Guest blogger: A requiem for Street Cents

I didn’t write this one, either.
This blogging gig is pretty lax. Tod may be on to something.

A quiet death Friday for one of the remaining slivers of CBC-mandate programming. Street Cents, the cheeky consumer affairs show aimed at teenagers, was finally snuffed out. It wasn’t much of a surprise as no commitment had been made to launch a new season. After 17 years of edgy and fearless programs, the Halifax-based production was killed because – according to the information passed on to staff from Sursberg via Atlantic Regional Director Ron Crocker – it’s not attracting a big enough audience.

For those who watch these things, the program has been bounced around the schedule for years before being dumped to die on Sunday afternoons. It’s amazing that it managed to attract even the 100 thousand viewers that it did.

Of course, winning a Gemini for youth programming last year should have been a sign that euthanasia was on the way.

The reality is, this ad-free program did nothing but drain the coffers of the CBC. It was moved from its 5:30 slot to make way for Frasier reruns, which at least generate money so are obviously far more important to the corporation. It was also a constant irritant to the no-staff lovers at top management levels, as it was one of the last in-house productions left. Its demise, even though it had only one staff employee, is presumably a victory for the CBC-haters who run this corporation.

The sad truth is that if the CBC doesn’t want to make programs like Street Cents, then what is the point? It is probably as close to the ideal CBC-mandate programme as you can get. And just look at the huge range of talent it discovered, nurtured and passed on. Demore Barnes (starring in The Unit). Andrew Bush (Regenesis), Kim D’Eon (ET), Rachael Clark, Michael Scholar, Jonathan Torrens, Benita Ha, Connie Walker, Allie Dixon…. the list goes on and on.

Thank God we are safe in the hands of those who believe the future of the CBC lies in The One and Dragon’s Den.

─ A saddened employee


  1. Saskboy
    Posted August 23, 2006 at 8:03 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I forgot to mention that the decision to cancel Street Cents is fit…

    for the pit.

  2. Johnny Happypants
    Posted August 23, 2006 at 5:27 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I never went back to Inside the CBC after the first week. It had the smarmy feel of Reader’s Digest. After reading Anonymous Paul’s comments I had to check it out again for myself.

    Deep Inside the CBC, indeed.

    Street Cents as a broadcast television show was the the perfect candidate for an integrated television/web experience. All it needed was some cross promotion with existing CBC services AND a better timeslot.

    Tax dollars spent on web only programming? That’s going to go over well.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted August 22, 2006 at 11:54 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Posted here because “Inside the CBC” probably won’t allow it on
    their site.


    I can’™t believe that you wrote this garbage about Street Cents.
    There is no new youth initiative, every programmer in the CBC wanted this show to remain on the air, except Richard Stursberg. Your blog looks like it was written by Stursberg’™s office not by someone who claims to be a ’śfuturist and journalist’ť.

    I know you’™re a freelancer and have to eat, but show a little self respect instead of parroting the corp’™s mumbo-jumbo on why they killed an excellent program.

    Do you think a web-only show would pay for the same sort of excellent team that created Street Cents every week? Of course not. You need a TV show, a time-slot and a budget first, what platform it is then watched on is irrelevant.

    The fact is that Stursberg couldn’™t keep his grubby fat hands off the $800K that it cost to produce Street Cents and it didn’™t fit his ’śvision’ť? I guess that means more shows like ’śThe One’ť. Kristina Layfield must be wondering what kind of an idiot factory she joined. The truth is that Stursberg couldn’™t program his way out of a wet paper bag and will drag the CBC down with him.

    So Mr. Maffin, show some spine and dig beneath the surface like a real journo
    instead of being a mouthpiece for the naked Emperor.


  4. Saskboy
    Posted August 22, 2006 at 9:07 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I was not impressed with Ron Crocker regarding the Green Party being shut out of the NS debate. And now this cancellation? Geeze, he’s on a roll… downhill.

  5. Anonymous
    Posted August 22, 2006 at 11:42 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    How come no one cares about Avril Benoit’s departure? Had she made that many enemies at the CBC?

  6. Anonymous
    Posted August 20, 2006 at 8:33 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    The teardrop makes a return. :-(

    P.S. Images don’t seem to show up when viewed via RSS.


  7. Anonymous
    Posted August 20, 2006 at 5:11 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    This is all Stursberg’s doing.
    He has been sent from Hell to
    dismantle the CBC, show by show, brick by brick.

    Unless somebody takes this guy out, national public television in Canada is doomed.

  8. Dave
    Posted August 19, 2006 at 8:07 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    it’s a shame. in addition to what everybody else has already said, there was something very east coast about it too. it made a virtue of its miniscule budget. instead of empty style, it was made engaging and more than watchable by searching for the truth and speaking it simply when they found it.

  9. Chuck
    Posted August 19, 2006 at 5:00 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I loved street cents, but they kept moving it around. the sad part is I am not 28 and still would watch it.

  10. Anonymous
    Posted August 19, 2006 at 8:44 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    ACK! The old excuse of new technology is taking away the viewers is bullshit! CBC wanted it gone and used that as the reason.

    A real leader would take the offensive, not the defensive. A real leader would take everything they had and turn it up to 11. If TV viewers are switching away, you better get some awesome programming on the air fast to keep them around.

    Good entertainment is good entertainment, whether it comes over the radio, the tv or the internet.

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