My open application for the Presidency of CBC/Radio-Canada

date: Jul 27, 2007 8:51 AM
subject: My open application for the Presidency of CBC/Radio-Canada

To whom it may concern:

I’m the editor and publisher of the Tea Makers blog and I’d like to express my interest in the position of President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada.

I’m not a member of any board or committee. I don’t have an appointment anywhere else. I have no investments or funds in escrow. I have no conflicts of interest. The only man I’ve ever voted for was The Sleeping Giant, and he lost. I have no allies in Ottawa. Or in CBC senior management.

I’ve got one life to give and so far I’ve given it to the CBC.

And if you read my blog there’s 2 years of CBC commentary, discussion, gossip, criticism, satire, and funny pictures there. By reading this body of work you can learn more about me, where I’m coming from, and how I feel about the CBC, than you could learn about any other applicant.

More than you can about the current President and CEO.

Our current President is a bureaucrat, by his own admission. This means that he spends a lot of time kissing the asses of politicians, trying to get more money for the CBC. He’s turned his back on his employees. Between you and me, I don’t think he’s too keen on the Canadian public either.

But you and I both know that all of this didn’t get us one single dollar. We’re left with a President no politician respects, the employees hate, and we’re still broke.

Me, I hate bureaucracy. I hate politicians, too. You’re going to hate me. This I promise.

So why would you hire me?

1) I’m going to solve the CBC’s labour problem, once and for all
75 years is a bit ridiculous. We need to find a new way.

I’m going to be honest, I don’t know what that is. Maybe Sylvain Lafrance can help me. But this is going to be job 1 and by the time I’m done there will be a new respect between union and management and this culture of fear will be gone and so will your headaches.

You and I both know how important this is, but for the people who think it’s all about paid lunch breaks, let me say that this fractious environment at the CBC is killing us. It’s very hard to work when animosity and suspicion drives the decisions and choices in what should be a public trust.

Any success we’ve had has been in spite of this atmosphere, not because of it.

Let me put it another way. It’s inefficient and wastes tax dollars. And when people are happy and creative, they will turn out better work and our programming will be better. And this will draw the brightest talents in the country and the programming will get better and better.

2) I’m going to fire a lot of people
Mostly managers. We’re choking on managers. Everyone knows that.

Some of these managers are great. Some of them stink. Okay, a lot of them. And as you know, these people do not come cheap.

It’s going to be expensive in the beginning to buy them out. But in the end we’ll save millions and be nimbler, faster, and smarter. There are plenty of intelligent, creative people here, and I’m going to free them from bureaucracy and let them do what they were trained and are paid to do.

I may be anonymous now, but if I’m hired CBC managers will know my real name and fear it. There will be a trail of tears leading down to Wellington Street and many will curse me but many more will nod silently and wonder what took so long.

These are not all my ideas. I stole some of them from Davie Dunton, perhaps the greatest President the CBC has ever known. He stood by his employees in even the toughest of times and there was a tremendous burst of creativity at the CBC not seen before or since.

I’m also proficient in Microsoft Office.

As for remuneration, I have no idea what the job pays but to show you I’m serious, I’ll take half of it. The other half we’ll use to bring on as many contract workers as we can, full time permanent.

Thank you for your consideration. I know your time is valuable. You can email me at to arrange a brief meeting. I look forward to the prospect of speaking to you further about this position.



  1. hugh
    Posted August 6, 2007 at 9:11 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    where do i vote?

  2. Anonymous
    Posted July 31, 2007 at 8:50 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I’m not buying this “846 managers” line, not in the least bit.

    Just off the top of my head, I can think of a handful of people who carry the title “executive producer”, rather than “manager”. And yet they each of them produces several shows, in a couple cases, they produce entire services.

    They’re managers.

  3. Allan
    Posted July 30, 2007 at 8:47 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I like the guy who ran for U.S. President a few years back under the name Mr. Nobody.
    His campaign slogan was, of course, “Nobody has all the answers!”
    And you can take it from there yourself … Nobody can clean up corruption at Queens Park.
    Nobody can fix the CBC.

    But someone will to try.

    Hey Ouimet, you’re a someone!

  4. Anonymous
    Posted July 30, 2007 at 8:15 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I like you Ouimet, and for that I hope you DON’T get the job. ‘Cause you know people will just hate you, ’cause it’s worse job in Canada. People live with rose coloured glasses when they say that the prez should do this, should do that. It’s an impossible job – does anybody remember Patrick Watson.

    Don’t do it Ouimet! Your so-called best friends will stab you in the back.

  5. Johnny Happypants
    Posted July 30, 2007 at 6:15 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    “a full staff of 10,682, 846 are classified as Management.”

    More than 10 million managers!!! These are the same kind of inflated numbers used to use!!!


  6. Anonymous
    Posted July 30, 2007 at 2:20 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I’m running on a platform of getting decent shows made … something no one else seems to think is even an issue.

  7. Anonymous
    Posted July 30, 2007 at 11:42 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    The above comment had the ring of sounding like it came from someone already deepy ensconced in CBC senior managment. The sound bytes emanate from it like the slick, well-oiled organization the CBC corpation would like to be but isn’t. Let’s get some fresh blood in there – Ouimet, you have my vote!

  8. Anonymous
    Posted July 30, 2007 at 8:29 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Nice commentary Ouimet ! I get the sense that you’re tongue-in-cheek attitude does carry some weight, unlike other bloggers who constantly complain yet offer no solutions of their own. I, too, will be applying for the gig because it will be impossible to find a human being with all of the qualifications and experience necessary to be President and CEO of the CBC.
    What it will take is vision and a little charisma and a belief that public broadcasting is a participatory business. We are all in this together and the only way to stop the collective in-fighting and internal politics is a renewed vision that is inclusive, a-political and productive. It also requires a light attitude: one that is fun, progressive and positive. Attitude means altitude and the best President of the CBC will not only understand and exude such qualities, he or she will bring it to every meeting, every decision and every public speech. The CBC has a long and cherished history: appreciated by its workers and its audience and the President can set the tone as we move into the future. It’s always a privilege to work for the CBC/Radio-Canada.
    Good Luck in your application.

  9. cbcfrank
    Posted July 30, 2007 at 7:47 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Dear Ouimet,

    While I’m a fan of yours, I’d ask that you only apply if you’re tuned into the WHOLE broadcasting process.

    This implies a knowledge ranging from the technical/engineering end, all the way to the the creating/writing to the final delivery of the product to the Canadian public.

    These are the only qualifications that would truly enable a president to sit in front of parliamentary committees and sell our services to Ottawa, and presumably the Canadian public.

    Too bad these aren’t the qualifications being sought.

  10. Amateur Hour
    Posted July 28, 2007 at 11:49 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I know that I swore that I wouldn’t submit to moderated comments again, but this one is special. (Fuck you, Big Baby Jim Henshaw … Wahhhhhhhhh!). One rung above a sock puppet, he is. Scaredee cat.

    Digress time, or something.

    I support This Anonymous Blogger for big P of da CBC.

    The main issue is how the CBC will still be different. Should our country’s other supposedly objective media spoutlets descend into the morass that is the USAs celebrity (or fantasy foreign policy) driven sewer, I believe that This Anonymous Blogger will insist that CBC’s news division stay true to its historical (read fact based journalism) principles.

    As I write this yesterday’s (not quite) BIGGEST story in the country is apparently BRIAN FUCKING MULRONEY challenging an Ontario court’s $470k judgement against him. Motherfucker didn’t even show up in court to present an argument. Surprise Asshole.

    In other news, his son is a himbo. Way to go CTV…all enews, all the time. Don’t look at the carpet, just the drapes.

    Now property of Ontario teachers.


  11. Anonymous
    Posted July 27, 2007 at 4:12 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    846 are Management, as classified as “exempt.”

    These we know from the Great Lockout who read news, ran music and kept the coal fires burning.

    But there are managerial blockheads below who may not be classed as managers in that they are twerps but not in the “exempt” non-union class.

    And until a few other candidates are rumoured, (Fournier? Carol McNeil, Mansbridge? John Birt?) you have my support.

    Alphonse Ouimet, Pres CBC 1958-1967, 2007-2016.

  12. Katherine Heath-Eves
    Posted July 27, 2007 at 1:23 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Hi Ouimet,

    Corporate Communications here. According to our latest count, of a full staff of 10,682, 846 are classified as Management.

    Katherine Heath-Eves

  13. Anonymous
    Posted July 27, 2007 at 8:37 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    You got my vote too. What a fresh change you would bring.

    I want to get in touch with the Factual Entertainment department and pitch a show. Something called
    “The CBC’s next top President” or something like that. Perhaps the boards (read interviews) could take place in the Dragons’ Den… Guest appearance by Stephan Harper doing his best “your Hired” a la Donald Trump once Robert’s successor is appointed.

    This would also be a fantastic cross-cultural project…a collaboration between the French and English networks airing both on CBC and Radio-Canada.

    Then we need to add the Idol element and have the Canadian public vote for their favorites to advance.

    Julie Bristow, are you listening?

  14. Anonymous
    Posted July 27, 2007 at 7:39 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Well you got my vote. You’re gonna be busy though Ouimet – we presently have over 3110 management positions for you to choose from for firings (this is not the # of mgrs – just the # of title positions – some of these positions are in multiple in every city so we have @ 7000 mgrs).

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