CBC’s New Local/Regional Strategy and Prince Edward Island

The CBC released a document called Enhancing Regional Connections: A Local/Regional Strategy on Wednesday. Possible developments on Prince Edward Island include:

  • A new joint Radio-TV news bureau in Summerside is proposed for 2007-2008.
  • On television, “all or part of expanded supper-hour newscast, weekday late-night newscast, weekend local newscast, weekday interstitials” are proposed for Charlottetown for 2007-2008.
  • On the web, “expanded CBC.ca coverage, 2nd shift weekdays, weekend shift 9AM-5PM” is proposed for Charlottetown in 2005-2006.
  • On radio, “seven days a week news” is proposed for Charlottetown for 2005-2006.
  • News reporters will be “called upon to produce items for both Radio and TV.”

Nationally the new initiatives are forecast by the CBC to cost an additional $82.8 million per year by 2007-2008.


Nils's picture
Nils on February 5, 2005 - 22:37 Permalink

In a word: bullshit.

That horrible, liquidy sound you hear is the sound of eyes rolling across the country — CBC staffers who have heard this crap from management so often and seen it turn to ashes so many times that they can no longer even pretend to believe.

This is posturing, plain and simple. The CBC is either going in for budget review or about ready to go in for CRTC licensing hearings, and they need to come up with all the proper bullshit phrases that will allow thepols or the CRTC Commissioners to suspend disbelief long enough to grant the money or the license renewal with a minimum of scolding. Then the CBC brass will carry on and do what it does best, which is build empires within the confines of the Front Street Taj Mahal and jealously guard programming hours from the regional barbarians at the gate.

The last time the CBC brass went up in front of the CRTC, it was utterly unequivocal about one thing: in no way would regional services — the very lifeblood of the CBC — be allowed to suffer a reduction. Once the license renewal was granted, with no real sanctions in place if the CBC should reneg on its promises — the announcement was made that local supper hour news programs would be gutted.

New information,” pleaded the brass. “We weren’t lying to the CRTC, we just didn’t know how dire things were!” (And nobody asked whether that meant they should be fired for incompetence, rather than outright dishonesty.)

And here it comes again.

Trust me, nobody who has worked at CBC for any length of time is preparing a resume to send in so they can work on these new shows outlined in the document. There is much sneering going on, much “Yeah, right, that’ll happen.” Of course, none of them will threaten their careers by voicing this doubt.

But if you believe that because CBC says it will increase regional services, then if they’re given more money, they’ll actually increase regional services … well, you may just be a candidate for a high-paying job as a CRTC Commissioner.

Better grab it, because you’re too gullible to live in the real world.

Alan's picture
Alan on February 5, 2005 - 23:05 Permalink

Before I read Nils I was going to say here come the ‘70’s when there was an late evening TV news on Saturday and Sunday. The only thing, given Nils inside view, that might happen is another CBC web staffer that might add weekend coverage but why not run that centrally out of Halifax for all three provinces. It isn’t like there is a mass of news coming out of PEI at night or on the weekend. Does any other small town in Canada like Summerside, what, 35 minutes from a CBC bureau have its own CBC bureau? I would hope Kingston with as many people as all of PEI might get one permenant staff before that happens, though we have one of the affiliate stations.

Jim's picture
Jim on February 6, 2005 - 06:41 Permalink

So we’re supposed to praise the Mother Corp for sowing its soon-to-be-found new dollars on the regions? That’s crap and most of us know it. The regional CBC news programming before 2001, and since, has remained the same bland regurgitated oatmeal fed from HQ. It seems it’s all human interest non-controversial Canadiana which CBC likes to dish out. I could be rich if I had 50 cents for every politically correct “multi-cultural” story, the cute “school” story, the bi-weekly “down on the farm” story (preferably dealing with GMO, or violations of buffer zones), and — oh yeah, it is CBC after all — a “homosexual marriage” story, etc. etc. In short, the regions do not decide the news that we, the viewing public, want to watch and hear — it’s decided by the corporate politically-appointed politburo in Ottawa and Toronto (and Montreal — for SRC watchers).

They’d be better off throwing the extra $$ millions into PEI’s provincial treasury because it’ll just be a waste of electrons beaming from the Strathgartney transmitter. I recently watched old clips of CFCY-TV (when it was a CBC affiliate) and the regional programming then, even in black & white days, was much MUCH better than the corporate Upper Canadian drivel that passes for programming on PEI these days.

Lisa Howard's picture
Lisa Howard on February 6, 2005 - 14:30 Permalink