Friends shocked and surprised
Ottawa - CBC's decision to bump The National from its usual time slot to make way for a simulcast American reality show is shocking and surprising, according to Friends of Canadian Broadcasting.
"I've learned not to trust anything the current senior managers of CBC say or promise," said Friends spokesperson Ian Morrison, referring to a declaration made by CBC President Robert Rabinovitch to the Heritage Committee just nine months ago that CBC does not do reality programming.
In response to a question from then Conservative Heritage Critic Bev Oda, Mr. Rabinovitch told MPs on the Committee on October 27, 2005:
"...we don't do reality television. We think we're enough of a reality on our own in terms of surviving. But we do not do reality programming. If we only were chasing rating points, we could do reality programming. Quite frankly, some public broadcasters in the world do reality programming. Some of the most successful programs, quite frankly, were first developed by public broadcasters. But we don't do that."
According to published reports, CBC will move The National - its flagship national television news program - to allow it to simulcast the American reality TV program The One beginning July 18, 2006.
"After driving CBC’s Canadian content to record lows, I’m shocked to hear of this decision," Morrison said.
June 17, 2006 - Globe & Mail: A disservice to CBC by Richard Stursberg
The executive vice-president, CBC English Television cites the eroding funding environment as reason for focus on new reality based programming.
June 16, 2006 - Globe & Mail: CBC's reality
Editorial comments on CBC using public funds to create reality-programming based on a U.S. show.