Expensive U.S. properties

Here we go again: Ian Morrison is speed-dialled to lambaste the Corpse for daring to air American shows that people who aren’t Toronto intellectuals might actually watch.

“We believe that the shortfall is $100 million or more, attributable to the decision last year to purchase several expensive U.S. TV properties, including Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, and The Martha Stewart Show, on airtight, multi-year contracts,” he said.

Even though the programs have won substantial audiences,

i.e., they’re working,

the anticipated income has not materialized because of the media-wide decline in advertising revenue, coupled with the recession, Morrison said,

failing to note that a show with high ratings can still tank if the rest of the industry is tanking. Isn’t that what’s happening? Or do Morrison’s legions of widowed private donors know something we don’t?


McGrath complains that we do nothing but cover old territory on this blog. But what does Morrison do?

What, in principle, is wrong with airing foreign programming on a national public broadcaster? If you wanted a 100%-Canadian service, would you even ixnay foreign films?

One good thing that could come out of the budget crunch

Killing all the lawyers Firing senior managers.

Morrison again: “To get out of [this] hole, CBC will have to make massive layoffs [– of] as many as 600 or 700 of the most senior, costly employees,” who usually are, as we know, managers of managers who have prevented any real change from happening inside Fort Dork.

Such firings would also force “the national broadcaster to be more centralized in Toronto and Montreal.” But according to rumour at the time, Fort Dork was built to be big enough to house every iota of CBC operations. I’ll take a centralized empire run out of a giant edifice over a skeleton service with make-work offices in “the regions.” I’ll also take a centralized empire over the right-wing-asshole dream/oxymoron, a “privatized” public broadcaster.