Cuts of Brixton

London Calling cover

Why do CBC Teamakers love the Clash so much? Is is because they were a bunch of punks who tried to keep a DIY/rock’n’roll spirit, even though they ended up in the corporate world?

As we watch Hubert, Senior Team and the Board of Directors come up with ‘the plan’ for cutbacks, let’s ponder that Clash classic Guns of Brixton a few times before any final decisions are made.

When the cutbacks kick at CBC’s front door, how are we gonna come?

With our hands on our head …

– Safe, bland cuts ‘across the board’
– No changes or evaluation of Senior Team and their strategic directions
– A slow-paced ‘do as little as possible’ plan of action
– Cutting off the regions to save Toronto/Montreal/Vancouver
– Scrapping newer, more innovative services to save ‘dinosaurs’
– Dealing with the Canadian Identity part of the mandate as a ‘dinosaur’

Or on the trigger of our gun …

– Senior team give back their bonuses and or take pay cuts in a good faith gesture

– A giant ‘call for submissions’ internal and external. Start a different conversation about where to go with CBC and how to do it with less resources. Less comment section vitriol. A little more ‘Hey, let’s try this for this service …’ and a little less ‘All [sic] there shows suck except Cornur Gas! Shut it down!’.

Let’s see some Radio and TV programming about the future of CBC. Make the the haters and the whiners really step up and make their points in some manner besides potshots. Make the boosters give us more than pie-in-the-sky BBC comparisons. Do some town halls and dispel some rumours.

– Take a more Guerilla Approach to TV. Don’t buy more American crap with what money is left. Give it to anyone in a region who has a strong pitch that can be done on a low budget. English TV has delivered so many high priced offerings that were D.O.A. Why not try some cheap, innovative D.I.Y.? More Rez Bluez, less ‘The One’.

– Emabark on red tape reduction, and do it FAST. Six weeks of teleconferences and town halls, not 18 months of expensive jaunts from region to region to come up with a strategy for another 24 month strategy

– Cut the managerial middle. Buy out the deadwood. Make sure that experienced, effective older managers don’t get cut in the process. We need them in order to survive because they’ve seen it done well and badly for longer than the young’uns

– Don’t sell off major infrastructure in short sighted garage sales. A nationwide network of AM, FM, analog and digital Tv transmitters and studios is not the same thing as a basement full of TV props in Toronto! Hey, that includes websites, too

Just a few friendly suggestions to Senior Team, the Board of directors, and fellow Teamakers. A lot of it has been said elsewhere, I know. We’ve got a crisis here that equals an opportunity. Do the right thing. Take some risks, do it on fast turn around, and blow some Canadian minds in the process.

Remember – Guns of Brixton. Not Clampdown.

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