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Commercials back on CBC Radio?

With a shortfall in its budget of $65 million or more, CBC is sharing the general crisis of the North American media. Now it may have to go back to running commercials on CBC Radio, a policy dropped in the early 1970s.

Friends of Canadian Broadcasting are raising the alarm, with a video showing what CBC with commercials could sound like.

The advocacy group assigns much of the blame for this threat on the current president of the CBC:

Harper chose Hubert Lacroix as CBC's President. It appears that since then, Lacroix has been busy implementing Harper's agenda.

Under President Lacroix, the CBC bought American game and variety shows like Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune and The Martha Stewart Show. We believe the CBC paid inflated prices for shows that should have no place on our national broadcaster to outbid private broadcasters. This put a huge dent in CBC's budget.

Meanwhile, inside the, the corporation's official blog, reports on the latest Board of Directors' meeting and speculates that "even if CBC Radio opens the door to advertising in some form, it likely won't be enough to cover the shortfall."

Others are less worried. Lorne Gunter, writing in the March 16 National Post, says: "The only thing to do with Mother Corp is to pull down its office buildings and stations and pour salt in their foundations."

Commenters on The Shotgun, a right-wing blog, agree: "Disband the CBC now before they embarrass the country again."

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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