CBC Overhauls BC Management Structure

Looks like CBC British Columbia will soon have a totally new management structure.

Radio and TV will now be run by one management team instead of one for each media line. This model has been used in smaller regional centres for some time now.

It always struck me as odd the way BC is considered a ‘region’ by the CBC. It’s the corporation’s second largest production centre and just happens to be in the biggest film production centre in the country. It should be a powerhouse of programming for the network, leveraging the huge film and tv production community here. To do that would require declaring BC something other than a ‘regional’ centre.

Back in the 90’s when some of us were trying to make BC the centre of new media activity at the CBC, we were laughed out of Toronto at the mere suggestion. One of the province’s major universities offered to partner with CBC to leverage each of the organization’s strengths to make BC the hub of all of CBC’s online activities.

The VP who had come out to see what was being proposed by the university summed up the day long meeting with a simple phrase “It’s never going to happen out here “.

Vancouver continues to be a leader in new and innovative media activity, but CBC has drastically scaled back their new media activities here with the retrograde CBC Radio 3 and the dismantling of ZeD’s forward thinking user-generated content site. Over the same time period, CBC.Ca continued to expand its team in Toronto, all the while reducing its kid’s site to mindless 3rd party games (instead of original properties like The Zimmer Twins) and forgetting that promoting what’s on their TV network might actually be helpful to viewers.

There’s nothing wrong with having all media report to the same management team – that’s not the point. If CBC is ever going to leverage BC’s dynamic and thriving media creators, it’s going to have to treat BC as more than just another ‘regional’ centre. It has to take some new and innovative approaches, and let those bleed out into the rest of the system, rather than have Toronto dictate what works in ‘the regions’.

There are signs that might just happen with the new supper hour news shows, letting Vancouver lead the way in developing a new show that incorporates online in a big way. More of that, and less of the ‘it works in Manitoba so it’ll probably work in BC’ approach would be good.

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