Spectre of ads on CBC Radio raised as board meets to discuss funding woes
2 days ago
TORONTO — CBC's board of directors met Monday to discuss strategies for the economic downturn as a watchdog group warned against putting ads on CBC Radio - a possibility that the public broadcaster raised last month.
CBC spokesman Marco Dube would not speculate on the nature of the closed-door meeting, expected to continue Tuesday, saying only that a difficult economic climate will force it "to make difficult choices that will affect our people and our programs."
Ian Morrison, spokesman for Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, predicted deep cuts to staff and programming, but also said that the broadcaster has been eyeing the ad revenue potential of CBC Radio.
He pointed to a speech CBC president Hubert Lacroix gave to the Empire Club of Canada in February in which Lacroix said the CBC may have to look at "increasing the advertising we accept on the air."
Morrison says that can only mean one thing.
"They're already selling all they can (on television) and they're saying we're not getting as much money for it so where could they "increase advertising we accept on the air?' " asked Morrison, whose group launched an online campaign late last week to protest ads on CBC Radio.
"They only have one other vehicle - radio."
Locally the CBC Radio station at 90.5 FM has always been in Limbo. Back in the mid to late '80's it took an active media society, created solely to keep a local CBC station, to avoid closure. 90.5 fm may have the highest rating of any radio station in Victoria, but that does not guarantee its sustainability.
CBC, like all media companies, is announcing deep cuts in TV, radio and production - they are wrapping up a 2 day executive meeting. Already are planned pay cuts, early retirement and cuts in TV programming.
My own feeling is the local CBC radio station will hang on for the near future - but that may be wishful thinking.