I'm Mad as Hell

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and I can't do a thing about it

Ding, Dong The Witch is Dead

I could hear, or should I say see, the collective smile from coast to coast to coast as the politicians say. After six years the demon of Canadian public broadcasting is gone. Richard Stursberg, the Vice President of everything English language at the CBC has been fired, or according to some resigned. Who cares, so long as he is gone? Stursburg has been the most disruptive and hated V.P. of CBC I can ever remember.

Richard Stursberg’s biggest problem as CBC boss was that he just didn’t get it. He never understood the CBC mandate. He never saw a difference between what CBC has to do and what CTV and Global have to do. He never understood that if CBC were to lose Little Mosque on the Prairie or Being Erica it would still be the CBC and that the brutal massacre of news and current affairs he oversaw could destroy the people’s network. All Stursberg ever cared about was ratings. He did not care about quality TV. He did not care about serving the Canadian public who were paying his salary. He certainly had no time for news and even less time for shows like The Fifth Estate and Market Place.

Ironically the good-bye letter from CBC honcho Hubert Lacroix cites the fact that Stursberg leaves the CBC in better shape than he found it. I can only surmise that refers to the overall ratings. In fact the CBC ratings totals may be better than six years ago but why? It seems to me that all of the numbers increases can be attached to Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Hockey Night in Canada and The World Cup of Soccer. These are either non-Canadian or sports shows and in fact the numbers have been inflated by the new people meters that measure audience. Hey CTV and Global have also seen their numbers rise and in fact while the total CBC viewership is up, the actual audience share is down. Yes he had two real successes in six years: Dragon’s Den and Battle of the Blades, but shows like these can and do run on other networks, they are reality shows. As for the rest of King Richard’s offerings, the numbers range from mediocre to poor. Not much of a legacy when you consider that news ratings are down by about 40% and that current affairs ratings have dropped precipitously.

Oh, and let’s not forget the management tone Stursberg set. He never failed to let everyone know it was his way or the highway. He treated people poorly. He knew very few of the staff who worked for him. The stories are rampant about the on-air people he failed to recognize, especially if they came from news. CBC types were always asking whether he actually ever watched the CBC. His treatment of his staff may be an even bigger failure than his wrong-headed programming decisions.

Let’s look at just a few of his accomplishments:

*Stursberg got off to a bad start in his position by forcing a massive lock-out of CBC workers. What characterized that lockout was the refusal to negotiate and the refusal to recognize the input of the workers. There is still bad blood left over from that work stoppage in 2005. In past work stoppages management always took great pains to be cordial to the striking workers. They always understood that when the strike was over they would have to go back to working side by side with the staff. Stursberg didn’t get that. He had to be the tough guy.

*He gutted arts programming on TV and under his rule lost most of the classical music programming from CBC Radio 2. It’s true the arts did not generate huge audiences, but CBC was the sole serious purveyor of that programming in Canada. (Bravo had long since abandoned its commitment to the high arts.)

*He oversaw the changes in The National that have led to the most dramatic loss of viewership in CBC News history. At a time when the new rating system saw CTV and Global new audiences climb by 40% the CBC dropped by the same amount. The “renewal” saw American news doctors come in and advise the CBC to move to shorter stories, more human interest, less serious news coverage, more weather, more fluffy animal stories…i.e. “Eyewitness News.” This was supposed to raise ratings and make younger people want to watch CBC news. It never took into account that loyal CBC news viewers were used to quality and depth and would not put up with the changes and that young people are not news viewers in general, and the ones who are, are not idiots looking to watch the kind of fluff The National has opted for.

*He moved The Fifth Estate, probably the best current affairs show in Canada, to the dead zone of Friday night so that Being Erica could get a better time slot on Wednesday. He buried Marketplace and The Nature of Things and cut way back on the number of episodes they produce each year. The result: shows that reached close to a million viewers in years gone by barely attract half that today on their best days.

For the most part, Stursberg’s new programming was part of a dumbing down of the CBC. His new offerings were always light drama, inane comedy and reality. Gone were the serious movies and series that set the CBC above its rivals. In fact, CTV with shows like The Bridge and Flashpoint were tougher, harder and more provocative than any of the new fare that Stursberg championed.

It has been reported that Sturberg is gone because he didn’t like the new CBC “five year plan.” What does that mean? We have been given no explanation. Does the CBC want to worry less about ratings? Is management upset by what’s happened to its newscasts? Until we know the answer to these questions we won’t know who will take Stursberg’s job and in what direction he or she will be expected to take the CBC.

For my part, I would like the new boss to come from programming so that he or she can assess the quality of the new offerings. I want someone who will work in partnership with CBC staff rather than acting as a tyrant. I want someone who recognizes all of the kinds of programs that are important to a national broadcaster in order to serve all of its audiences, be they large or small…and that includes news, current affairs, the arts, drama, sports and comedy. Ratings are important but so is public service when you are being supported by tax dollars. Is this too much to ask? I think not when the future of our biggest and most important cultural institution is at stake.

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22 Responses

  1. East Coast says:

    I am not a fan of the guy, but you should at least spell his name correctly: Stursberg.

  2. Pete Emslie says:

    Beautifully summed up, Howard – you’ve covered a lot of what’s been wrong with CBC since Richard Stursberg was allowed so much control. Interestingly, I just posted the following comment on the Inside The CBC blog before coming here to your site. I hope you don’t mind me re-posting it here, as I’m hoping that CBC brass will start taking note of what their longtime, loyal audience feels about the last fews years of programming decisions:

    I am personally overjoyed to hear that Richard Stursberg has been shown the door. Both he and his former boss, Robert Rabinovitch have done so much damage to CBC over the years by chasing after higher ratings through the dumbing down of the programming on both TV and radio. Ironically, Stursberg was generating so much dumb, populist fare like reality shows in order to appeal to precisely the type of people who never liked CBC and never will, like some of the usual suspects on this Inside CBC forum who consistently badmouth everything CBC does. If Hubert Lacroix really wants to get CBC back on track, he will start listening to the CBC’s longtime audience: those of us who appreciate more intelligent news and entertainment, more arts based programming – in other words, all of the type of programming that the commercial networks are no longer interested in providing. And if he’s really smart, he will also ignore the tirades of the CBC’s detractors on the far right, as there is nothing that the CBC can ever do to satisfy those people, so why even try?

    Parting company with Stursberg is a good first step towards recovery, but it will take much more courage and effort to regain the former CBC-TV viewers and especially the former Radio 2 listeners who for the last six years or more have felt forsaken by the CBC management. I will be cautiously optimistic, but I wish CBC all the best in getting back on track.

  3. Anon. says:

    …as long as they spell your name right, right? It’s “Stursberg”, not “Stursburg” or “Sturburg”. 🙂

  4. Joe Clark says:

    I agree, except inasmuch as you seem to be in denial that Being Erica and Republic of Doyle are excellent shows and Flashpoint is a boring police procedural.

    I am not entirely sure why programs you dismiss as “light” shouldn’t be on CBC if they are well done. I gather everything has to be like Human Cargo, repeated this month in the overnight slot?

    There is more than enough soy-based meat substitute to chew on (viz Sophie, Toronto 18 on the Prairie) without throwing Stursbergian baby out with bathwater.

  5. Denis McGrath says:

    You’re the one who taught me all those years ago about the quality of the trash, sorry, releases dumped at the end of the week during summer.

    Stursberg doing the perp walk on a Thursday before he’s skedded to vacation is small beer and has the desired effect – most of the analysis in the Globe & elsewhere over the weekend was slight at best.

    But through it all the lazy equivalencies are starting to bubble up like the beast from the tar pits (which are right next door to me as I type this, funnily enough.)

    All the usual suspects are there: how “popular” equalled “dumbed down.” How trying to appeal to a younger audience (as if it wasn’t their CBC, too) is somehow a bad idea.

    Whatever the next “five year plan” brings, I hope to heaven it’s NOT what the grumblers for the last five years hope for, or CBC’s slide to irrelevancy will be assured.

    The destruction of CBC’s news legacy is a sin, and shows an incredible ignorance of building from what was the service’s core strengths. But that doesn’t make BEING ERICA or Rich Terfry the enemy.

    72 hours in and I’ve already seen more snobbery & elitism commenting on the Stursberg departure than I’d care to. The last five years have happened and there’s no going back. The audience building he did was good. Battle of the Blades has a place on CBC. Don Cherry is incredibly popular and speaks to a great swath of the populace. Getting used to these three things — and the fact that drama that isn’t just about Trudeau and serious doings has a place should not have to be linked to the desire to renew, recapture, and re-prioritize the traditional news-and-current affairs excellence that once defined CBC. Whoever comes in next, let’s hope they understand both sides of that equation, and also have a handle on the fact that the best resource CBC has going for it is the smart, resourceful staff in every corner and region. Look for the frustrated ones who haven’t been consulted for the last half decade. That’d be a start.

    • hlbtoo says:

      Hi Denis…you haven’t been gone long but we miss you already. I did not mean to trash Being Erica and I was a fan of Battle of the Blades. My upset is that that’s all there was. You worked on Republic of Doyle and it was, or still is an entertaining show, but where is the hard hitting. Stursberg thought light equals audience. I want balance. I want to see all kinds of stuff, from the light to the heavy. Several producers have told me that they were shut out by the CBC whenever they had ideas that were in any way serious. Don’t forget us la-la land…

  6. I.N. Sider says:

    Is he sleeping with her?

    August 10, 2010

    A mid-summer note following the events of last week is in order. The news of Richard Stursberg’s departure last week will, of course, generate speculation about what happened, what it means and what it doesn’t. As usual, most of it will be just that, speculation.
    So, let me set a few things straight.
    I chose Kirstine Stewart to step in as Executive Vice-President English Services not because she was next in line but because she has the leadership skills and the expertise to keep English Services driving forward as hard and as fast as possible while we run our formal recruitment process (which could take up to 9 months). She is not a caretaker. She is not a babysitter. This is not about waiting or slowing down. She is in charge, has full authority and has my complete confidence.
    We have several launches coming, a strategic plan to land and then cost, choices to make, a Leaders Forum to organize, a corporate budget to prepare… and that’s only from my vantage point! We are not slowing down. We don’t need to, we don’t have time to.
    With the creation of a new strategic plan, this is a good time to review the leadership of CBC. The decision to change leadership was not a sudden decision triggered by any specific incident. And, by the way, we did not escort Richard out of the building (where do people get these rumours?). It was, rather, the culmination of a very long reflection on the future of the Corporation, the culture it needs to adopt in order to change and adapt in an evolving media environment and our ability to agree to a long term plan based on a shared vision.
    In essence, the Strategic Plan is about having a clearer definition of what the public broadcaster brand stands for. Our industry is morphing. While we still rely on the conventional broadcasting model we have known , we will, increasingly, migrate to new models that have yet to become clear. Having a shared, compelling and visible set of principles that give shape to the public broadcasting brand will be a roadmap for future decisions. And the brand is about what we do and how we do it and how we communicate it.
    However, you should immediately know that there is nothing (and I mean nothing) in our current programming strategies that I don’t stand by: so, those out there who think this is in any way a repudiation of where we stand today will be disappointed big time.
    One constant in all this is that CBC/Radio-Canada will continue to fulfill its mandate by responding to the media and cultural challenges facing the country. Implicit in that for me are these points among others:

    The drama/entertainment strategy that has been a source success in television over the last few years will continue to be a central plank of our future strategy;
    The integration and modernization of our news services both regionally and nationally remains essential to our mandate and our success;
    Radio One’s unique role in the media landscape, whether on radio or through new media, will be maintained and nurtured;
    Our commitment to a music strategy that serves Canada’s music lovers and musical artists will continue;
    Our commitment to truly reflecting the regions to themselves and nationally is as important a priority as we have;
    We will not give up our lead in new media;
    And, by now, I hope that you know how much I care about our people.
    This is not an exhaustive list so if your own personal area of activity is not mentioned, please do not conclude that it is not important or not included in the strategy. The point is, we are moving forward from the strong position we hold, not going back to the past.
    It is about building a public broadcaster for 2015 that is even more successful, more in tune with the needs and wants of Canadians and more engaged in their lives. It is also about building a public broadcaster that is home to the most ambitious and creative workforce in the country. We have the team right here, right now, to do that. I am extremely proud of you and of what you do, every day.
    Hope you have had or will have a good break this summer. We’ll need all your energy and passion as we prepare for the fall.

    Hubert Lacroix,
    President

  7. Pete Emslie says:

    It looks like we’ve all been celebrating too soon after all, Howard. I just read the new official message from Hubert Lacroix, and I must admit I’m disheartened by what I’m interpreting it to mean. It really doesn’t bode well for the future of the CBC, in my opinion anyway.

    Here’s the link:

    http://www.insidethecbc.com/cbc-president-sets-the-record-straight-following-stursbergs-departure/

    • hlbtoo says:

      Hi Pete…don’t worry. That’s what the suits do when there is change. They say nothing is going to change to soothe the troops. Then they go about changing things. If things were going to stay the same Stursberg would still be there or Kirstine Stewart would have got his gig permanently. On the other hand, I cannot say whether the change will be for the better because I don’t know what’s in the 5 year plan and who the new boss is going to be.

  8. Louise says:

    “The people’s” network, huh. Where have we heard that phrase before.

  9. Ted B. says:

    Not a single mention about what happened to Children’s programming over the past 5 years. Or the fact that there just isn’t much of anything for Canadian youth on the national network. There has been a continual decrease in shows for families, and please don’t point to summer or December movies.

  10. Bytowner says:

    During the lockout. There was a protest song in honour of those locked out invoking the phrase, I believe. I still have it on my iTunes playlist, I kid you not.

    And I’ve heard the phrase elsewhere before. And since. More than once.

  11. I.N. Sider says:

    FROM JENNIFER McGUIRE:

    From talking to some of you over the past few days, I know that you are wondering how the senior management changes will affect CBC News — the news renewal process, our budgets, the renewal of our journalistic policy book, and how we do our journalism and programming daily.

    The short answer is, nothing changes.

    It’s important to remember that we’re on a course that we set for ourselves to better serve Canadians. There is still a lot of work to do, but we are already seeing great success. We have had some hallmark moments this year. Here are just a few examples:

    On The National, we broke powerful stories about CSIS and about the RCMP mutiny. And who could forget Bob McKeown of the fifth estate chasing down Graham James? Peter Mansbridge landed definitive interviews with newsmakers such as Helena Guergis and British Prime Minister David Cameron. On Radio, The House did an outstanding job with its Quebec special, which resonated across the country. The Charest interview was picked up by all of the major English daily newspapers and much of the French media in Quebec. These are just a couple of examples of journalism that had impact. There are many more.

    And we are gearing up for an impressive fall. The investigative unit is delighted to welcome Diana Swain. It is pursuing several stories, and its work will be a high priority in the months ahead.

    This will be the second season for the new local news formats and late night newscasts. It will be a great chance to build on our success in these areas. Local programs have seen strong ratings growth, and ensuring that they are able to deliver more original and enterprise journalism will solidify the gains. To support this, we have launched a local investigative initiative out of Winnipeg.

    In the fall, we will continue the development of local radio news. We have new research that gives us insight into the radio news programs, and how Canadians use them and feel about them. As you know, local radio is an incredible strength for CBC Radio and CBC News. It is important to invest in the continued success of these newscasts. I will be sharing more details about this work soon.

    Fall will also be critical for the renewal of our digital platforms. We plan to launch changes to breaking news online in October, and a more extensive change to CBCNews.ca in January. You can get a glimpse of some of the new territory by checking out some of the impressive work done during the G20: http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/g20/index.html

    We continue to commit to innovation and have started a push to develop new programming initiatives. We have a series in the works on volunteering. The Marketplace team is working on a project about hospitals and healthcare that will be featured on The National. We will continue to explore new program ideas in current affairs. Make the Minister Work will get a run as a series. The fall will also see CBC News Network going more often to the stories that matter to Canadians, just as it did when Mark Kelley traveled to the Gulf of Mexico to cover the oil leak or when Heather Hiscox was in Vancouver for the Olympics.

    In newsgathering, we are looking at how we organize breaking news coverage. The Hub will sharpen its focus on this to better serve CBC News Network, radio hourly newscasts and our digital platforms.

    All this to say that CBC News is on track and still moving forward. I hope everyone has been enjoying summer. I look forward to a great fall.

    Jennifer McGuire
    General Manager and Editor in Chief, CBC News

  12. James Wicks says:

    Another changing of the guard at the CBC? Whatever.
    It seems to me the person best suited to lead the CBC is the person writing this blog.
    I can think of no better person than Howard Bernstein to lead the CBC to new heights of quality programming, and re-vitalized news and documentaries.
    Howard has the experience, insight, foresight, and imagination that the CBC so desperately needs.
    As a Canadian citizen, as a former employee of the CBC, and as a viewer (albeit, a long distance one), I nominate Howard Bernstein to the top post at Mother Corp.
    Go get ’em, Howard!

    Best,
    Jim

  13. Constant Reader says:

    The post-Stursberg CBC:
    Tilt goes the tightrope

    By John Doyle, The Globe and Mail – August 14, 2010

    The facts behind Richard Stursberg’s recent, abrupt exit from the CBC remain unclear, but are probably mundane. The facts of CBC Television’s current precarious situation, however, are far from mundane.
    As far as I can tell, there were “irreconcilable differences” between Stursberg and CBC president Hubert Lacroix over certain details in the public broadcaster’s new five-year strategic plan about to be implemented – not major differences, but enough tension over direction and interpretation of the plan to ensure that the boss, Lacroix, must prevail and thus it was an appropriate time for Stursberg to leave.
    Stursberg stirred emotions like few figures in the Canadian media world. One CBC executive told me, on condition of anonymity (nobody will speak on the record right now), that Stursberg simply didn’t have the right temperament to deal with the egos at CBC. Simultaneously, the same person acknowledges that Stursberg was admirable in that he achieved a great deal in his six years there – he forced through change, streamlined operations, focused on ratings and centralized power, and he saw CBC-TV’s audience share increase.
    The CBC is a bizarre institution, a rats’ nest of ego, bickering, backstabbing, rumour and sour dislike of anyone who either has power inside CBC, or anyone or anything that isn’t part of the CBC. It’s a wonder they ever get around to producing any shows. Inside CBC, Stursberg was demonized when he took charge because he was exactly what the place needed – someone strong-willed enough to be dismissive of the CBC’s lazy internal culture. He dragged the CBC into the modern world of big-media companies.
    And now what? Well, anyone who thinks that Stursberg’s departure means a reversal of his various TV and radio implementations is kidding him- or herself. The five-year plan has more to do with capital spending, hardware and financial management systems than it has to do with dramas and sitcom on TV or the genre of music played on CBC radio channels. Things are not going backward. If you worship at the altar of the old CBC of Peter Gzowski and Barbara Frum, you are not going home again. We’ll all be living with Stursberg’s CBC for a long time to come.
    Stursberg’s CBC is ratings-driven, populist, pop-culture-obsessed in its news coverage, lightweight, disdainful of the arts and mortally afraid of appearing highbrow. Of course, Stursberg is undoubtedly proud of the CBC he’s moulded and indeed it has brought some measure of ratings success.
    But, post-Stursberg, CBC-TV now finds itself in a dangerous position. It walks a tightrope. What Stursberg did to CBC-TV has made it much harder to defend as a cultural institution. Months after a makeover, The National is still a farce. The awkward-looking scenario of stand-up anchors, inelegant poses and reporters speaking from giant screens makes the program look like some terrible, cheapo sci-fi movie. The fleeting news “bits” about trivial stories are the very definition of dumbed-down, and even the weather reports delivered by Claire Martin are so irrelevant they have the air of absurdist mini-dramas. Worse, the makeover has not given The National the ratings boost that was hoped.
    The prime-time schedule has hits but it has so much light-and-easy viewing that the CBC-ness of it is non-existent. The key ingredient of provocative, challenging television has gone missing. The core problem for CBC in dealing with both its loyal audience and its enemies is that it has to justify its existence to two very different camps. On the one hand, airing ratings hits makes CBC a player in Canadian broadcasting, accumulating ad dollars and viewers. On the other hand, those who expect a public broadcaster to provide what commercial TV cannot are asking, where’s the beef?
    It’s a fair question. CBC can justify the airing of, say, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune if it also provides programming that’s distinctive, original and culturally relevant – the type of programming associated with a strong public broadcaster. Being Erica and Republic of Doyle just don’t fit that category.
    A key event in Stursberg’s tenure was the cancellation of the crime drama Intelligence and subsequent alienation of its creator, Chris Haddock. There are few television auteurs in Canada, and of them, Haddock is most eminent, pragmatic and successful. When the CBC cannot commit to airing a low-rated but excellent drama such as Intelligence, then it cannot claim to be remotely close to fulfilling its mandate as a public broadcaster to air what commercial TV will not air.
    In recent months, CBC has also acquired a reputation in the Canadian TV industry for being outright leery of developing any one-hour dramas at all. CBC execs have complained about the excessive amount of “dark” dramas that are pitched to them. Understandably, this attitude makes a vast number of people in the Canadian industry very nervous – the TV creators, because they expect CBC to exhibit some courage in developing challenging drama, and a vast number of unions and guilds, because the production of one-hour dramas creates a lot of jobs and nourishes countless talents for the future.
    Meanwhile, CBC News has been spooked by constant assaults on its integrity by the forces of the right in Canada. The Conservative Party and its allies have done what the minority Conservative government can now avoid doing directly – isolating CBC News as a lefty organization out of touch with Canadians. It’s been deftly done, and CBC has reacted to the point of often appearing embarrassingly eager to over-accommodate right-wing views.
    Lacroix is aware of all of this, you can be certain. A successful bureaucrat who values inclusiveness, he has been described to me as “sharp and brainy, a sincere and earnest guy” and he certainly seems to be that in person. Another insider characterized him as “a guy who sees himself as the keeper of a kind of Trudeauvian flame. While Richard [Stursberg] sees the world very differently.” This does not mean that the Stursberg era will now be erased. A senior CBC exec told me, “I imagine there may well be some de-emphasis, over time, of the Hollywood hitsville mogul-style commissioning of scripts and pilots in the laser-focused quest for eyeballs, and maybe more quality Canadian-orientation stuff, but they don’t want to lose the audience gained and it won’t be a revolution [back] to old times.” Potential change in CBC’s programming emphasis was further described to me as, “a slight tilt upwards. Toward the more Canadian, the somewhat more upscale and the cross-cultural.”
    For now, Lacroix has put much of the CBC in the hands of Kirstine Stewart, who takes over as executive vice-president English services (Stursberg’s former title). In a memo to staff this week, Lacroix emphasized that while a search for someone to replace Stursberg goes on, Stewart “is not a caretaker” and “not a babysitter.” He also said, “This is not about waiting or slowing down.” Stewart, who came to CBC from Alliance Atlantis (as Kirstine Layfield), where she had overall programming responsibility for the company’s eight lifestyle channels, is a more affable figure than Stursberg. She’s a cultivator of relationships in the industry and the press, while Stursberg was notoriously single-minded when it came to the decision-making process and seemed extremely sensitive about negative press coverage.
    Stewart is as responsible as Stursberg for CBC-TV’s current prime-time schedule and if there is skepticism about her in the TV industry, it’s based on a perception that she’s more interested in lifestyle programming than drama. It is felt by some that lifestyle TV is her métier and drama is outside her comfort zone. Battle of the Blades is seen as her signature program. She has also, perhaps, fallen victim to a particular form of management hubris. Recent press releases about this or that CBC program have quoted Stewart extensively, not those involved in the creative side of the show. Alliance-Atlantis was notorious for this tactic, issuing breathless announcements in which some executive who had merely written a cheque was quoted at dreary length. None of the U.S. networks would make such announcements – they promote “the talent,” not the network bosses.
    For the coming TV season, it’s Stewart in charge, with Lacroix as the big boss. They’re rolling out a TV season that Stursberg oversaw. Viewers and advertisers will decide on what’s a hit and what isn’t. The precariousness of CBC’s value as a public broadcaster and cultural institution will depend on that “tilt upwards.” If it ever comes.

  14. […] While Fancy‘s premise isn’t original, I think the idea could sustain a series.  CBC Television has shied away from dark comedies as of late, given CBC’s shift to lighter dramas and reality shows. […]

  15. O.B. Server says:

    Another witch burned…

    In a remarkable career, defined by change, comes a change for one of our best-known leaders. Cynthia Kinch has decided to leave CBC News and start a new chapter of her life.

    Cynthia’s decision is a loss for all of us. In her more than 30 years with the organization, she has been a leader, a trailblazer and a mentor. She has set an example for all of us– seize challenge, envision possibilities and celebrate success.

    The National, Newsworld, CBC News Network, Canada Now, Mansbridge One-on-One, Meech Lake, the Gulf War, federal elections, September 11th, the death of Princess Diana are all among the projects and stories to which Cynthia contributed, and left her mark. These CBC milestones are underscored not only by her leadership but by Cynthia’s passion for journalism and her commitment to engaging Canadians.

    Most recently Cynthia tackled the massive project of rebranding, relaunching and renewing Newsworld, now called CBC’s News Network. This was a monumental task that involved a complete change to the programming schedule, significant staffing and workflow changes, new sets, and the list goes on and on. The network launched cleanly and brilliantly. There are few leaders who could have pulled this off so seamlessly. It was a great achievement.

    But one of Cynthia’s most important and lasting contributions to CBCNews and journalism generally, has been her tireless and generous commitment to mentoring. An unfailing source of praise and behind-the-scenes support, especially of young journalists, has defined Cynthia. And this legacy will live on.

    Cynthia has decided to move into a consulting role in media and the broader world of communication. We are hopeful that she will continue to include CBCNews projects on her “to do” list.

    Cynthia will continue to work with Jonathan Whitten on establishing a first alert news desk and enhancing our content units until the end of October. Her last day with us is October 29.

    Please join me in thanking Cynthia for her service and dedication.

    Jennifer McGuire
    General Manager and Editor in Chief, CBC News

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  17. Rosalyn says:

    This is a topic that is close to my heart… Cheers!
    Exactly where are your contact details though?

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