The Stroumboulopouli

The Stroumboulopouli

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The CBC


If you have ever attended a taping of The Hour, then you have likely heard George Stroumboulopoulos prompt bashful audience members, in his own unique way, to ask questions by commenting "you're paying for this s**t". As taxpayers, we do indeed fund our public broadcaster. Yesterday a story on the CBC's website noted that the broadcaster receives approximately $33 annually per taxpayer. From my perspective, I am getting a great return for my investment. However, there are some people who would disagree. It's hard to please all of the people all of the time.

Equally hard is facing the reality of the current economic climate. Our public broadcaster is not immune to a problem many Canadians currently face: simply not being able to make ends meet. Reports over the last few days suggest that the CBC is facing a massive budget shortfall as a direct result of reduced advertising revenue, combined with increased operating costs.

In reading about the CBC's woes, one thing that has been glaring to me, is the contrary comments of our Federal Heritage Minister James Moore. In one statement, Moore says "I don't like it when I see the CBC cancelling Canadian content, and we see Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune". In another he points out that he feels that the CBC should have to work out it's own problems like broadcasters in the private sector, remarking that it is not for him "to tell the CBC how to run itself". I'm confused Mr. Minister, which is it?

The fact is that the advertising revenue generated by hugely popular US-origin shows such as Jeopardy! (hosted by a Canadian Alex Trebek) can help subsidize the homegrown efforts. Producing relevent and fresh Canadian content costs money. The government holds on tight to the purse strings and has for well over a decade. Few taxpayers would be willing to see that annual $33 substantially increase. In a recent Harris-Decima poll overall "a bare majority believe the government should provide bridge funding to the CBC". This issue is indeed complex and coming up with a solution will not be easy.

So, what do think?

Should the government extend additional funding to help the
CBC through the current financial crisis?

Is it wrong for Canada's public broadcaster to generate advertising
revenue using some US programming?

If the CBC has to make programming cuts, what should go? What should stay?

8 comments:

cookiemobster said...

it's time for the cbc to go public,if they use private advertising then the cbc wins more revenue and we'd probably see (more) modern programing. the president is way over paid at $600.000/yr of tax dollars. members of parliment are paid annually around $90,000./yr. i'd like to see a lot of improvement with how the feds spend our dollars and in this day and age money is needed in the,
DEPT.of JUSTICE!

i'd like to see mr.stroumboulopoulos write a new contract next season. i'm tried of,'i'm your boyfriend'.

how about this catch phrase,

'welcome,
i'm george stroumboulopoulos
and this is 'the hour' and we are here to tickle your intellectual itch'...

Wandering Coyote said...

I agree with you: for $33, I think I'm getting a very good return for my money.

I'd rather see my tax $$$ go towards helping the CBC out than the auto industry.

While I understand their reasons, I would rather not see Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy on the CBC, but I don't have to watch them, so I don't.

As for what we could do without, I'm not sure. I only usually watch Newsworld, and I'm pretty happy with its programming. I have very little idea what's actually on the main network!

Barbara said...

Hi Cookiemobster,
I am not sure what other CEO's of National organizations make but it seems to me that if they make that much they pay a lot in taxes too. Probably more than enough to fund a program or two... too bad it's not that direct.
that might be too itchy.
:-)

The Toronto Star said it was 28$ per person but 33$ is still ok with me. I get my moneys worth.
Yes CBC needs to be wiser with less. We all do. But if the reg. CBC complainers are whining about thier 33$ in tax money I am sure they get their moneys worth because spouting their complaints makes them so happy. I can tell.
:-)

T. P. said...

The CBC knows better than the Toronto Star how much money they receive from the people.

For less than a dime a day we receive Canadian news, drama, comedy, docs and sports. It's a bargain! Is it all perfect? No. But then again, what is?

Mich said...

The CBC offers a unique and important service to Canadians. It would be a severe blow if the CBC was to be privatized. There will always be people who hate the CBC and will do anything they can to undermine it.

I have no problem with my tax dollars going the CBC, I think it is an important part of of the Canadian cultural landscape. No, it's not perfect but it does a pretty good job now and will continue to do so as a public broadcaster.

okanagansage said...

If anything, the CBC should be getting more money. The news is the best. I love the documentaries.

I'm not really thrilled about the game shows from the U.S. but if that type of programming is kept to a bare minimum, it wouldn't really bother me.

CBC should definitely NOT be privatized. We are fortunate to have a public broadcaster that gives a Canadian perspective. This mandate would not be upheld to the same degree if CBC were privatized.

Anonymous said...

We should get rid of the greedy CBC executives taking bonuses. How much programming could be funded by those dollars???!!!???

Lindsay G said...

I think there is room for improvement at the CBC but for the most part they're doing pretty good. I don't think there's anything wrong with using U.S programming to increase advertising revenue per say. However, the minute they start choosing to keep U.S. programming over Canadian content then we have a BIG problem. I don't mind my $33 going towards the CBC and promoting Canadian content, especially new and exciting shows like The Hour and Being Erica, but it better not be used to keep U.S. shows in their place.