Author Topic: Why the CBC should stop the hissy fit  (Read 6797 times)

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Why the CBC should stop the hissy fit
« on: March 24, 2010, 09:58:14 »
Why the CBC should stop the hissy fit
Why would the national broadcaster want to create a PR disaster?
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Monday afternoon, just after the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) made public its intriguing but slippery plan to solve the infamous fee-for-carriage dispute, the nabobs of the TV and cable rackets unleashed their responses.

The cable guys were a tad miffed – dismissive even, in the usual manner of cable execs who believe they control the universe. The TV types were pleased, but in a hesitant manner.

Then it came – the sound of rattling cufflinks. Umbrage. Outrage. Steven Guiton, the CBC’s regulatory officer, stepped up to the microphones, looking furious. He proceeded to announce the imminent end of public broadcasting in Canada. “There does not appear to be a future for public broadcasting further to this decision” he said.

Horror! Murder in Gatineau, Quebec. The CRTC has killed the CBC. Driven a stake through its heart.

Watching this unfold on CBC was an interesting experience. The CBC reporter, Rosemary Barton, admitted to not understanding the CBC’s problem. Nobody did, actually. Not long after, Hubert Lacroix, the CBC’s president, turned up on CBCNN’s Power & Politics. More umbrage and dismay. Cufflinks rattling like castanets, all finger-wagging fury. Host Evan Solomon was as mystified as the rest of Canada – exactly what was the CBC’s big problemo?

The gist is easy to grasp but remains very puzzling. The CRTC excluded the CBC from the possibility of negotiating a fee for its signals with the cable and satellite gang, for the very good reason that the CBC is mandated to provide its content to Canadians. It can’t negotiate over what it is obliged to provide. The CRTC put the CBC’s position to one side and said it would deal with it later.

The CBC response was the spoilt-brat reaction epitomized. Private broadcasters, which have only one stream of revenue for over-the-air channels (ad revenue), were being given the possibility of a second revenue stream from cable companies paying fees. The CBC already has two revenue streams – government money and ad revenue. In this instance, it gave all the appearance of wanting three revenue streams.

Even those who admire the CBC and fully support its existence as a stalwart public broadcaster – as I do – must be gobsmacked here. The CBC says the private broadcasters are getting a break because the old model, relying on advertising revenue to support all commitments, is broken. CBC says it too has suffered from a drop in ad revenue. Therefore, it should get a break too – even though it operates under an entirely different set of rules. Talk about a sense of entitlement. Braying about their business model and complaining about “a level playing field,” Guiton and Lacroix would not have last 30 seconds on Dragons’ Den.
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Offline Rifleman62

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Re: Why the CBC should stop the hissy fit
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2010, 10:16:09 »
Change the Broadcasting Act, and get rid of the CBC. Sell the hard assets to Rupert Murdock.
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Offline Shec

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Re: Why the CBC should stop the hissy fit
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2010, 10:38:13 »
Change the Broadcasting Act, and get rid of the CBC. Sell the hard assets to Rupert Murdock.

Or Ann Coulter ??
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Re: Why the CBC should stop the hissy fit
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2010, 11:36:04 »
Have FOX buy it up.  It would sure change up the tone of the editorial content.
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Re: Why the CBC should stop the hissy fit
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2010, 12:16:35 »
Unlike some out there, I'm not keen on seeing the CBC privatized - I believe that'll actually lead to more news centred mainly on major population centres. 

How much government subsidy should they get?  A billion a year is already a hefty chunk of money, so I don't have loads of sympathy for increasing.

If the CBC is worried about advertising revenue stability (bringing in about $360 million/year according to the latest publicly- available consolidated financials), then let it ask Canadians to pitch in directly. 

Based on the latest StatsCan population estimate of ~33.9 million, is keeping the CBC on the air as we see it (without commercials but with pledge drives) worth about a buck a month to every Canadian?  I don't watch CBC, but I listen to radio, and I'd pitch in.  How many others would?  Good question...
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Offline TimBit

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Re: Why the CBC should stop the hissy fit
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2010, 12:18:46 »
Have FOX buy it up.  It would sure change up the tone of the editorial content.

For the worse???

I know a lot of you criticize the lack of objectivity on CBC's part, but I can hardly find less objective than FOX. At the other end of the spectrum, of course...

Nah give me objective, unbiased information...whoops I guess that precludes any media then.

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Why the CBC should stop the hissy fit
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2011, 08:31:18 »
If you are looking for a reason to disband both the CBC and CRTC then this - "CBC gets reprieve on transition to digital signal" is it.

It demonstrates, conclusively, that the CBC cannot manage itself: it's management is, simply, incompetent and every red cent given to will be wasted. They have had years to plan for this transition; they failed; fire them all.

It also demonstrates that the CRTC is out of control. Von Finckenstein, Katz and (most of) the others (Lamarre being the exception) do  not have the technical smarts or qualifications to make that decision. (Caveat lector: I know some of the key players, including all three I named, and I've gotten drunk with a couple of them after we debated policy issues.) In fact I suspect that the CRTC lacks the legal authority to make that decision.

The Minister of Industry should, must proceed with auctioning the surplus broadcast spectrum and if when a CBC station causes harmful interference to a newly licensed mobile service it, the CBC station, should be taken off the air, without compensation, forthwith, and the equipment should be seized and destroyed, as mandated in the Radiocommunications Act.
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Offline Pusser

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Re: Why the CBC should stop the hissy fit
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2011, 11:33:20 »
The CBC has never gotten over the loss of power suffered when the CRTC was created, which took away the CBC's regulating authority.  Yes, the original mandate of the CBC was not only as a public broadcaster, but also as the regulator of every other broadcaster.  Must have been nice to be able to dictate what your competition can and can't do.
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Offline Kalatzi

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Re: Why the CBC should stop the hissy fit
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2011, 12:01:35 »
It demonstrates, conclusively, that the XXX cannot manage itself: it's management is, simply, incompetent and every red cent given to will be wasted. They have had years to plan for this transition; they failed; fire them all.

It also demonstrates that the XXX  is out of control.

Ummm, perhaps before we start prescribing such draconian measures for other Federal bodies, we might consider the glass house/rocks concept.
For example another organization, the name of whcih escapes me at the moment, has just shut down it's office of Transformation.

Not fond of the Ford brothers in Toronto. However perhaps down the road we could persuade one of them to be MND and the other the head of the CBC.

That would  REALLY set the cats amongst the pigions. Just my $.02 + HST >:D
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Why the CBC should stop the hissy fit
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2011, 17:22:52 »
You don't need a billion dollar subsidy to produce TV people want to watch:

http://russ-campbell.blogspot.com/2011/08/sun-news-is-taking-on-tv-news-giants.html

Quote
Sun News is taking on the TV news giants and scoring impressive wins

I understand why author Margaret Atwood, former CBC host Don Newman and many in Canada’s established news media tried so vociferously to disparage the Sun News Network last year and earlier this year in the lead up to its April 2011 launch. I am somewhat surprised at how ineffective their efforts proved to be, however.

Tactics like misnaming the new network as “Fox News North” and signing and publicizing a much trumped-up petition against the network’s CRTC application were designed to protect their beloved CBC news channel and secondarily Bell Media’s news channel at CTV. Apparently, though, their tactics haven’t worked. To the contrary, Sun News seems to be flourishing.

Nor has their attempt to paint the new channel as a arm of the Conservative Party worked very well.

Back in 2010, Don Newman predicted that:

    “… the Sun Network is designed to enlarge and energize the Conservative voting base, and make money while doing it, just like Fox News in the United States.

    “… no doubt when it is on the air, one of the first Sun TV headline events will be an ‘exclusive’ interview with the prime minister [Stephen Harper]. I’d expect the interview will seem more like a back rub for Harper than an inquiry.”

Did I miss the prime minister’s “exclusive” interview?

But Newman isn’t a particularly astute predictor of anything, as far as I can tell. He wrote in the same piece that:

    “[Pierre Karl] Lavoie knows that as a news gathering organization, Sun TV is no threat to either of the news channels operated by the CBC and CTV.”

He’s dead wrong there too—unless, of course, Newman thinks beating the established, wider distributed news networks in viewer ratings doesn’t count as a threat. Surely a news gathering organization needs viewers to consume the news it gathers, otherwise, why bother.

All this is by way of a (long) introduction to inform readers that Sun News Network is scoring early ratings wins despite Sun News not being as widely available as either CBC or CTV. While Sun News is in about 5.5 million households, the government-subsidized CBC News Network is in 10.6 million homes and Bell Media’s CTV news channel is in 8.5 million.

Even with this handicap, Sun News is doing very well. Canoe.ca reports:

    “During the afternoon and in prime time, Sun News programming bested the state broadcaster’s News Network by more than 30,000 viewers. CTV News Channel was a distant third.”

According to BBM ratings data, Charles Adler’s show reached 82,300 viewers at 8 p.m. ET, while the CBC reached an audience of 58,200 and CTV was third with 39,600 viewers. And, to prove that was no fluke, Sun News had other wins and impressive ratings, as can be seen by this quote from QMI Agency:

    Later Friday, Byline with Brian Lilley tied the network record with an audience of 89,000. Sun News’ 9 p.m. ET show throttled the meager 18,000-viewer audience for CTV, and nearly knocking the decades-old CBC newscast hosted by Peter Mansbridge off its taxpayer-funded pedestal. Joining the ratings successes, Ezra Levant’s show The Source registered 57,000 viewers at 5 p.m. ET. That crushed CTV’s audience of 28,000 viewers and was within striking distance of CBC’s audience of 59,200 over the same period.

I love when the underdog wins, don’t you? It’s especially sweet after that underdog has been so unfairly treated by the likes of Margaret Atwood and Don Newman.

I am excited to learn how much stronger the prime time ratings will be at Sun News after veteran TV host Michael Coren is slotted in at 7:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, August 30

Remember, all those people chose to watch SUN TV, and are not forced to pay for it. They are however, still forced to pay for the CBC channel they do not watch. There are no rational arguments for why the CBC still needs to exist in its present form, this thread demonstrates the chronic mismanagment and there is another thread which highlights its chronic bias. Perhaps parts of it could survive as specialty channels paid for by the people willing to watch (just like SUN!).
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Why the CBC should stop the hissy fit
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2011, 19:14:11 »
Ummm, perhaps before we start prescribing such draconian measures for other Federal bodies, we might consider the glass house/rocks concept.
For example another organization, the name of whcih escapes me at the moment, has just shut down it's office of Transformation.

Not fond of the Ford brothers in Toronto. However perhaps down the road we could persuade one of them to be MND and the other the head of the CBC.

That would  REALLY set the cats amongst the pigions. Just my $.02 + HST >:D


I don't give a sh!t who runs what ... so long as the person running the radio spectrum understands Maxwell's equations:


Von Finckenstein doesn't - he, therefore, ought not to have any say in the process of deciding which spectrum is assigned, allotted or allocated (three quite different things) to whom. It's a really simple thing ... really.
 
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline DBA

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Re: Why the CBC should stop the hissy fit
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2011, 19:55:41 »

I don't give a sh!t who runs what ... so long as the person running the radio spectrum understands Maxwell's equations:


Von Finckenstein doesn't - he, therefore, ought not to have any say in the process of deciding which spectrum is assigned, allotted or allocated (three quite different things) to whom. It's a really simple thing ... really.

Note: that is the 4th equation being worked into a different form and not a listing of all four equations.
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Re: Why the CBC should stop the hissy fit
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2011, 11:03:22 »
And to add to the clamor....this little gem....

William Watson: Deliver us from mail monopoly
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The Canada Post monopoly and the bureaucratic arrogance it engenders are an affront to the free-market orientation the government professes

Wednesday, along with the usual flyers, bills and magazines, my mail contained a puzzling notice headed “Mail Delivery Problem Report.” Hmmm. There had been a mix-up over a registered letter we didn’t receive when we were on holiday but did that deserve its own report?

The form letter read: “We have had difficulty in delivering your mail recently due to …” and then there were a dozen boxes that could be checked, including “Unlocked compartment,” “Dangerous mailbox” (do they see a lot of those?), “Unrestrained dog,” “No mail box” (which would be a legitimate problem, but then where would they put the notice?), and so on. The box that was checked for us read “Unsafe access (specified below).”

We live on a garden-variety suburban street in Montreal and the access is by a front walk and low stairs that come up to a front gallery that is (I’ve now measured) two feet above ground level. And they’re not narrow steps. They’re almost five feet wide. What could be unsafe about that?

The “specified below” bit made clear: “No railing on stairs — Pas de rampe sur escalier.” And a second page headed “Important notice to the owner of the premises” explained as follows:

“Every day, our letter carriers walk some 10 km and deliver mail to more than 800 doors. As a result risks of accident are always present.” Coincidentally, 10 km, I just read in Golf Digest, is the distance the average golfer walks in playing an 18-hole round.

“We recently noted that the stairs of your home have three steps, and that there is no railing to assist in climbing them without risk, as Canada Post standards stipulate.” The average letter carrier needs a railing to help him (they’re mainly hims) climb three stairs?

The notice went on to explain that I have until October 21st to rectify this situation, and that if I don’t, I will thenceforth have to pick up my mail at the local post office, which Google Maps tells me is a 4.6-km round trip, almost half the average postal route. In addition will have to pay for the privilege of not having my mail delivered. Judging by the cost of having our mail held back over our summer holiday the fee would be about $15 a week. Just to be clear: I will be paying Canada Post for not delivering my mail. If I decline to pay, the notice makes clear, all my mail will be returned to sender.

Needless to say, I phoned the number provided and asked for the member of “The Supervisory Team” who had signed the notice.

No, he explained, there hadn’t been any complaints about our stairs or injuries because of them. Rather, this was part of a preventative program to avoid potential risks. Every year he walks one or two routes in the district, takes inventory of problems and sends out notices.

How many notices had he sent out this year? Seventy-five to 80.

My Lord! Our little town is a veritable minefield for industrial accidents. There must be whole wards of the local hospital filled with injured postal workers.
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