Oh Pumpkins

As I read the latest posts on “Inside CBC” — I feel like an Aberdeen Angus that slipped out the back door of the slaughterhouse when no one was looking. I am free, ambling through green pastures, my mind is beginning to clear and I realize how close I came to being turned into hamburger. In the distance I hear shots being fired, one after the other. Bang, bang sounds are coming from the slaughterhouse. I am sad for the herd, but relieved I am free at last.

You know Pumpkins, what’s happening is really not your fault. It is the CBC management, that has proved to be about as flexible as a concrete block. There is a way out of this, but I am not sure they have what it takes—and subsequently none of you have what it takes to turn this thing around for CBC TV.

Here’s an escape for route you all.

Get out of local television. We are experiencing the great media shift. It means many things for the way all of us do our work, but for the CBC is means getting out of local TV. To survive in local TV the news programming (and that’s why it exists) must be intensely local in every aspect. It has to be daily and closely involved with the community and CBC local is not. It parachutes anchors and reporters and weather people in from anywhere but there. That means that the people doing the programming don’t have a deep connection to place where they work. They are just there temporarily. Successful stations put up home grown talent that the community is proud of and often have deep roots in local organizations, sports teams etc. CBC is just not in that game on a local level. They don’t even do weekend newsgathering in most cases.

Secondly, most markets are already served by CTV and Global and in some cases a third station – there is no need for a CBC local station.

Thirdly, CBC is competing with other stations for advertising dollars. No need for that either.

So, what’s to be done. Sell all the CBC local real estate (lets start with Regina) – and set up small newsgathering bureaus EVERYWHERE across the country – that feed into Newsworld ALL THE TIME. Use those resources to actually cover the country instead of leaving large swathes of territory that never SEE a CBC crew.

Make Newsworld a Powerhouse
And lets kill the National. It is over baby. It is boring, turgid, overproduced and out of date. Maybe Pete will take a package eh? Or you can give him a few hours on Newsworld. Bring the talent to Newsworld. That’s where the future is.

Now, what about all of you and your jobs. Well there is lots going on out there. You’re journalists remember – and skilled trades people. There is lots to do. You may not get $75K a year, but most people don’t. Or take a job in Brandon or London Ontario or Yarmouth. At least you’ll be writing stories about Canada instead of kevetching yourselves sick in Toronto and Vancouver.


  1. Fake Ouimet
    Posted May 28, 2009 at 1:08 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Is it absolutely crazy to imagine letting the Privates off the hook for local programming, which just means the Global News helicopter and ETalk Canada crossover reports, in exchange for paying CBC a vig to run twice as many local newscasts as we have now?

    The problem there, of course, is monopolization of voice. You dont want your news coming from only one source (which right-wing assholes would invariably call the state broadcaster). The Privates could still run some newscasts or something, but what if CBC did most of the job?


  2. rolloffdebunk
    Posted May 28, 2009 at 12:26 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    The problem with getting out of local tv news is that journalism is done only by the CBC. CTV and Global do a kind of veneer news – zero depth. If were still talking about journalism where you afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted then we sure are not getting that anymore on tv or in the newspapers.
    TV news is going the way of AM radio – down the tubes! Play all the same programming and don’t be progressive. Frankly I think tv’s has had its day. I choose my own programming on the net including my news but … am I getting journalism?

  3. Anonymous
    Posted May 28, 2009 at 10:03 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Lets [sic] start with Toronto.

  4. Kev
    Posted May 28, 2009 at 9:51 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Also, I really hope that in this respect I am in fact special, and you’re not experiencing this level of glee every time you think about a CBC employee potentially getting canned. I know you said you’d closed the empathy window and all, but one would hope the ventilation shaft of common decency remains unblocked.

  5. Kev
    Posted May 28, 2009 at 9:33 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    To quote Leon Kowalski, “more than you!”

  6. Fake Ouimet
    Posted May 28, 2009 at 9:09 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Just so you know, the CBC is no longer situated in a shack on Mutual St., where one might just waltz in and bum a fag offa Gzowski.

    This was before your time at the Corpse, of course, which is, in all probability, limited.

  7. Kev
    Posted May 28, 2009 at 7:59 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Just so you know, they’re one-use only, and laminating them is taking things way too far.

  8. Anonymous
    Posted May 28, 2009 at 3:59 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    TV and CBC works?

  9. Anonymous
    Posted May 27, 2009 at 6:57 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Jesus, one post after another with no clue about how any aspect of how TV or CBC works. Is there NOBODY left writing on this blog who actually works in the business? And no Joe, you definitely don’t count.

  10. Fake Ouimet
    Posted May 27, 2009 at 5:45 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I only ever go in with a guest pass.

  11. Kev
    Posted May 27, 2009 at 2:37 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Or Option #3 – someone invested in one of the other local news providers and throwing out crap like this in the hopes of a manager accidentally implementing it.

    Either way, nice one Joe, you’re knocking it out of the part vis-a-vis support in difficult times. Maybe if the whole thing shuts down you’ll be able to roam the halls of the TBC without sneaking past a guard first.

  12. Farmpunk
    Posted May 27, 2009 at 2:23 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I’m going to agree. If Ma Murry counts as a Ceeb source and thinks there is media work, with the Ceeb or otherwise, in London Ontario, then he or she must certainly be from Toronto or so fucking stupid that it really doesn’t matter.

  13. Anonymous
    Posted May 27, 2009 at 2:08 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    BE IT RESOLVED that, the teabag now having been dunked in tepid water quite a few too many times, it’s time to toss it in the green bin.

    In other words, this blog has run its course, at least until the real Ouimet sees fit to return.

    Shut ‘er down I say.

    Anyone want to second the motion?

  14. Fake Ouimet
    Posted May 27, 2009 at 2:02 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Mmm, sorry, cant +1 the delocalization angle. I think +1 on shitcanning The National, though.

  15. Anonymous
    Posted May 27, 2009 at 12:29 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    This is of course exactly the opposite of what the CBC should be doing. What needs to happen is to move as much as possible out of the TBC to the regions. Remember when Newsworld was set up? CBC got the licence by promising to put it all in the regions – and then started to suck as much of it as possible into Toronto, where it virtually all resides today. If the CBC is to survive, it needs to reconnect with a local audience – and that means giving more autonomy and programming to the local level.

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