CBC/Radio-Canada today announced its new strategy for taking the public broadcaster to 2020 and beyond. It will transform the Corporation from the traditional to the modern, and aims to better serve Canadians, through three fundamental shifts: the digital, the individual and the sustainable.
“A space for us all is a strategy to make CBC/Radio-Canada the public space at the heart of our conversations and experiences as Canadians,” said Hubert T. Lacroix, President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada. “We want to be a part of daily life. In the home, in the car, at work, and at play – CBC/Radio-Canada will be at your fingertips.”
A space for us all is about modernizing the public broadcaster to bring it closer to its audience. The strategy outlines CBC/Radio-Canada’s plans to:
Intensify its relationship with Canadians through the delivery of relevant, distinctly Canadian content and services, offered through modern distribution methods, with an emphasis on digital and mobile services;
Preserve its geographic presence, to be even more local, but at a reduced cost;
Significantly reduce in-house production — excluding news, current affairs and radio — while continuing to promote acquired or commissioned entertainment content from Canada’s independent creative sector;
Lighten its technology and real estate footprint across the country, focusing efforts and resources on content rather than infrastructure;
Become a scalable and flexible company with the appropriate tools, resources and people to deliver its strategy; and
Develop long-term, sustainable ways to manage its financial health, and the ability to invest in the future, as market conditions and audience habits evolve.
“In the past seven years, the most painful and frustrating task for me has been to implement one round after another of reductions to respond to a changing environment and balance the budgets,” commented Lacroix. “We need to find a path to sustainability. This time, these changes — and some of them will be difficult — will allow us to end up in a better place. They will allow us to ensure that we build a new CBC/Radio-Canada that will be a great place to work, that will be a champion of Canada, and it will be sustainable.”
Ultimately, the Strategy aims to better position the public broadcaster to meet the fundamental shifts that are transforming the media universe, and consequently how it connects with Canadians. In order to better measure success, the Corporation has established two key targets:
By 2020, the public broadcaster will have doubled its digital reach. 18 million Canadians, one out of two, will use CBC/Radio-Canada’s digital services each month.
By 2020, three out of four Canadians will answer that CBC or Radio-Canada is very important to them personally.
“Implementing the strategy will require careful steps, balancing our relationship with Canadians and the needs of a new CBC/Radio-Canada with the impact these changes will have on our people,” continued Lacroix. “And we will ensure we develop and retain the skills necessary to thrive in this new era. Every change we are making through this strategy is designed to ensure we put as many of our resources into great content as possible. The creativity and passion of our workforce will always be critical to our success.”
“The strategy itself doesn’t have all the answers, but it provides a solid framework that will allow us to face new challenges and seize new opportunities,” added Lacroix. “I am confident that, come 2020, we will have secured our ability to serve future generations of Canadians, and we will be a model of modern public broadcasting worldwide.”
What do you think of the CBC? Does Canada still need a public broadcaster? Can we afford to spend $1 billion a year from the taxpayer? Leave your comments below!