Source : Canadian Press
OTTAWA (CP) - CBC president Robert Rabinovitch has been given a passing grade - barely.
Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, the non-profit watchdog group, says it is awarding Rabinovitch a C-minus for his performance as head of the public broadcaster over the past five years. The grade is based on his handling of such issues as CBC funding, regional programming, Canadian content and the direction of CBC Radio.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Paul Martin proposed that Rabinovitch's tenure be extended, but just for another three years. On Monday, the day Rabinovitch's original term expires, that proposal goes before the Commons heritage committee for review and Rabinovotch will be questioned by committee members.
"Parliamentarians and Canadians share our concern about the CBC president's vision of, and commitment to, regional programming," says Friends spokesman Ian Morrison.
On the one hand, the group says, on Rabinovitch's watch the CBC got an increase in its parliamentary grant, from $987 million to $1.03 billion. But CBC's English TV supper-hour news programming in the regions was slashed.
The group says that because the heritage committee has a minority of Liberal MPs, the prime minister's re-appointment proposal will by no means be rubber-stamped. Referral to the committee is seen as an interim measure. Martin has stated that he favours creation of an arms-length procedure for such so-called patronage appointments.
© Canadian Press