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Advertising on CBC Radio

Mar 20, 2009

Hello,

I am writing to thank you for sending us your views on the concept of advertising on CBC Radio.  It is important for us to hear from our audiences, and especially from loyal listeners like you.

I would like to assure you that CBC/Radio-Canada is not considering airing ads on CBC Radio.  Hearing the question raised of having ads on CBC Radio, as a means of better financing the Corporation, is not unusual, particularly in the context of our current, very difficult financial circumstances.  Given the latter, we are studying many different options, but we are not overturning the non-commercial nature of our radio services.

I would like to tell you a bit about our fiscal situation.  CBC/Radio-Canada, like all other broadcasters and businesses worldwide, is facing very tough economic times.  Costs continue to rise each year, yet the Corporation has had no increase to its base funding, in real terms, in 35 years.  The current poor economic climate has translated into a significant reduction in advertising spending, as you will have heard, leading us to project a revenue shortfall of $60 to $65 million for the year ending March 31, 2009.  Unfortunately, there is no recovery in sight for next year.  With scaled-back spending at the Corporation since last August, we will barely break even for this fiscal year.

In the context of these extremely difficult financial times, the Corporation has been forced to fundamentally examine what we do and what we can do.  We must always keep in mind the principle objective of delivering our services to the greatest number of Canadians in the best possible way.  Thus, we have been examining every potential solution internally to allow us to intelligently manage this Corporation through these hurdles and help us mitigate the impact of the budget crisis on employees and the quality of our services and, hence, on our audiences.  I want to point out, as well, that we have not asked for additional funds from the Federal Government.

Thank you very much for writing to express your views.  In a democracy, you certainly have the right to voice your opinion to us, to your neighbours and your representatives about the state and long-term health of public broadcasting in this country.  We hope that you will continue to watch, surf and listen to CBC/Radio-Canada's services.

Yours sincerely,

Hubert T. Lacroix
President and CEO