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CMG welcomes new President of CBC/Radio-Canada, urges focus on investment in local news and programming

Toronto, April 3, 2018 – The Canadian Media Guild (CMG) welcomes the new President of CBC/Radio-Canada, Catherine Tait, and recognizes her historic appointment as the first woman President and CEO of Canada’s national public broadcaster. Tait was appointed today to lead CBC/Radio-Canada, a valuable cultural institution created to serve Canadians in communities from coast to coast to coast.

We are encouraged that in their remarks today, Tait, as well as Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly, expressed support for key pillars of the national public broadcaster’s services and function, including local news and programming, Canadian stories and content, digital services and Canadian talent.

Our union has been raising concerns with the CBC/Radio-Canada leadership about the lack of investment in local news at the national public broadcaster and the abandonment of in-house production. For example, the CBC has directed very little of the $675 million re-investment to news – a fact it does not deny.  

In addition, the CBC’s own breakdown shows two-thirds of the new money ($92 million out of $150 million per year) went to outside productions for prime-time television shows in 2017-18 and are similarly earmarked in subsequent fiscal years.

This isn’t a reinvestment in CBC/Radio-Canada.

We have followed up with a letter to the CBC Board in February outlining these concerns, and we look forward to meeting with the new President and CEO to discuss these pressing issues.

Tait will be working with new CBC Board members, including incoming Board Chair Michael Goldbloom, also appointed today following a non-partisan, merit-based process led by the Independent Advisory Committee for Appointments to the CBC/Radio-Canada Board of Directors, along with fellow Board members, Suzanne Guèvremont, Guillaume Aniorté, and Sandra B. Singh. 

Jonathan  Spence
President, CBC Branch of the Canadian Media Guild

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