Level the Playing Field

The Heritage Minister yesterday said he would consider allowing CBC radio to accept advertising if it wanted to boost its revenue stream. 

The head of the Mother Corp says he doesn’t want ads.  But it would make so much sense!

It galls private radio that the CBC claims to have the number one morning show (in Toronto for example) when it’s operating on a completely different plane with different rules.  It doesn’t have to run ads, it has more producers and resources and its advertising budget is as big or bigger than that of a private station, by using public funds.  It’s just apples and oranges and yet it claims to be a shinier apple. 

Everyone has an opinion about how the CBC should be run and they have every right to share it.  It’s supposed to be our nation’s public broadcaster so we all support it through our tax dollars and are therefore entitled to our opinions.  There is some excellent programming on CBC, no question.  But to say Andy Barrie “beat” another show in the same timeslot isn’t accurate. As much as I respect Andy, with whom I worked at CFRB, he’s hosting a show that the rest of radio cannot – without commercial interruption and other bits and bobs that private radio is beholden to.  That he has a zillion listeners is wonderful.  But until he has to break for commercials like the rest of us and follow the same playbook as private radio, he ought not brag that he’s built a more popular program.  It’s an orange in a bowl of apples.