I have a new theme song to plug to Canadians about our country’s national broadcast company. It goes something like this, whistled along to that tune Cups (from the film Pitch Perfect):
“You’re gonna miss it when it’s gone.”
You’re gonna miss the muckraking of Marketplace; the barbed tongue and bald head of Kevin O’Leary (OK, maybe not HIM too much); Adam Beach’s earnest looks on Arctic Air; ranter and raver Rick Mercer; and the calm, cool and collected interviewer George Stroumboulopoulos…
(This could be the last time I ever have to look up how to spell that dude’s name. He is crossing the line to Rogers to host Hockey Night in Canada, after all, and since I cover arts and entertainment, it’s bye-bye, George…)
Which reminds me, you’re gonna miss the weekday broadcasts of Hockey Night on basic cable, unless you get Sportsnet 360 or some other Rogers configuration. (Don’t they own most Eastern/Central Canadian channels?)
And then there are the 657 people who will miss their jobs, ranging from radio and TV broadcasters, technicians, web editors, and the residuals resulting from the fact the CBC/Radio Canada is crumbling due to a reported $130 million shortfall.
But there could be more on the chopping block.
As comedian Ron James, the host of his own CBC comedy show the past five seasons, told me recently, the future for everyone looks unclear as “you can’t run a network on peanuts…”
It’s already been announced that the public broadcaster will no longer compete for the rights to air professional sports and has cancelled planned expansions into new regions.
The network is cutting $13.3 million from its news budget, resulting in 115 job losses.
Canadian artists will lose out as CBC Radio will also reduce some of its live music performances and some local musical performance shows will be cancelled.
Now I know some of you will be glad to wipe your hands of that left-leaning crown corporation, which considering who our government is right now, is a bit of a contradiction in terms. And, of course, it’s one of the main reasons the CBC keeps losing money; that and the loss of hockey…. However, it’s really a bad day when our nation is in jeopardy of losing homegrown media sources, content and those famous CBC personalities.
Say what you will about Don Cherry, and those hideous ties, but I’d rather see him “controlled” at the CBC than having him sound off at a private broadcaster or specialty sports channel.
Although I love our neighbours to the south, and that includes family, I am concerned about many of our assets heading south of the border, or being inundated with more American content on my local stations.
If you’d rather become the 51st state and be subjected to more Donald Trump, Ann Coulter, and Bill O’Reilly, be my guest. I’d rather have my sour Grapes, or wily O’Leary, thank you.
It’s not easy to dig up the dirt on some of the atrocities being committed around the world, just ask Linden MacIntyre, Mark Kelley, Gillian Findlay and Bob McKeown of CBC’s the fifth estate, but without them, the bad guys win, and we law-abiding Canadians lose.
I know cuts to all these programs haven’t happened yet, and that I may be fear mongering a little, but I say to all Canadians, save the CBC, ‘cause you’re gonna miss it when it’s gone.