To tell you the truth, I often enjoy watching Connect with Mark Kelly. Ya, he applies his own slant to certain subjects, but the interviews are snappy and generally well done, and the news segments with Reshmi Nair and more recently Genevieve Tomney are refreshing. They always start with the grim news and finish up with something light, so that they can banter with Mark and flash their smile for the camera.
I am a little surprised that they would cut this particular show. It does not seem like a large budget show. One host, a studio, a team of researchers and some teleconferencing costs, basically; as opposed to something like Republic of Doyle (oh that Crazy Doyle .. I can't believe he stuffed that police man in the trunk again) which is a scripted on-location drama with writers, actors, the whole bit. It's no surprise that Doyle was chopped.
Part of the problem is that CBC is just too spread out. They have English TV, French TV, CBC News Network, CBC Radio 1, CBC Radio 2, CBC French radio, etc ... I think what CBC does best is news and investigative stuff. Maybe they need to consolidate to 2 radio staions (English & French) and 2 TV stations and focus on that.
I can relate to Mark Kelly. I lost my job too, quite recently. Unlike Mark, and government employees in general, I worked with an axe hanging over my head for years. Layoffs and aggressive cost cutting were a way of life at my former place of employment. Every year I saw colleagues and teammates laid off, and more often than not I would have to absorb additional work. Sometimes the cuts seemed completely unreasonable, yet despite all the layoffs we got the product out the door. The quality of the product may have suffered on occasion, but company profits kept increasing, revenue grew, and work kept getting done. My experience is that if people are forced to do more with less, they can and they will. If they can't or they won't then they will be the next ones out the door.
Which makes me wonder about CBC and all the TV shows that have been cut. The CBC execs may think that they run a lean operation and that there is no choice but to chop shows, but have they really tried to do more with less? The cuts were quite large and sudden, so maybe it was necessary. I don't know .. I don't have a good grasp of how much overhead there is at the CBC.
I will say this though: when people panic at cuts to government spending in general, saying that core services will have to be cut, I call bullshit. Most government departments at any level have not had to cut back by any significant degree for years. There is certainly capacity to do more with less. Core services need only get cut if people refuse to work more efficiently. It is a choice, not a necessity.
I lived that reality for years. When the cuts come, you think "My God, how will everything get done?" Then you begin to find things -- reports, meetings, whatever -- that aren't really critical, and you get rid of those, and you get rid of travel, and you streamline other stuff, and you end up finding a way to get the job done. Year after year we did that. Any government department can do it too.
Tuesday, 10 April 2012