Robert Rabinovitch, President and CEO Canadian Broadcasting Corporation PO Box 3220 Station C Ottawa ON K1Y 1E4
Dear Mr Rabinovitch:
I am writing regarding CBC Radios recent decision to change the formatting of its Radio One content from 11am through 6pm, as stated in the Globe and Mails article, CBC Radio revamp aimed at offices from November 1, 2005.
As a long-time listener and strong supporter of the CBC, I am very concerned by this move. The CBC needs to stop and think about what the role of a public broadcaster is. Should it:
(1) compete with private broadcasters to provide a service that reaches the same markets, or
(2) provide a valuable niche service that cannot be provided by commercial radio ?
I disagree completely with the reasoning behind Jennifer McGuires statement in the Globe and Mail that, [This decision] has more to do with the CBC Radios belief that people busy at work or stuck in traffic prefer shorter, livelier fare. I very much enjoyed the longer segments and the break from the livelier commercial music that is on all the other stations.
Also worrying is the move towards Music that doesnt normally make it on the CBCor in other words, background musicand the move away from Canadian content. Why is the CBC trying to address what the private sector already does so well? Why doesnt the CBC look towards successful public broadcasters in other countries instead of modeling itself on private broadcasters who have a completely different mandate? The CBC should be providing a service that cannot be found anywhere else on the radio, a service that highlights Canadian music and tastes that are not a part of the mainstream. Trying to play catch-up to commercial radio without commercial advertising dollars is a doomed strategy.
For the sake of Canadian culture, I hope that the CBC will rethink these recent changes. I cannot think of a more boring concept than a CBC trying to act like a commercial station. You are risking alienating your core listeners without attracting any new ones.