. Strange.

And it's a good thing for NAFTA because without it we'd be paying higher prices for the exact same products made in China. Oh wait? We already DO pay more than Americans for the same products made in China. 

WTF? 

Fidel, Fidel, Fidel... what is it that fascinates you about America? Is it the Boogeyman aspect? Is it the fact that you try so hard to out-left, the left? I don't know. But you are entertaining. Why complain about paying more than Americans? We should pay more, after all, more bureaucracy, more health care, more of everything - right?

Fidel

Kanada2America wrote:

Fidel wrote:

Kanada2America wrote:
I don't know anything about Sam Walton other than Walmart and the fact that almost every Canadian I've ever met shops there and complains about how much better prices in the US Walmarts are compared to Canada. Strange.

And it's a good thing for NAFTA because without it we'd be paying higher prices for the exact same products made in China. Oh wait? We already DO pay more than Americans for the same products made in China. 

WTF? 

Fidel, Fidel, Fidel... what is it that fascinates you about America? Is it the Boogeyman aspect? Is it the fact that you try so hard to out-left, the left? I don't know. But you are entertaining. Why complain about paying more than Americans? We should pay more, after all, more bureaucracy, more health care, more of everything - right?

 

I think we used to have more government per capita than the states, but that was before creation of Homeland Stupidity, a massive new right wing bureaucracy for spying on the lives of Americans. Political conservatives in Canada love overbloated bureaucracy, but so do they in the U.S. as well. What they say at election time and what they do once voters have been had are totally different things.

But there really is no good reason for Canaidans to pay more for the same widgets.  We don't necessarily have to export so many raw materials and energy to the states. We don't have to send them old growth logs to be shipped back as luxurious toilet paper. We have an army of unemployed Canadians who could easily do those kinds of jobs, and the Americanos know it. American corporations know that Canadian workers are capable. They know that Canadians have talent and can do all kinds of things Americans can do. And it's why they watch our federal elections like hawks gazing over the chicken coop.

Slumberjack

Kanada2America wrote:
Is it the fact that you try so hard to out-left, the left?

Well that's good enough for the morning laugh.

6079_Smith_W

Yes, speaking as someone on the extreme left, I got a chuckle out of it too.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Hi K2A, you can stop the redbaiting now. Thanks.

Gaian

Marvelous what a little correspondence will uncover.

Kanada2America

Pretty sure Catchfire will be accusing me of "red baiting" and deleting posts, but hey guys get over yourselves. I guess a I hit a nerve with you folks, sorry about that. Reality bites doesn't it? Life is not a collecitve bargaining agreement. Nobody ever told you your jobs are protected forever.

And you want to reach out to the regular people in Canada? Good luck with that.

6079_Smith_W

Um... K2A 

Remember the poll I posted in the last thread regarding Canadian's feelings about the CBC? This is what regular people think.

This thread isn't about the job security of people you have a grudge against. It's about public broadcasting.

And you have no idea what most of us do for a living and even less of a clue about our politics. What are you even talking about? Is this Mr. Lebowski meets the Dude? 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYX-121A7Zc

 

 

infracaninophile infracaninophile's picture

"And you want to reach out to the regular people in Canada? "

We are 'regular people in Canada. ' Who are you?

Slumberjack

How are regular folks in the USA faring, with the voluntary dismantling of organized labour being in progress for some time now?

Gaian

Let's not cause disillusionment. The fella is out to achieve the American dream, the presidency awaits him.

Slumberjack

I might have suggested a rousing chorus of 'wheels on the bus,' but then you're only seeking out happy thoughts.

Caissa

Did K2A miss the right turn to Freak Dominion?

Gaian

It would seem that too few of the Great Misled were up for it. Can't imagine wee Jimmy going deaf.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Has Anna Maria Tremonti been axed? It seems like the new guy has been at it for at least a month. (And they are not rotating a guest host in and out on the Friday slot).

Two national news producers were announced as having retired at the end of the 5:00 o'clock broadcast. Many more departures expected.

Sean in Ottawa

The CBC will be mostly a shell after these cuts. 10% does not sound like much but when you consider the fixed expenses the organization will have few choices in terms of where it will cut.

That said the shell  can be turned in to a full organization again in the future so long as it is not sold off or broken up. Starved it may be not very effective for the next few years but it can once again be effective in the future if this were to be the end of the bad news.

Gaian

Yes, but then there's next year's budget, and then the one after that, and finally 2015.

And I wonder just which programming will be cut, which end of the public's political spectrum placated?

Indeed, Sean, "it may be not very effective for the next few years," but have you tried listening to any other radio?

Sean in Ottawa

Indeed I have.

Even the CBC cut to the bone will be the best thing on the air-- most of the time.

People should not give up on it-- and it can be restored.

I, of course, have my list of things I hope they do not cut-- including Marketplace, Fifth Estate, the Current, Ideas, and many others.

I also have my list of things I would be okay with them cutting: Kevin O'Leary, Don Cherry would be a start.

There are many fine CBC journalists and I hope we don't lose the finest among them. But As I say, budgets can be restored if the organization is not broken up or sold off.

Gaian

CBC will no longer be able to afford Hockey, and that rids us of Cherry.

I need Michael Enright and Sunday Edition. Civilized discourse.

infracaninophile infracaninophile's picture

Speaking of Michael Enright and the Sunday Edition -- good April Fool interview on this morningWink

Reminded me of the one some years back where Enright interviewed "Jimmy Carter" and referred to him as a "washed-up peanut farmer."  

Many people actually thought it was a for-real interview.  I was suspicious of the one this morning, but it was the last couple of lines that gave the game away (IMO).

 

Good fun.

Gaian

And wonderful followup on economics (federal budgets) and Occupy Wall Street.

Marvelous.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Excellent edition this morning. Sunday morning is appointment radio in our household.

Sean in Ottawa

I missed it today :-(

Gaian

But it's there waiting for you at cbc.ca/sunday edition.

Enjoy.

Grandpa_Bill

You've all read the following in Rick Salutin's recent comment Public broadcasting, public media, and the CBC:

"It doesn't matter who owns it. A unidirectional, one-to-many medium like network TV delivers irresistible clout to those who control it and deliver its programming to the nation. Being human, the power will go to their heads and they will routinely identify with other powerful, usually rich individuals and groups."

Interesting. We will see and hear just how much the power has gone to heads at CBC when we see and hear what goes and what remains. If Salutin is correct, much of what is better will go and much of what is worse will still be around for the next round of cuts.

On the bright sice, we can give Rabble some of the money we save in taxes!  Laughing  Power won't be going to heads around here, eh?!

6079_Smith_W

Thanks Grandpa Bill, I'll head over and make a comment now. Suffice it to say there is a fair bit in the editorial that I don't agree with.

 

Gaian

Ah yes, tax savings. Bright side. Informed public opinion. Legacy of destruction for a "re-imagined" CBC. :)

Slumberjack

I find Evan Solomon, Peter Mansbridge, and the rest of the teleprompt and script readers quite unwatchable. I don't listen to CBC radio so I can't comment there. I watch Suzuki sometimes, Land and Sea, and local news on occasion. We have a one sided media landscape in this country, with the CBC's editorial posture resembling a reckless swim in a fast flowing current imperiled by treacherous undertows.

Gaian

You haven't mentioned 5 per cent of the valuable ones. You must get out more.

Slumberjack

It's precisely because I do, perhaps?

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