March 18, 2009

Canada’s CBC sets budget

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. set its 2010 budget without releasing details, although its news division reported there would be deep cuts in the workforce.

The board of directors said it would comment on a possible $145 million shortfall and layoffs by the end of the month.

Last month, CBC/Radio-Canada President Hubert Lacroix said in a luncheon address in Toronto television advertising revenues were down, salary and infrastructure costs had risen along with and higher programming costs.

A public outcry also has arisen over a proposal to introduce advertising on the CBC's English and French radio networks, which currently don't run ads.

The Conservative government has approved the CBC's $1.1 billion budget but federal Heritage Minister James Moore said a request for more funding has been denied.

Two-thirds of CBC's budget comes from taxpayers, one-third from ad revenue. If ad revenue is down, then CBC has to make decisions about how it's going to make adjustments for the immediate future, Moore told CBC Radio Tuesday.

The public broadcaster gets about $33 from each taxpayer. In France, the national broadcaster gets $77 per head and, in Britain, the BBC gets about $124 per citizen.