Letter from the CBC President concerning the retirement of Patrick Brown and Don Murray

Oct 27, 2008

To: Joyce Napier
Head, Foreign Correspondents Association

Dear Joyce,
Thank you for your letter of October 20th 2008, outlining your concerns about the contract status of correspondents Don Murray and Patrick Brown. I completely agree with your view of their qualities as journalists and the valuable service they’ve provided to CBC News throughout their careers. I cannot, however, accept your characterization of them as having been “cashiered” by the Corporation. This is simply not what happened.

As you may be aware, as they wished not to relocate back to jobs in Canada, both Patrick and Don opted to take retirement with unreduced pensions in 2006. As a result, it is appropriate that future contracts be for a reasonable and limited time, not on an ongoing basis, as Mr. Burman suggests.

Their current contracts have simply come to an end. We recognize the expertise that both Patrick and Don have brought to CBC and that is why they have both been told that we would like to continue to work with them on a freelance basis, and we hope to continue to see and hear them on CBC/Radio-Canada’s airwaves.

CBC News has many priorities and obligations both at home and abroad, and to meet those, we constantly review all of our news budgets. For the last two years, Messieurs Murray and Brown have been doing special projects rather than fulfilling normal roles as foreign correspondents. In London and China, where we have two fully staffed foreign bureaux, we can flexibly use the resources from these two contract positions without cutting back on our commitment to foreign reporting and the service these two bureaux provide to Canadians. 

Like many Canadians, I value the tremendous contribution that all of our foreign correspondents make and the essential part that international news plays in our commitment to the public. We will do everything we can to manage our resources to ensure that our commitment to news remains strong. 

Sincerely,

Hubert T. Lacroix
President and CEO

1 comment

  1. Anonymous
    Posted November 7, 2008 at 12:22 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Anyone following the “Sachsgate” story at the BBC?

    The story itself is uninteresting… what IS interesting is that, when things go badly wrong at the BBC, managers resign; a second one quit today.

    It’s refreshing to see. I don’t think I’ve EVER seen that at the CBC.


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