You may have heard that it’s been a pretty awful week for CBC. The federal budget cut their funding by about $115 million, and it’s been trickling down in cuts like closing the Halifax studio where This Hour Has 22 Minutes is filmed with a live audience, and shutting down Radio One’s essays-from-abroad show Dispatches.
It’s a shame this is happening now, at a time when the network has been trying ambitious things with its music channels (the new CBC Music app is pretty fly) and trying to deepen its local relevance with expanded news coverage in Calgary and BC. Of course this affects me too, having worked with CBC and having so many colleagues still there.
One tiny glimmer of good news, though: they’ve got a worthy new music writer in Kate Adach. My bias is bare, of course: she’s a friend and intellectual muse. But she’s off to a good start with this piece on 5 reasons you should listen to recent Juno nominees Flying Down Thunder and Rise Ashen. I only wish she’d included more of their personal history; the story behind their mix of electronic and traditional Anishinaabe music demands retelling.
Kate’s a great storyteller, incidentally. Just check out this article she wrote: Happy people live longer, just ask a 104-year-old. It soothes another one of my biases: stories that show what people have to offer, rather than just what they need.
More to the point though, how reasonable do you think the federal budget cuts to CBC were? What do you think about the plan to make back some revenue by adding commercials to Radio 2 and Espace Musique?