Friday, March 13, 2009

Death Days At CBC



These are days of terror at CBC's downtown Toronto headquarters. 
The Grim Reaper is moving through the building and many employees expect their shows to be next up on the list marked "cancelled".
The axeman has scuttled the downright awful CBC afternoon series Steve And Chris. Ratings were in the basement and there were few advertisers.
So what does CBC have to do to make a successful daily talk show? The last successful one was Elwood Glover's Luncheon Date. 
But there also was the daily public affairs entry Take 30 which served as a launching pad for Adrienne Clarkson (Moses Znaimer was one of the producers).
ABC is showing how these days with The View. Why can't CBC try something upscale for a change. CBC used to have Midday which was deemed the "Baby Journal".
But Steve And Chris was a bad retread of HGTV series and it simply didn't work.
My insiders say a lot of CBC shows are on the block now that the Corp must make up an anticipated $65 million dip in advertising revenues.
 Like The Nature Of Things. Like the fifth estate. Both continue to fare well ratings wise but so did Royal Canadian Air Farce and it got the boot because its viewers were a bit older.
I've been predicting CBC's death by a thousand cuts for years. And now it's happening right before our eyes.
May I be so bold as to propose a solution: stop axing the creative talent and go after middle management which has grown like weeds in the past decades. There are floors of these paper pushers as befits every federal bureaucracy. But what do they contribute in terms of programming?
For years CBC has been waging war against its unions by turning every other employee into a manager. The Department of Communications is bloated with these managers. And yet to save dollars CBC fired its dedicated cadre of PR types, the ones who publicized the shows.
With no talk shows to promote its own product, CBC has seen ratings tumble. You figure it all out.


13 comments:

Allan said...

Your name is familiar to me.
Nice to see you putting in your 2 cents, and more.
(ha! you probably think this is spam, but it ain't)
I read you in the star when JD Roberts even less conceited.
http://teamakers.blogspot.com/

Joe Molnar said...

I am seventy-seven years of age and have been subsidizing CBC ever since the first day I earned an income-taxed dollar.
Far too long.
And never during those many years was there one verifiable conservative voice on the CBC.

Is it too much to hope for CBC to have a SCROOGE-LIKE epiphany and actually dedicate a prime-time hour for us beleaguered conservatives?
My suspicion is it would be a money maker and welcome relief to boot.
Post Script:
A strident conservative lass like Kate McMillan (SDA blogger) would be a good choice for replacing George S. at 8:00pm eastern.

bocanut said...

CBC should start with cutting out some of the worst on air announcers/personalities in the English speaking world.
When CBC's Suhana Meharchand was told On March 11/2009 that the daily wage of an average Haitian was one US dollar yesterday Meharchand flippantly replied that it "was all relative".
Her ignorant comment about the western hemisphere's poorest people is disgusting and indicative of CBC's sloppy standards.
l suspect it's Meharchand's love of her own voice opining stupidly just to be heard,some sensitivity training and basic knowledge about the most unfortunate among us might help, but I somehow doubt it.
Meharchand's constant interjections of Mm's ,Uhhuh's, I sees,Yeahs and other gutteral noises during a interviewees comments is not only distracting but totally unprofessional.

Sean said...

It's management that typically decides who stays and goes, and now you are suggesting that they axe themselves? Dream on.

That is not how big bureaucratic companies work. The new and energetic arrivals always go first. The people that have not spent their time building up armies of allies (I-will-pat-your-back-you-pat-mine) will be the next to go. This means the middle managers will be the last to go, and they will hold on for dear life until the money literally runs out completely.

This is how it works in all uncompetitive companies, particularly those propped up by subsidies.

Jim T. said...

A sad but interesting commentary on CBC TV. I find myself wondering about CBC Radio 2, and whether it has increased its listenership or not, since it was dumbed down last fall. (Just what radio needed, another pop station.) My suspicion is that Radio 2 is probably circling the drain, too.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you writing on television again, JIm!

Schwarze Tulpe said...

James, I'd just like to add that it's the bald pretentiousness of the CBC which also has driven away viewers and listeners. Plainly, the CBC orchestrates its programming to fit an agenda that not enough viewers care to accept. No one likes to be told what and why they need to watch a particular program or accept a certain programming philosophy (especially considering the CBC is on the public dole). In this regard, the "sheeple" most certainly get it.

Anonymous said...

How about shut the thing down, or sell it for whatever it we can get. Its not needed, if it ever was, and is a certifiable corpse now.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the CBC is plain boring. All propaganda has this tendency to become boring. But what do I know? I am a hyphenated Canadian from an Eastern European country. It took me a few years, but in the end I figured out this CBC thing, and the enlightenend Canadian intelligentsia. Latte marxists and eunuchs guarding the public harem of sensitivities and political correctness. Let the CBC die and let the chattering class pay from its own pockets for a megaphone to broadcast its sermons.

Bob Devine said...

The day CBC goes down the drain should be declared a national holiday. It would thrill me no end to see those money sucking leaches have to go out and earn their way in the real world.

WL Mackenzie Redux said...

Hmmmm bad ratings for Mothercorpse eh?

I suppose this is inevitable when you focus programming and narrative biases to please political minorities....and let's be frank...cultural marxist Liberals (politically correct avant-garde) and dogmatic socialist statists (collectivist utopians) are fringe minority orthodoxies in this nation. CBC programming apparatchiks have always made the mistake of assuming that their elitist-left dogmatism was the "norm" and thus their overly politicized biases reflect the norms in Canadian culture...but we see the numbers tell a different story.

CBC's poor ratings are a legacy of institutionalized morbid introvertive elitism ...Canadians turning off CBC's constant spew of sanctimonious preachy ideological dogmatism is like a vote for centrist reason and diversity of thought and opinion.

WL Mackenzie Redux said...

PS: If the CBC ever hopes to capture true Canadian Culture and shake the nauseating pretention in its programming and messaging the first thing that needs to be done is move CBC head office/studios from Toronto to Medicine Hat or MooseJaw or Chicoutimi or Timmins...someplace where Management can interface with the "extremely normative" hard working Canadians who pay their bloated salaries. It could be a cultural epiphany for CBC execs meeting real Canadians for the first time (as opposed to the fabricated Canadian of CBC narrative mythos) ....and the corp would be solvent with the realty profits of moving to down-market digs.

Just a thought.

.

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