Masters of reality

Did you read this yesterday?

“We recognize some people may be uncomfortable with it. We recognize that,” [CBC spokesman Jeff Keay] said. “We are trying to accommodate everyone’s needs. In a perfect world we wouldn’t need to move things around, but given the strengths of the new program, we thought it was applicable under the circumstances.”

This new guy is floundering already. His predecessor, Ruth-Ellen Soles, had direct way of handling these things which told the plain truth and made the media feel feel silly for asking the questions in the first place.

Jeff better learn this trick, and fast.

Ian Morrison, spokesman for Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, said the schedule change for The National “proves that hockey is not the only thing that the current management of CBC thinks is more important than the news. We’ve noticed during the period Mr. Rabinovitch has been president a decline in Canadian content that’s available in prime time.

“It’s a steady erosion and … reflects the values of the current management.”

Is Ian Morrison the only guy with free time that the media can quote when they need someone to take a shot at CBC senior management? Surely there must be someone else with a website and an axe to grind?

Mr. Mansbridge said in an interview that while moving The National upsets him, “I also see the possibility of it helping us in the long run. Because if the Canadian version is a success in the fall, then it can precede us, and it can deliver an audience to The National.”

I had to read this one a couple of times to make sure I understood what I was reading.

Peter must have been going for CBC employee of the year here. The corp does something incredibly stupid, hands him a shit sandwich in the process, and when given the chance to give them both barrels in an interview, he parrots Kirstine Layfield.

This can’t have been easy, given his gargantuan ego. But I didn’t have to wait long.

“I don’t program the network,” Mansbridge sighed. “Sometimes I wish I did, and sometimes I’m glad I don’t. I know the CBC has a lot of tough decisions to make and you can’t please everyone. But I feel The National is the most important program on the network, and it has to be protected.”

The knives have come out because the Globe has received a crisis-inducing 50 emails on the subject of this schedule change, which apparently warrants front page exposure and attacks from petty much everyone. When Arnold Amber becomes the voice of sanity and reason, I know we’re in trouble.

Just wait ’til the show actually comes on TV. This should be interesting.


  1. Anonymous
    Posted July 4, 2006 at 9:24 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    ok, ouimet, now i am convinced you are from upper, upper, upper management. you criticize the pr guy for telling the truth? why on earth would you actually want the cbc to have a communications department which can spin its way out of stupid decisions? that is not our job and despite the ruth ellen soles of the world, it should never be. we are the public broadcaster, plain and simple. a big part of our mission is to cut through the spin and rhetoric of government and corporate canada (an increasingly difficult job). and here’s you, criticizing the guy who actually tells it like it is. shame on you. perhaps it’s time for you to remember ouimet that the first two words of cbc are canadian broadcasting, and corporation is a tag-line. those of us who don’t have the dubious distinction of being cbc management never forget it.

    as for mansbridge talking about lead-ins, i really don’t think he was cow-towing to management when he said that. i think he was sending a subtle message that the network’s most important show deserves a good lead-in. he’s right. and it shouldn’t be some american show. jeez, they turned down canadian idol because they’d have to run american idol (the right decision). now, they can do it with some cheap knock off?

    as for the suicide line by anonymous, well i won’t even dignify that with a response.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted June 23, 2006 at 6:08 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    What a tastless and insensitive comment. Take a good look in the mirror. See if you can stand what you’re looking at.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted June 22, 2006 at 8:30 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I’m not all that surprised by this, partly because of the nature of simulcasting and how ratings are computed.

    But it seems like a very bad symptom of a much wider crisis: I think the wrong manager committed suicide.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted June 22, 2006 at 2:29 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I’m sure it will all be fixed soon. I don’t think that anyone at all is really going to watch ‘the One’ and the National’s numbers will tank because most of it’s audience will be watching something else (having already seen the news on another channel) or they will have gone to bed. I think Senior management is using a Magic 8-ball to make programming decisions.

  5. Anonymous
    Posted June 22, 2006 at 11:34 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I’ve given up hoping for firings at the senior management level.

    And I guess I’ll start watching The National online again. But in classic cbc online style, it takes them an hour and a half to get the feed up. Speed it up, please.

    How about a live feed?

  6. Anonymous
    Posted June 22, 2006 at 10:37 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Too bad they couldn’t air The One before The Hour. I’m guessing the audience would be more Stombo than Mansbridgey.

  7. Anonymous
    Posted June 22, 2006 at 10:30 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    It’s a well-known idea that, in order to get ratings, you put something really popular before your show, and the people watching the really popular show stick around for yours. That’s what they’re trying for Te National.

    Assuming “The One” is popular. And that that the theory even works.

  8. Anonymous
    Posted June 22, 2006 at 6:48 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    The programmers have made a liar of the corporation’s President. It’s actually very serious. Parliament was misled. The situation is untenable, someone has to resign.

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