09 February 2009

Canadian Association of Broadcasters cuts staff, president, COO

According to this article, the Canadian Association of Broadcasters needs to rejig its business model and there are musings that the CAB may go the way of the cable TV association - that is, fold altogether.

On January 28th, the CAB announced that

"the renewed organization will operate with reduced resources and a more focused approach to advocacy relating to broadcasting sector policies and copyright matters."

...Charlotte Bell, chair of the CAB board, said that 14 people were leaving the association, including president Glenn O'Farrell and chief operating officer Tina Van Dusen. Other senior management positions affected included people in member and marketing services, regulatory and policy, communications, legal and administration. The association's convention, scheduled for November this year in Vancouver, B.C., was also cancelled.

The CAB is vulnerable to losing memberships. For example,

Canwest Global Communications is looking to sell five TV stations across the country, including CJNT-TV in Montreal, CHCH-TV in Hamilton, CHCA-TV in Red Deer, CHBC-TV in Kelowna and CHEK-TV in Victoria.

Now we all know (at least most progressives do) that CanWest, owned by the Aspers, has become little more than the propaganda organ for the Conservative Party of Canada; so it's interesting to read Tim Powers saying that broadcasting industry changes are "in rough shape" due to

declining advertising revenues and digital television allowing people to choose specialty channels over more conventional television stations.

Powers overlooks the fact the more people, especially young people, are turning off TV altogether. Broadcasters rarely ask why this might be, to whit this clueless comment by Powers:

"Often forgotten in this economic turmoil we are now suffering through is the state of conventional broadcasting," he said. "Broadcasters are making a push to have government themselves understand the magnitude of this challenge, not just the regulator, the CRTC... local TV helps connect and showcase the fabric of the country."

Some local TV does, yes, which is what it SHOULD be about. However, broadcasters such as CanWest (like their southern Fox friends) often serve to DISconnect and drive wedges between people and their communities, and rather than "showcasing" the fabric of the country, they paint it with their own brush and present that painted landscape as reality.

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