CBC has released its statement outlining the public network’s future plans through 2020. You can read the whole deal here.
Titled “A space for us all,” the release is very general but boils down to these points:
President and CEO Hubert Lacroix wants to make CBC “the public space at the heart of our conversations and experiences as Canadians.” You know, it’s a goal. The NFB in the ’40s was sold as the “eyes and ears of Canada.”
There is great emphasis on modernizing the public broadcaster, placing it at the fingertips of Canadians–basically turning it into an Ap.
Lacroix wants to “preserve its geographical presence, to be even more local, but at a reduced cost.” This would be Lacroix and every other TV executive today.
“Significantly reduce in-house production–excluding news, current affairs and radio.” So sports and entertainment, it’s been nice knowing you, you’ll find the life raft at the bottom of the stairs. The release states CBC will look more towards “Canada’s independent creative sector” for acquired and commissioned content. This is likely just a typo. What the CBC really meant to say is we want to partner up on all future content. The one thing you do not want to get out of right now in television is the content business. People will be watching TV on the Tim Hortons network in 2020. The content is all that matters. That’s why you’ll see “CBS Productions” at the end of almost every CBS show. If CBC wants to sell shows to Netflix and Hulu and Pizza Pizza and whoever in the future, they’ll need to be a partner in each production.
“Lighten its technology and real estate footprint across the country…” OK, focus on content, not bricks and mortar.
“Become a scalable and flexible company with the appropriate tools, resources and people to deliver its strategy.” Please, God, make this mean fewer VPs and middle managers, not more.
“Develop long-term, sustainable ways to manage its financial health…” Yup. As Lacroix also writes, laying off hundreds of people every nine or 18 months is killing morale and no way to run a business.
The release ends with the declaration that by 2020, “three out of every four Canadians will answer that CBC or Radio-Canada is very important to them personally.” These are the kind of things coaches say after a loss. We haven’t won a Stanley Cup in 47 years but three out of four hockey fans say our team is very important to them personally. Water is important to me personally. Clean air. Stop turning to phony ways to measure things when the ratings leave you with nothing to sell.