Bumping of The National by an American reality show - Friends' supporter response

Jul 1, 2006

A Friends' supporter refutes the form response by a CBC board member regarding the pre-emption of The National by an American reality show.

Dear Mr. Herrndorf:

Thank you very much for your reply.

Although I understand that the Board is not involved in the day-to-day operations or scheduling of CBC programs, I assume that this does not obviate the Board's responsibility to oversee the general direction of the CBC which I believe is governed by the 1991 Broadcasting Act (attached below.)

US reality shows do not further the aims of our public broadcaster, do nothing to enlighten or inform Canadians, are definitely NOT predominantly and distinctively Canadian.  They also do not, in my opinion and no doubt in the opinion of many others, contribute to the flow and exchange of cultural opinion. Even if such shows reflect American cultural opinion (a doubtful premise), they are of a very low quality and do not belong on the CBC.

In particular, The National fulfills all of the CRTC/CBC objectives, provides a vital link for Canadians and should remain front and centre on both the CBC local networks and Newsworld.

The main point here is that the CBC management is undermining the role that the network both TV and radio should be taking and I still maintain that there should be an immediate review of the path they are following.

And of course, there should be increased and stable funding from the federal government for the CBC a promise that has been broken repeatedly by the people who professed it during election campaigns.

Thanks again for your time and attention.  I still look forward to hearing that this latest plan to pre-empt the National to add this American show to the CBC schedule has been abandoned.

The 1991 Broadcasting Act states that...

  • "the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, as the national public broadcaster, should provide radio and television services incorporating a wide range of programming that informs, enlightens and entertains; ...the programming provided by the Corporation should:
  • be predominantly and distinctively Canadian,
  • reflect Canada and its regions to national and regional audiences, while serving the special needs of those regions,
  • actively contribute to the flow and exchange of cultural expression,
  • be in English and in French, reflecting the different needs and circumstances of each official language community, including the particular needs and circumstances of English and French linguistic minorities,
  • strive to be of equivalent quality in English and French,
  • contribute to shared national consciousness and identity,
  • be made available throughout Canada by the most appropriate and efficient means and as resources become available for the purpose, and
  • reflect the multicultural and multiracial nature of Canada."

CBC Board of Directors Form Response:

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to acknowledge receipt and thank you for your recente-mail regarding the temporary rescheduling ofCBC News: The National.

The Board of Directors does notdirectly participate in specific programming decisions,nor are we involved in the day-to-day operations of CBC/Radio-Canada’s networks.   Rather, we rely on our Network Senior Managers and Vice-Presidents to make these programming decisions.  

We take this opportunity to provide you with the following information regarding the delayed programming of The National.

Canadians west of Ontario will not be affected at all.   

Canadians who live in Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic,The Nationalwill only be pre-empted on eight Tuesday nights, from July 18 through September 5, and will air immediately following The One.   It will be televised on the main network as follows:

9:30 pm in Newfoundland
9:00 pm in the Maritimes
11:00 pm in Ontario and Quebec

The Nationalis also available on Newsworld without schedule change and can be viewed at 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm Eastern Time across the country.

We have nevertheless taken note of your comments, and once again thank you for sharing your concerns with the Board of Directors.

Peter Herrndorf
Board of Directors

Related Documents:

July 4, 2006 - Bumping of The National by an American reality show - response from CBC staff and board member
Various and contradictory form responses from CBC staff and Board members to Friends' supporters who communicated concerns over the pre-emption of The National this summer by an American reality show.

June 21, 2006 - CBC mandate lost in rush for ads and eyeballs
FRIENDS says the current senior management of CBC values ad revenue and audience rating points more than serving Canadians and this is having a huge impact on the kinds of programs CBC TV is presenting.

June 20, 2006 - CBC bumps The National for US reality TV Show
FRIENDS shocked and surprised by CBC's decision to bump The National from its usual time slot to make way for a simulcast American reality show.