Quote of the week
“We think this time it’s going too far.”
— Clarence LeBreton
Nine former members of the CBC board of directors were reported as saying that the CBC’s vision for the future involves – at 1500 – too many cuts. The attrition is part of a strategy by the public broadcaster to transform itself.
The big question for the CBC is whether it can respond to the challenges of technology and the digital age while meeting is mandate under the Broadcasting Act.
The plan is to go digital. The numbers suggest this makes sense: Internet video, Netflix, satellite radio, smartphones and tablets didn’t exist a decade ago as sources of news and entertainment. Today 30% of the population uses the Internet as a primary news source whereas just 46% use TV (in 2000, it was 7% versus 65%).
The CBC seems to get that digital means two-way conversations. It’s vision, according to the strategy, is to “be the public space at the heart of our conversations and experiences as Canadians.” This sets the stage for what is essentially a new definition of how Section 3m of the Broadcasting Act is to be met in the digital age.
The CBC thinks emphasizing digital with help its finances, arguing that Internet advertising is growing.
Finally, the CBC argues this strategy will let it reach out to bring in a younger demographic that is increasingly digital.
We keep hearing that transformation is critical if organizations are to remain relevant in the digital universe. The CBC is in a business that, like no other, is affected by technology, and seems to understand that relying on old media and old broadcasting models is not an option in the digital age.
What will be the impact of the collateral damage on its ability to get there remains to be seen.
We’re taking a break with the Wednesday newsletter for a few weeks but will be back in early August.