Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« Burton S. Blumert, 1929-2009 | Main | Highlights of Randy Hillier's speech »

Monday, March 30, 2009

Cap the Corp.

Mary Woo Sims and I are now into our fourth year of writing our weekly debate column, Face to Face, for the Tri-City News. You might think we'd begin to converge on some of our ideas, but we've never been more sharply divided on just about every subject, from school curriculum to armed intervention. About the only thing we always seem to agree on is our dislike of the BC Liberal government -- but, of course, I think Gordon Campbell and his gang have gone far left, while she continues to think they're not nearly progressive enough.

Anyway, our most recent debate is on funding the CBC. I say let the Corp. stand on its own two feet. Ms. Sims, ever the statist, says taxpayers should be proud to fund the Corp. 'til it hurts

Posted by Terry O'Neill on March 30, 2009 in Media | Permalink


A better solution would be to recast CBC TV as something akin to PBS in the U.S., which gets only a tiny portion of its budget from government, relying instead on viewer donations.
Posted by Terry O'Neill on March 30, 2009

While it would be nice to turn CBC into something similar to PBS, several key assumptions that are made about PBS don't reflect the reality of the CBC. Here are just a few reasons why it would be a difficult transition.

The television component of PBS is broken into two distinct parts; network operations and local broadcasting. Network operations receive almost all of their operating budgets from various government sources and wealthy donors (usually endowments or foundations for tax reasons). Local PBS affiliates get the bulk of their budgets from states (usually education departments) and individual viewers. These local PBS affiliates produce a lot of their own content.

CBC on the other hand does not operate on a network - local model. It is centralized both in terms of management, engineering and playout. The local CBC affiliate now is usually nothing more than a transmission site. Very little local content is created. Further more tax law would have to be changed to allow wealthy donors to support this new model. It would be compounded by some provinces, such as Ontario with TVO, already have a PBS type network. And lastly it would cost a small fortune to equip the local CBC stations to do anything like what local PBS stations do.

CBC problem isn't money; its that it is irrelevant. Nobody watches it and no amount of money will fix that.

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-03-30 2:22:07 PM

The CBC abandoned its original mission statement years ago yet they still take money from the paycheques of Canadians, cut them off.

If there is any interest in saving the CBC and making it a viable media outlet, then it should be sold to Conrad Black for a dollar, he is perhaps the only one who could make a go of it.

Posted by: Philanthropist | 2009-03-31 7:31:09 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.