CBC plan abandons Canadians
Jun 26, 2014
For immediate release
Toronto (26 June 2014) – CBC’s plan to privilege digital and mobile delivery over its radio and television broadcast platforms is a retreat driven by the federal government’s deep budget cuts that will leave the national public broadcaster smaller and weaker, according to the watchdog group Friends of Canadian Broadcasting.
“Lacroix should resign. He is helping Stephen Harper drive CBC into the ground. Today he told CBC’s employees that the government is the shareholder. That’s false: all Canadian are shareholders,” said Friends spokesperson Ian Morrison.
Lacroix made the statement today in response to angry questions from CBC staffers who called on Lacroix to resign during a stormy question and answer session about the CBC’s just released five-year plan.
“This plan and Lacroix’s shameful statement are a betrayal of the values of public broadcasting. This new plan will also make CBC less accessible for many Canadians, especially older people who tend to vote,” Morrison said.
According to the plan CBC will:
- Cut 1000 – 1500 creative staff by 2020, on top of 657 staff cut in April
- Significantly cut in-house production, except for news, current affairs and radio
- Privilege digital and mobile distribution over broadcast radio and television
- Cut CBC’s real estate holdings in half
- Set aside 5% of commercial revenue to establish an "internal line of credit"
- Cut most suppertime news programs from 90 to 30 minutes and shift delivery of its local programming to mobile
Since 2012, the government has cut the CBC’s budget by a quarter of a billion dollars, and 75% of the CBC Board – all Harper appointments – have been financial supporters of the Conservative Party of Canada, including the CBC President.
“This is a plan to do less with less and Harper’s cuts are to blame. CBC is popular with Canadians who will remember the government’s record of hostility to CBC at election time,” said Morrison.
Friends of Canadian Broadcasting is an independent watchdog for Canadian programming and is not affiliated with any broadcaster or political party.
For information: Jim Thompson 613-447-9592 firstname.lastname@example.org