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Federal Budget Cuts Force CBC to Slash Services

650 job losses, scaled back international service, ads on Radio 2 among measures to cope with federal budget cut.

Photo by {a href=""}Bradley J. Reinhardt{/a} from the {a href=""}Torontoist Flickr Pool{/a}.

News from one of the casualties of this year’s federal budget: there’s now a plan for implementing cuts at the CBC. Announced today, that plan includes 650 job cuts, office space contraction, cancellation of a planned Halifax expansion, a bid for commercials on Radio 2, shutting Radio-Canada International outposts in Brazil and Moscow, and a quicker end to the analogue television broadcasting system (the stations were always going to be decommissioned eventually). These are all part of the CBC’s effort to reduce costs in order to cope with a sudden $115 million reduction in its federal subsidy over the next three years, announced by the Conservative government last week when it unveiled its 2012 budget.

In a press release, the CBC also announced that it will be phasing out shortwave and satellite broadcasts on Radio Canada International, its foreign service. The broadcaster will also be looking at generating more revenue with digital advertising, and will be trying to find other efficiencies that have yet to be specified.


  • Anonymous

    It’s high time CBC radio had ads on the air.

    Not Leon’s crap, but PBS style sponsored by/brought to you by kind of thing.

    • Anonymous

      No, no, no, no. It’s a publicly funded broadcaster, it should not have ads like a commercial station. It should be one or the other, not the frankenstein monster that its TV division is.

      If they stopped producing/buying wannabe Hollywood-style dramas and comedies that hardly anyone watches and never make a profit, they’d have more than enough funding to do lower-budget, more useful things that the other commercial stations can’t or don’t want to do. They would take an approximate $250m hit, but the $1bn/year in pure, no-strings attached funding they’d have left over is more than enough when you’re not trying to be Hollywood under the guise of a public broadcaster.

      On TV, everything CBC does is infected by its pathetic commercial aspirations – as if it provided the bulk of its funding and purpose, as opposed to being a meager supplement which is primarily used to keep the organization bloated and staffed by complete wankers. This will happen to radio if they go down this path.

      They’ll never become a proper public broadcaster though. Not because they don’t get enough funding – they do. The fact is that most TV people at CBC are the same as TV people at any other broadcaster – they want to do big productions and want to move up in the world of commercial TV. To them the CBC is just a stepping stone.

      They’ll say noooo, CBC should be more like HBO! And people will say YEAHHH gimme my HBO! It’s a futile cycle of idiocy. At one time I wanted to see the CBC improve and shrug off its commercial aspirations, now I just want to see it die.

      Expect to see the creative, hard-working types on contract get the shaft now, while the not-particularly-skilled-or-hard-working union lifers stick around til the bitter end. The only silver lining I can see is that the genuinely creative, hard-working people who get kicked to the curb might be lucky enough to leave the company before being destroyed by it.

      • Anonymous

        Christ, I said PBS style advertising, not typical TV/radio station advertising.

        “It’s a publicly funded broadcaster, it should not have ads like a commercial station. It should be one or the other, not the frankenstein monster that its TV division is.”


        • Anonymous

          Sorry, it probably shouldn’t have been a response to you, it was more about the general move toward putting ads on radio and increased advertising elsewhere.

      • Eric S. Smith

        What are some of these big, Hollywood-esque productions that you have in mind?

        • Anonymous

          Republic of Doyle obviously. I mean, they had Russell Crowe in an episode!

          • Eric S. Smith

            I don’t actually watch much CBC TV — have they even commissioned anything “flashy” since The Border and The Tudors? Are we going to have to settle for condemning the glitz and excess of Dragon’s Den?

            It’s fun to imagine dissident416 as a disgruntled TVO viewer, exposed to imported BBC shows enough to toss around phrases like “complete wankers” while remaining blissfully ignorant of what BBC TV, a successful public broadcaster, does with about 90% of its airtime — hint: everything that s/he hates about CBC.

  • Joe Clark

    And this affects Toronto how?

    • Anonymous

      The CBC broadcasts TV and radio in the Toronto area.

      • SpecialKLT

        and employs people who live in Toronto, not just in the broadcasting centre, but freelancers who work on co-productions. These eliminated positions means there will be less people contributing to the local economy, and cuts to live music and special events creates a domino effect, as there will be a decrease of visitors to the area, affecting local restaurants and stores.