The madness of King Richard

There’s a $35 million budget shortfall at the CBC owing to Richard Stursberg’s gamble on hip new TV programming. Ratings are down, advertisers are losing confidence, and the money now has to come from somewhere. CBC News looks like a likely candidate.

Patrick Brown and Don Murray were let go. But let’s face it, they were living on borrowed time. Henry Champ is leaving next. Is he retiring after a long and distinguished career that has run its course? Or he is retiring because he sees his generation being pushed out, even by those of the same generation? Impossible to tell.

Maybe there will be some more info tomorrow morning in the Glenn Gould Studio. Somehow I doubt it.
Canadians reelected the Conservatives. Economists warn us of impending doom. There’s Wheel of Fortune on CBC-TV, harsh shouting on Radio One, and R’n’B on classical radio. This is not going well.

The privates are also sweating. Current and future orders for commercials are tanking across the board. The whole idea of making the entire CBC dependent on high ratings for English TV, of grabbing theoretical advertising dollars that were just floating around, of creating a commercial empire on the public airwaves, of building a Versailles out of The Border at the expense of The News, of preferring Factual Entertainment ripped from today’s headlines over the actual facts of today’s headlines, seems even crazier now than it ever did.

These people are stealing from you. And what they are taking is much more valuable than money.
The President once chastised me for mocking Richard Stursberg and for running an inflammatory guest post that showed no mercy for the King. He thought it disrespectful. Cowardly. He thought it went too far. But it was the foul truth that many felt and still feel. An anger that no one gave a name to. A stinky fart that everyone smelt and knew who dealt.

And rather than going too far, history will show that perhaps did not go far enough.

While there was still time.


  1. Anonymous
    Posted October 31, 2008 at 11:57 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece


    You are being judged as to how you manage this shortfall.

    Your senior managers are firing people who, in many cases, are experts in their respective fields.

    Please watch closely.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2008 at 6:59 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    If money is an issue for the CBC then why doesn’t King Dick pull the plug on the extensive in-house renovations at the CBC Broadcast Centre which have been going on for 16 years at an average cost of $40 million per year? Are you listening Hubert?

  3. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2008 at 3:22 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    15 million was lost on the NHL playoffs, and 15 million was lost on the Olympics. The other 5 or so comes from the other craptacular prime time programming. The sales department at CBC is full of idiots, and the boss and deputy have already been fired in the last few weeks…

  4. Alternative Girlfriend
    Posted October 30, 2008 at 3:07 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    You know, I’ve been slacking in the Complaint Department for a bit now, It’s not that I meant to, but I’ve tried and tried to bring attention to how the whole Mothercorpse is just a front to pay big wages to high Execs, how we, the little people, just have to grin and bear all of their decisions, but I got sick of being ignored and brushed aside so gave up for a bit.

    I’ve gone the CRTC Route, I’ve gone to the CBC Ombudman, I’ve literally tried everything I can think of, but to no avail. They just pass you around, trying to make you another persons problem.

    You can understand how I became deflated. I’m just a Hockey Mom with a little Blog without any pull – anywhere obviously – and all I seemed to accomplish was raising my Blood Pressure.

    I’ve inquired why there is no Citizen’s Panel involved with the decisions of the CBC; why can’t the people who pay for the Mothercorpse have some sort of input in what content they deliver and where our money is spent?

    The reason The Ceeb gets away with whatever they want is because there is ZERO ACCOUNTABILITY anywhere. They throw around excuses for everything. Execs spending $800.00/night for fancy Butler serviced Hotels? Oh Well! We’re the CBC! We can spend your money however we want!

    I love their newest one “Lower Ratings because of the Election.” Please.
    Layfield is a tool. Yes, I said it.
    I don’t care if I hurt her wittle feelings. The Press talks about her like she’s some sort of Programming Genious. She is Not!!!

    The 1 show, that had great promise last year, jPod, gets cancelled. A huge online crusade was not even good enough to save it. Heaven forbid CBC gets all of those young viewers!

    I read the BBM Weekly ratings and Sophie and Little Mosque are Tanking. I called it. I wrote that this year when there was no WGA Strike nobody was even going to know they even existed. Go ahead, take a look at those ratings, the numbers tell it all.

    I wrote a few facebook status’ – Alternative Girlfriend “Loves hearing the Hockey Theme song on TSN, suck it, CBC” and, Alternative Girlfriend “thinks you should know how the CBC is further wasting your money.” with the link to the Article about the 27 MILLION DOLLAR Hi- Def Trucks. The reaction I got was phenominal!
    “But the CBC has so much great programming like ____, and ____ and _____. :P”
    “I love hearing it on TSN too!”
    “Say it Sistah!”
    “I couldn’t even tell you I watch 1 show on the CBC”
    etc., etc.

    I loved the CBC growing up, I mean, really truly loved it.
    Now, I cannot tell you one thing that I like about it. Except for Don Cherry. He is the only bright spot in the whole debacle it has become.

    Now, I think the whole thing should be dismantled. All of the Funding that it gets should then go to Fund Canadian Actors, Artists and Productions, and let CTV and Global buy and air all of the awesomeness that I’m sure will come out of it. Canadians are a telented bunch indeed.

    TSN and RDS are more than capable of airing Hockey Games, and I warned EVERYONE about the madness of the whole Anthem Challenge. I called it like I saw it, and NOBODY (Except for you, Joe) listened.

    The CBC released all of their own news of how Dolores Claman was some evil, greedy little old Lady who was trying to suck more money from Canadian Taxpayers, when in fact the Truth is out there – She called them on their blatant misuse of her song, and this was their way of “Sticking it to her.” I cannot WAIT until that lawsuit goes to trial!

    Am I the only one who thinks it’s wrong that the CBC can release any press they want just because they can?

    I take responsibilty for what I write, and will stand accountable for what I say, and it burns me to no end that they have Carte Blanche to mislead the Canadian Public. Propaganda is what it is, and that is their specialty. Just as Bad – NOT releasing anything that puts them in a bad light or points out any wrongdoings by them or any of their staff.

    I guess I shall conclude my Rant. I know I’ve been quite all over the place here, but it’s hard to spit out just everything I want to say. I just find the whole State of The Mothercorpse to be a sad, sad, situation. And we are all paying for it.

    I know what I feel or say about the CBC won’t matter. It never has and I don’t think it ever will. I guess all I can do is try to feel better because I said it.

  5. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2008 at 2:06 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    My guess is slashing News and Current Affairs across the board. Why do investigative journalism, have foreign bureaus or do any real news gathering on your own when you can read wire stories, do ‘gavel to gavel’ courtroom coverage of grizzly crimes and beef up “entertainment” reporting (a.k.a. the Scene)?

    Through CBC News the public is still getting some value for their tax dollars – Dick will put a stop to that.

  6. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2008 at 11:43 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    $35 million represents 350-400 jobs. Of course, since it’s now halfway through fiscal, you’d need to double that to reach zero by March 31.
    If the figure is true, expect some serious bloodletting real soon. My guess at the first target?
    CBC News at Six.

  7. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2008 at 11:28 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Where do you get the $35 million figure?

  8. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2008 at 11:19 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Nothing’s going to happen. If the joint had anything approaching real governance Hubie would have asked for Dick’s resignation long ago. The Federal Budget will tell the tale but I suspect we are very near the end.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2008 at 11:05 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Who knows what the financial stability of telefilm was when King Dick left? I’ve heard rumors that there were budget shortfalls in the tens of millions. Maybe the figure was more substantial. If true, why was he given a position at the CBC? Why is he still employed by the CBC? King Dick’s legacy will be one of total carnage similar to other Dicktators around the world.

  10. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2008 at 9:11 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Hey, the real Ouimet wrote this?

  11. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2008 at 9:03 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    While you’re at it, let Richard take his sycophants in TV and Radio with him.

    It’s terrible when the bosses screw up, and then respond by tanking people who are experienced and good at their jobs.

    Surprise. You can’t sell air.

    And how is the business development work moving along?

  12. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2008 at 8:46 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Thank you for the brilliant editorial on the current state of the CBC. The CBC has been destroyed by greed, corruption, ego and sheer stupidity. And don’t expect the current minority government to increase funding. Not after the blatant political attacks which were incorporated into the CBC’s news and programming. The CBC is facing some tough choices and it has created some powerful enemies. Canadians don’t watch it and they don’t want to pay for it. The King should do the honorable thing and fall on his sword. Do it now Dick. Fall on your sword.

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