Funding the CBC

Nice thoughtful feature from the Toronto Star today on funding the CBC, looking at options from other countries which have publicly funded broadcasters (Canada has the second worst level of public funding for the public broadcaster, after New Zealand.) Still, it puts the cart before the horse: shouldn’t we have a discussion about the roles of the 26 channels of broadcasting the CBC does, then figure out how much financial support it needs to fulfill its role? Among other things: what is the role of the CBC main English network, particularly since it now shows American drek like Wheel of Fortune? Why has CBC 2 radio alienated its traditional audience? Is it time to kill off Radio 3 (as is being rumored) which has failed to use new technology to bring a new youth audience to CBC? Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater though. Radio 1 provides a decent service, and the north and rural Canada in particular rely on CBC for information and a window to the larger world.

Toronto Star, March 15 2009

Torstar the latest

All the news about media these days is coming from the business media, and it’s almost all bad (Quebecor isn’t doing too badly, but its money is coming from cable and cell phones, not media like the Sun.) Anyhoo, Torstar has the latest losses, to the point it halved its dividend. And more cuts to come.

“We are aggressively reducing costs at the Star and Metroland. We’ve already made some good progress, but there’s a good deal more to come in the weeks and months ahead.”

Canoe/CP, Feb. 26 2009