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CBC: Corporation aims for more regional programming, drama

Four CBC executives spoke to the Canadian Heritage Committee in Ottawa this morning and said they have presented an $80 million plan to Minister Liza Frulla to increase regional programming across the country. Vice-president Richard Stursberg also urged the government to increase the CBC’s allotment of the Canadian Television Fund back to its original 50% (up from the current 36%) to allow for the production of more Canadian dramas.

“This represents a good reversal in previous CBC policy and that’s great,” says Arnold Amber, the Canadian Media Guild’s CBC Branch President, after attending the committee session. “It was also good to see the support coming from the members of the committee for this ambitious plan.”

Stursberg told the committee that there would be “streamlining” and cancellation of some shows to free up resources to implement the plan for more regional programming. The Canadian Media Guild will press for more details on this at a meeting later today. Stursberg is also expected to update all CBC employees on the plan tomorrow.

The committee also voted unanimously to urge the Martin government to put the extra $60 million for Canadian programming that the CBC has been receiving for the last three years into the Corporation’s yearly budget.

The government’s support for the CBC plan for increased coverage in the regions is unclear. Frulla only provided a copy of the CBC’s plan to the committee this morning and has not made any public comments on it.

For more information, contact the Guild office at guild@interlog.com or call 1-800-465-4149 or 416-591-5333.

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