Ads on radio ― Airing ads on radio is not currently being considered by CBC/Radio-Canada

February 11, 2009

According to an Ottawa Citizen article published on February 10, 2009, the Canadian Heritage Minister, James Moore, suggested that CBC/Radio-Canada was considering airing radio ads as a means of better financing the Corporation. The article stated: “In a brief statement likely to outrage CBC Radio listeners, Mr. Moore conceded to NDP MP Charlie Angus that the CBC is under ’a lot of pressure’ and suggested that the broadcaster is considering radio advertisements as a solution to its money problems.” This article generated some media interest and we would like to clear up any misunderstandings and state the facts.

The Facts

Hearing the question raised of having ads on CBC Radio, as a means of better financing the Corporation, is not unusual. Airing ads on public radio is not currently being considered, however.

Appearing in front of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, NDP MP Charlie Angus asked a question to Minister Moore about airing ads on CBC Radio. Minister Moore replied that commercial advertising was not in his plans: “It's not something that I'm looking at doing, but we are very conscious of the needs of the CBC, the pressures that they're facing... and I would certainly work with them on any option that they think would work to best serve their mandate and serve Canadians.” The Minister also clarified that there had not been any discussion with CBC/Radio-Canada management about airing ads on radio.

It is no secret that television ad revenues are declining. This situation affects our services as well. Cost-reduction measures introduced this past fall will help CBC/Radio-Canada balance its budget for the 2008-2009 fiscal year. For 2009-2010, our budget planning process is now under way. CBC/Radio-Canada has enjoyed considerable success of late, on television, radio and the Web. We want to maintain our long-term ability to provide Canadians with distinctive programming.

The President and CEO has met with Federal Government representatives to discuss our financial situation. In these discussions, we have argued the importance of having adequate financial flexibility so that we can minimize the impact this situation will have on our long-term ability to fulfill our mandate.

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