Occasionally, we here at TV Feeds My Family get sent memos. We don’t ask for them, we don’t look for them, they just arrive, mysteriously, via email. Here is one sure to be of interest to the veteran team of CBC publicists gassed a few years ago by the Corpse:

“June 12, 2008

John Bozzo to step down as Executive Director, English Communications

John Bozzo, Executive Director, English Communications, has informed us of his intention to leave the Corporation on July 1, 2008. John joined the CBC in 2004. He built a strong team and has brought to the communications function a professionalism, a passion and a rigour that has made it more efficient, more effective and more creative.”

The memo goes on to cite “many successes” under Bozzo’s tenure. Apparently he was responsible for Little Mosque on the Prairie launching to over 2.1 million viewers. He also got props for enhancing the brand, “culminating in our exciting new positioning–Canada lives here–a reflection of the country’s new reality: exciting, diverse and confident.”
What a brain! Who knew Canada lives here? Killjoy, sure, and, yeah, hockey, but Canada? You can smell the diversity.
The memo also thanks Bozzo for all the rave reviews CBC has collected over the past four years “due to John’s strategic approach to managing our brand and reputation–no small feat.” Personally, I’m a little hurt some of my print review efforts, especially this one, were left out of the survey. Also, a quick Google search under “CBC — idiots” just drew over 95,000 links. That, too, is no small feat.
There is, not surprisingly, no mention in the memo of the recent screw up over the Hockey Night in Canada theme, or countless other CBC P.R. disasters.
The memo ends with best wishes to Bozzo in his future endeavours. A search is underway, it states, to find his replacement. It is signed by executive vice-president Richard Stursberg as well as Bill Chambers, vice-president English services communications. CBC certainly has a lot of executives!
Bozzo’s arrival happened to coincide with the firing of the entire CBC publicity staff. An outside publicity film, Toronto’s Media Profile, was brought in to promote CBC programs. The move was supposed to save over $800,000 annually. There are reports that contracting out promotion actually cost way more than it was supposed to save and that some CBC shows lose out on promotion as the season winds down and budgets dry up.
Still, good to know Canada lives here. If only accountability lived here, too.


  1. I also read that memo with amusement. They were really stretching to think of something positive to say. I wonder how many executives over the next 20 years will claim a bit of Little Mosque’s opening night success?

    My guess is that this will be the first of many.

    And “Canada Lives Here?” Why, the slogan is on the lips of every Canadian!

    Not sure what happened to John, but it was obviously not good. That note was obviously not written by him, which means it was not a pleasant parting.

    CBC Communications is arguably the worst-run department in the corporation and hemorrhages the worst of the managerial idiots, in a place crawling with managerial idiots.

    Onwards and upwards.

  2. When will Parliament send in the Auditor General to investigate the CBC and its questionable business dealings?

    The CBC fires its publicists and then awards the publicity contract to Media Profile who then hire the fired CBC publicists to handle the CBC contract(s)?
    The CBC publicists get cheated out of their pensions and the CBC shows “no restraint” in the work that they now contract out to the liberal friendly Media Profile owned by high ranking liberal Patrick Gossage.

    Sorry, this “business decision” orchestrated by CBC VP Stursberg doesn’t pass the smell test. It is apparent that the CBC has money for everything except production. Where is the accountability?

    As for Bozzo, he’s a clown.

  3. My head is swimming left, right and centre with every single web page I read about the Mother Corp (se?) of recent years. I’ve learned what they do best is shoot down any accusation of wrong-doings or just plain bad decision making on their part.

    What I would like to know, is just how do us “Regular Canadians” hold them accountable?


    Vancouver – CBC will air more foreign programs than ever before on prime time English TV next autumn, defying CRTC licence expectations and confirming that CBC has lost touch with its public broadcasting purpose, says the watchdog group FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting.

    CBC will regularly broadcast 7 hours of foreign, mostly US, programs during prime time. This is a substantial increase, eclipsing the highest level of foreign content ever tracked since FRIENDS first began monitoring CBC’s English television schedule in 1990. CBC has logged a steady increase since the current head of CBC English operations took charge of television in the summer of 2004.

    This plan will place CBC in defiance of the CRTC’s broadcast licence expectation of 80% Canadian content during prime time and runs counter to the recommendation of Commons Heritage Committee in its recent report on CBC’s mandate “that prime-time hours, from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm Monday to Friday, on the CBC/Radio-Canada’s television networks, should be reserved for Canadian productions”.

    “CBC is supposed to be about presenting Canada to its citizens, not American game shows and Hollywood movies,….” (read more)

    And of course there’s this:

    I’m so depressed about the joke our National Broadcaster has become. At least jPod is beginning the rebroadcast tonight – too bad the Ceeb cancelled that too!

    Oh well, at least I know I have yet another station to watch Jeopardy on. 😛

  4. Standing in the World’s Biggest Bookstore flipping through a cool new book (“ikonica”) on branding in Canada (no longer just practiced on cattle and horses) and I see this great essay from Bozzo about the CBC. A really impressive document, the kind that gets polished a hundred times to put everything in the best possible light. It’s always instructive to watch good tap dancing, and the writer gives a convincing appearance of seeming to know what he’s talking about. But after a while you realize that it’s yet another example of skillful flimflam that amounts to nothing. especially when he tries to imply that the CBC knows what makes for powerful content. They clearly don’t, as evidenced by The Hour, their flagship new branding project that is at it’s core shallow and unhelpful.
    CTV understood branding far better when it scooped up the HNIC theme, referring to the decision as a “no-brainer”. As we know, the CBC thinks far too much, thereby losing spontaneity, instinct and being able to see the forest for the trees.

    When we take a moment to reflect on the critical decisions made by CBC management over the past several years, it’s pretty clear that there were far more bad decisions being made than good ones, and that no one there seems to understand what the country wants or needs, when really just about anyone could tell them.

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