In adversity we shine

May 28, 2009

It is often the case that in adversity we shine. And over the past several days, this has been the case.

This week, colleagues across the country have received the news that no one ever wants to hear–that their job will no longer be part of the organization. This is not a reflection on those who have come to work day in, day out, contributing to the country’s largest cultural institution. It is a sign of the turbulent, unanticipated times in which we live.

But despite all of this, staff have reacted to the news of redundancies with professionalism and grace. And for those who have not been directly affected by this process, you have responded to your colleagues with sensitivity and compassion. These are highly prized values, values that are core to the CBC.

Unfortunately, the changes don’t end this week. We’ll continue to be unsettled for several months. But we’re all in this together.

Take care.



Yesterday was a tough day for everyone at the CBC. Even though we minimized the number of people affected, many of our co-workers were told that their positions would no longer exist. They will be going through a joint management and union process where every effort will be made to place them in other positions. That may not be possible in every case but I know both sides at the table are committed to a process that respects the rights of the individuals affected.

I want to give everyone a sense of where we are at with the CBC News Renewal process. In our department, we undertook to reorganize our structure and reassign many employees so we could position ourselves better for the future. It is a massive change and coupled with yesterday’s news, it is understandable that there is a high level of anxiety in many newsrooms.

On Monday afternoon, we will be revealing the new organizational structures for CBC News. At our last meeting we discussed how the new assignment HUB would work and how we would organize the programs in the future. Now we are ready to announce the key leadership and on air positions.

Following that announcement, starting on Tuesday, we will be meeting with every news employee one on one through the week to discuss new assignments. The reassignments are the next step in forming new teams to launch our renewed programming in the fall.

It is a stressful period but it is also an exciting time to be working at CBC News. Great new ideas are being traded. Wonderful opportunities are opening up and, in the end, we will be serving Canadians in new and better ways. And that’s what it is all about.

Details about the Monday meetings will follow soon.



  1. Anonymous
    Posted June 15, 2009 at 9:27 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Stursburg is so full of BS. Anyone remember the first letter he wrote after the CBC locked us out.
    Here's how it started.
    "The CBC has no choice and was forced to lock out its employees."
    Richard why don't you and the rest of the folks with the fancy offices and not on per diem when traveling give up your 50% bonuses to keep some more folks employed

    During the 1005 lock-out the onnly people left inside were management and the APS lackeys, supposedly a union, who quickly and with zeal stepped to make some OT.
    I guess the CBC locked out the real employees and kept the built in replacement workers on site

  2. Anonymous
    Posted June 11, 2009 at 12:08 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Yes, because having an aide leave a document in a tv studio is treating cancer.

  3. Kev
    Posted June 11, 2009 at 9:17 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Yes indeed, because making TV shows is exactly as important as treating cancer or policing nuke plants.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted June 10, 2009 at 4:51 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Interesting watching the response from various levels of government about Lisa Raitt's responsibility for those documents. There seems to be a lot of call for her resignation, merely for one of her aides leaving behind documents in a television studio.

    Imagine blowing your revenue target by tens of millions? Or leading your organization into a hole it can't seem to get out of, at least while you're at the helm? And imagine that your response, instead of accepting responsibility, is to fire your employees?

    I guess they didn't teach leadership at Niagara?

  5. Anonymous
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 10:53 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    More like, in adversity you shine my ass with your lips.

    "We're all in this together." What baloney.

    Tell that to the people shown the door. Tell that to the Children's Department, or R3, or local news, or just about anyone doing design or craft work.

    We may be in it together, but Richard and a number of others who are directly responsible for a lot of this, remain padding their pensions.

  6. Anonymous
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 9:13 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    The entire CBC building (from high level management to high profile hosts to behind-the-scnes people to front line workers) are all selfish, self-absorbed people. Well, that is not entirely true. There are some good people, but they get lost in the shuffle because of all the greed and corruption. Or, they get so frustrated and depressed, that they just leave the place.

    It's really sad actually. It's definitely a toxic environment for everyone.

  7. cbcfrank
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 6:29 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Re: comment from rolloffdebunk

    When your senior managers are selected not for their broadcasting savvy but for political expedience, then the rest of the management below it is similarly NOT chosen for its broadcasting savvy, but for whatever the going politically correctness is, and/or for shameless sycophancy.

    You can only kick butt when you have a mission; when the roadmap may as well be a plate of spaghetti, all the butt kicking in the world ain't going to change the lack of direction. You'll just end up with a lot of sore butts.

    … which is kinda where we are …

  8. Anonymous
    Posted June 6, 2009 at 9:35 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Ah, the solution to the insanity of working at the CBC, and getting away from bosses trying to bail the Titanic with buckets while shifting people from side to side to keep the sinking ship steady. Run a tea plantation.

    Do we all
    1)move to India or Sri Lanka?
    2)wait for climate change to bring tea planting to Canada?
    3)Ask the Harper government for funding for genetically engineering tea plants so they will grow as far up as North Bay?
    4)Since renting out space has been a total failure, set up tea plantations on the roof of every CBC location including Iqaluit? Canadian Broadcasting and Tea Corporation.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted June 3, 2009 at 5:34 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    TeaTech is a welcome voice of sanity.
    Finally, a comment that a mother would not be ashamed of.

  10. TeaTech
    Posted June 3, 2009 at 1:53 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Visit our blog on Tea Plantation Agronomy where tea growing and other related matters are discussed.

    Also you may post your tea related problems for answers in our Blog

  11. rolloffdebunk
    Posted June 2, 2009 at 12:06 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    This comes as a result of saying nothing when your managers led you all off into the wilderness. Your talent could not save you nor could your union. When no one has a map or the balls to be an effective leader or the balls to take the point when necessary this is what happens. Polite Canadians watch their dreams vanish and wonder why – now you know why. As William Shatner said at a Banff TV fest – “Canadians are to nice! You need to learn to kick butt!”

  12. Anonymous
    Posted June 1, 2009 at 2:08 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    The timing for the CBC’s news renewal is terrible. Could they not have held off for 6 months to a year or more? How do you know you have the right people to carry this off?

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