Your Obligatory CBC Budget Cuts Post: Part One – Radio

I’m not going to beat around the bush.  The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has cut $171 million from its budget.  800 jobs will be lost.

I also won’t repeat the usual talking points.  Instead of doing what other people are doing and complain about how the Mothercorp is a billion-dollar waste of money and/or a crown jewel that Stephen Harper wipes his ass with, I’m going to actually pick apart some of the items that are being dumped or slashed.  The list is taken from Tod Maffin’s blog, just because it’s in neat point form.

Oh, and here’s Richard Stursberg being a gimboid.


* The Inside Track

Although the show was in decline its last few seasons, it’ll be sad to see this show go.  The Inside Track was CBC Radio’s only high-profile sports program, so it filled a niche.  If nothing else, The Inside Track was the only show where Nick Purdon didn’t come across as annoying.  Twenty-five years is a decent run for any CBC Radio show.

* Outfront

I won’t miss Outfront.  It’s never been one of my favourites on CBC Radio One.  The idea was sound – “ordinary people” make a documentary with the CBC’s help – but the execution was wanting.  I would have been happier with the show if it wasn’t so middle-of-the-road with its subject matter.  The Dead Dog CafĂ© was better at filling fifteen minutes of time slot.

* In the Key of Charles

The In the Key of Inanity blog, not surprisingly, welcomes this news.  Was this show any good?  I’ve rarely had any reason to listen to CBC Radio 2, before and after the format change.

* The Point

Thank God.  This show never got off square one.  CBC would have been better off not launching The Point in the first place.  Aamer Haleem will be hanging around the schedules for a while, filling in for Jian Ghomeshi on Q like CBC Radio’s other personalities.  I don’t know what will take The Point‘s place on CBC Radio One, but geez, even Freestyle lasted two seasons before it was taken out back and shot.

* La Ronge SK bureau (one person)
* Thomson MB (one person)

Any reason why these one-person bureaux were being maintained until 2009?  They both served rural communities – Northern Saskatchewan and Northern Manitoba, respectively.  If either of these bureaux were producing decent content, more power to them.  It’s sad to see rural-oriented stations close, but I’m not surprised they’re gone.


* Radio drama

I don’t think cutting radio drama is a good idea.  I’d rather listen to radio drama than politically-oriented current affairs shows or Rita Celli.  Monsoon House was given another season this year, which is a no-brainer since Russell Peters is omnipresent on Showtime, but what about Man, Woman and Child?  Is radio drama that expensive to mount?  Does radio drama not count unless Al Rae or Nick Purdon are involved with a show?

In a perfect world, CBC Radio would be using these shows as testing grounds to see if they’d work on television.  Then again, CBC Radio rarely has shows on the level of The Boosh or On the Town with The League of Gentlemen.  There should be more to radio drama than Afghanada.

* Radio 3 consolidated (single feed of satellite and online programming

I honestly hope Sirius Canada is included in the sale of CBC’s assets.  Sirius XM in America still exists, but it’s a sub-dollar stock.  CBC should just cut its losses with satellite radio, since even the founder of Sirius thinks the future is in Internet radio.

Sirius XM might still eke out its niche in subscriber-based Internet radio, but I’ve never understood why CBC part-owns Sirius Canada and runs Galaxie.  The best bet is to stick with Galaxie.  Let Astral Media or whomever will buy CBC’s stock in Sirius Canada play around with it once Sirius embraces the Internet model.  Hell, move CBC Radio 3 to Galaxie if possible.  Satellite radio is a bust at this point.

* Staffing in Windsor, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Quebec City, Moncton, Saint John, Sydney, Gander, Corner Brooks and Grand Falls will be downsized. Thunder Bay, for instance, to lose 4-6 positions out of 13.

These jobs are never coming back.  CBC will just become more focused on the major urban centres with every budget cut.  I won’t go so far as to call CBC Toronto-centric, since the CBC wall of bland sounds the same in Ottawa, Vancouver, Winnipeg or anywhere else in the country.  It’s a sad day for regional programming.

C. Archer
Le Social