Suburban Bureau

CBC in Hamilton Update

CBC Radio Hamilton is one step closer to reality with the latest Heritage Standing Committee report.

By Trey Shaughnessy
Published March 24, 2008

CBC Radio Hamilton has moved one more step closer to becoming a reality. The Heritage Standing Committee released its report on the Mandate Review of the CBC.

For the first time, the Committee has recommended a specific increase in funding for CBC/Radio-Canada, from $33 per capita to $40 per capita, and that the Corporation's funding be tied to the cost of living.

The report also recommends that the Government adopt a practice already followed in other countries and establish a seven-year Memorandum of Understanding with CBC/Radio-Canada to determine what levels of service the public broadcaster should be providing and the level of resources necessary to do it.

The Committee also recommended, "Radio is the best way to ensure affordable local coverage" and said that it supports CBC/Radio-Canada's Radio Plan.

The Plan recommended the creation of 15 new local stations and production centres to improve local radio service to 8 million Canadians. Four new stations were proposed for both BC and southern Ontario, three each for Alberta and Quebec, and one for Saskatchewan.

Ted Kennedy, Head of English Programming wrote:

CBC/Radio-Canada commends the Committee for its work which we believe will provide a useful blueprint for action. We look forward to working with the Government and Canadians to establish the Memorandum of Understanding.

We are also grateful for the Committee's support for the Radio Plan and hope that the Government will commit to providing the funding necessary to establish these new stations.

The government has 150 days to respond to the Committee's report and during that time we will be active in discussion with key decision makers. We'll endeavor to keep you informed as events progress.

The Standing Committee has made many recommendations in their Report.

One of them is to increase the core funding for the CBC. Another is support for the Local Radio Plan that includes Hamilton. Presumably, if the funding is awarded to the CBC overall, then they could be funding the Local Radio Strategy from that new money.

The Report will now be discussed and debated. It is up to the government to determine what the response will be. The response is due in 150 days.

Trey lives in Williamsville NY via Hamilton. He is a Marketing Manager for Tourism and Destination Marketing in the Buffalo-Niagara Metro.

His essays have appeared in The Energy Bulletin, Post Carbon Institute, Peak Oil Survival, and Tree Hugger.

And can't wait for the day he stops hearing "on facebook".

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By OLDCOOTE (registered) | Posted March 25, 2008 at 10:57:34

I would love this to happen.

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By jason (registered) | Posted March 25, 2008 at 15:45:15

Hamilton would finally have a media outlet. nice.

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By trey (registered) | Posted March 25, 2008 at 16:59:38

the number of reporters being recommended is 12. They will operate out of a downtown office and exclusively cover Hamilton. I think this will double the amount of real reporters in the city now and def add a variety of opinions to issues.

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By jason (registered) | Posted March 25, 2008 at 17:05:21

how do you arrive at 6 reporters being the current number? Are you including some in the homebuilding industry??

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By beancounter (registered) | Posted March 26, 2008 at 21:56:04

Actually, 12 reporters seems like a rather high number for Hamilton. I regularly listen to CBC Radio One, Toronto 99.1 FM and I don't think they have that many.

I wonder if that would be a total staff of 12 people?

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By Trey (registered) | Posted March 27, 2008 at 11:05:46

I found a quote from Ted Kennedy "...the possible new station that would employ 20 staff, and include ten journalists covering Hamilton news exclusively."

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By JT (anonymous) | Posted March 28, 2008 at 16:06:12

Hey cats

There are still no frequencies on which the CBC can broadcast in Hamilton. So far as I know, no local stations intend on selling theirs.

Several months ago, the CBC was talking to CFMU about sharing airtime. They wanted to base a small staff in our offices and broadcast mornings and lunchtimes. I should point out that, even with this arrangement, there wasn't to be any real "Hamilton-centric" programming - just more Hamilton content in a wider-based program - unless the funding went through.

It looked like a good way for the Ceeb to get a foot in the Hamilton door, and to raise our own profile to boot. We'd even reached a point of discussing programming and doing a tech brief.

Sadly the whole thing stopped. Ted Kennedy called to tell us with new management positions, the amalgamation of the TV & Radio sections, and a possible federal election, that the local radio initiative had been shelved (temporarily or for good, we don't know). So Hamilton remains at the top of their list, but so far as we understand, the list is back in the drawer. As for what they have decided to do since then (I think this was Jan/Feb if I recall), I can't say. The last time I talked to Ted, this was the situation.

James @ CFMU

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By realcity (anonymous) | Posted March 28, 2008 at 22:19:49

are you sure about that Jamie?

Ted told me they would go to the AM frequency if they have to. And my correspondence with Ted was as of 3 weeks ago. He didn't say anything was different for a "Totally Hamilton" CBC Radio station as proposed. It would be local coverage in the morning and drive-home hours. Between those hours it would broadcast the national program.

Please tell me.... when did Ted tell you the local initiative would be shelved? If they get the new funding.... what would they do with it then?

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By JT (anonymous) | Posted March 29, 2008 at 19:17:31

It wouldn't surprise me if that's the case, no.

There was some desire on their part to run the nat'l signal with us, too, but we decided giving up locally produced programming in favour of a nat'l signal - that's already available on another frequency in this market -was not doing a service for Hamilton. Perhaps that killed the deal - but if that's the case, they weren't admitting it. What I wrote is exactly what we were told. When I say "shelved" I should say his exact wording was that the thing was "on hold." Perhaps the hold is off, but they're no longer interested in partnering with us. Ted sounded legitimately disappointed when he told us it was off, but who knows? I'd like 'em here no matter what form it takes.

jt

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By paddy (registered) | Posted April 03, 2008 at 12:53:40

Some seasoned Radio One listeners of my vintage will recall that the Toronto CBC signal was transmitted on 740 AM only a few years ago now. If going AM for however long was the only barrier to a 'Wholely Hamilton' presence, that's a small price indeed for the opportunity to get half a million people in on the national conversation - and upgrade the quality and quantity of our media coverage substantially!

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By culvertine (anonymous) | Posted April 25, 2008 at 13:23:34

I was at the T.N.T. talk on local media by the AGH last week,and Ted Kennedy was there. He said the CFMU deal fell apart because management changed and the new management didn't want to pursue that option when there was a chance of getting an actual radio station.

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By Rob (anonymous) | Posted April 26, 2008 at 03:43:22

Great to hear more on this.

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By trey (registered) | Posted April 26, 2008 at 11:26:38

another issue the Spectator is failing to cover. Could the fear be that a CBC station and it's reporters would shed too much light on the backroom sweetheart deals in this city?

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By highwater (registered) | Posted April 26, 2008 at 13:56:38

They're probably even more afraid of people like me who are reluctant subscribers and will cancel our subscriptions the minute CBC hits the air waves.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted February 09, 2011 at 20:47:19

http://www.raisethehammer.org/blog/762/h...

from Sept 2007

same thing different year

http://www.raisethehammer.org/blog/752/t...

All the more reason, if we want CBC is that Hamilton maintains a distinct image from the rest of the GTA sprawl. Hamilton is economo, demo, socio unique and deserves a CBC station. Imagine how much mud they could report on?

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted February 09, 2011 at 22:39:22

I agree, Newfoundlanders would automatically get higher status among the nation if the CBC was to really report on what goes on in Hammy town..
They could do a weekly comedy skit on the goings on at the RTH. Starring some of my favorite writers. Ryan, Joey & lets not forget the Graham Crawford comedy hr.

Comment edited by hammy on 2011-02-09 23:12:55

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