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CBC staff, Media Guild unhappy about funding shortfall

CBC staffers and the Canadian Media Guild are increasingly unhappy about funding shortfalls and the Harper government's general attitude toward the Corporation.

Writing in inside the, blogger Paul McGrath reported Thursday that the CBC was planning to sell assets to cover the shortfall. McGrath's question:

"...what assets could the CBC sell to raise what’s expected to be around $200 million? Local stations don’t appear to be an option, there’s no appetite for that right now. Real Estate might have some assets, but I don’t know of any worth $200 million."

In a Friday post, McGrath reported that the freeze on executive salaries, and a cut in executive bonuses, "has not gone over well with CBC staffers."

"CBC spokesman Marco Dube explained that cutting the bonuses and freezing salaries will save the [CBC] about $1 million this year. Based on those figures, even if the bonuses were eliminated entirely the savings wouldn't likely amount to more that a couple million dollars a year, which would help, but it's a long way from addressing a revenue shortfall that stands between $150 and $200 million."

Meanwhile Lise Lareau, president of the Canadian Media Guild, was another unhappy blogger.

"Now the minister would be wise to move on to the real business of funding the CBC appropriately according to recommendations of the all-party Heritage committee of a year ago, before completely violating the arm's length relationship between the government and the public broadcaster."

A report on the Guild's website said Thursday that "The Guild is continuing discussions with CBC management on impacts of the Corporation's anticipated budget shortfall for the coming fiscal year."

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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