Bill Doskoch: Media, BPS*, Film, Minutiae

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The CBC sets out its cutbacks

As part of coping with a $115-million funding cut, the CBC will be eliminating 650 jobs over the next three years, the public broadcaster announced Wednesday.

Those are worker-bee and management jobs.


… But CBC president and CEO Hubert T. Lacroix said that unavoidable cost increases and investments mean the corporation faces financial pressures of $200 million.

“We expect to be able to offset that with $50 million in new revenues, which leaves us with about $150 million to account for by way of reductions and operating improvements,” Lacroix said in a statement.

He said the corporation will raise more money by pursuing additional digital revenue. As well, the public broadcaster has applied to the CRTC to add advertising and sponsorships to its two national music radio networks: CBC Radio 2 and Espace musique.

CBC/Radio-Canada will also accelerate the shutdown of analog television transmitters.

From CP via

But Lacroix says the network remains committed to its long-term plan of becoming more Canadian, regional and digital, which he says is vital to CBC’s role.

“Despite the magnitude of the reductions we’re facing, CBC/Radio-Canada will continue to bring you news and entertainment programming of the highest quality — you have the right to expect that from your public broadcaster,” he said.

Figures released by the CRTC on Wednesday said CBC spent $758.5 million on television programming last year, 94 per cent of which was spent on Canadian programs.

Private broadcasters spent about $560 million.

Here’s reaction from the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada – CBC cuts: Strong voice for gov’t accountability bullied

I’ll be updating this post over the day, but here’s some background:

March 29 – John Doyle, The Globe and Mail: Suck it up CBC. You should have seen this coming

March 29-30 – Globe and Mail: CBC sees funding slashed by $115-million. Note this:

Alain Pineau, executive director of the Canadian Conference for the Arts, said there shouldn’t be any rejoicing in the cuts to the CBC. “115-million over three years is a lot of money and it remains to be seen if they get the $60-million top-up [first implemented by the Chrétien government and maintained by the Conservatives], because otherwise it’s going to be a $175-million cut.”

March 30 – Toronto Star: CBC’s regional stations may bear brunt of cuts

March 31 – Globe and Mail: Federal budget poses threat to CBC, Stursberg argues

Stursberg was executive vice-president of CBC English Services from 2004 to 2010

April 2 – Toronto Star The future of the CBC needs ‘great debate’ from Canadians

On March 24, the Star launched The Network, an attempt to start a national conversation on the future of the CBC (about the project).

Two contributors have been Stursberg (Ten ways to fix the CBC) and former CBC News honcho Tony Burman (Cuts threaten to close window on the world).

Stursberg has a book coming out later this month about his controversial time at the CBC.

Disclosure: I’m currently employed by, but worked as a casual online writer for in 2003.

Wed, April 4 2012 » Main Page, Media