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CBC Fires Back at Haddock

'No conspiracies' to scuttle 'Intelligence.'

Jeff Keay 11 Dec 2007TheTyee.ca

Jeff Keay is head of Media Relations, English Communications, CBC/Radio-Canada.

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Season two poster.

[Editor's note: Last Monday The Tyee ran Murray Dobbin's interview with Chris Haddock, creator of the CBC show "Intelligence," who claimed the network was causing his program to die by not promoting it. Jeff Keay, CBC's head of media relations, sent this rebuttal.]

As I've said to several reporters who've raised the issue with us (presumably in response to Chris's attempts to negotiate through the media his relationship with the CBC):

We have not yet made a decision as to whether we'll continue with the show; when we do, Chris will be the first to know. That's precisely as it should be.

We're happy to see Chris remains a passionate supporter of his show, which we happen to think is pretty good. We're disappointed he feels he's not being adequately promoted (but at same time doubt there's a producer in the history of show business who thinks their program HAS been adequately promoted). And with all due respect to Chris, his is not the only program in our schedule that requires promotion. I can tell you that the program has received significant promotion in both its first and second seasons. It will continue to do so through its season finale;

Given that our promotional budgets (regrettably) are not infinite, we have put a plan in place that matches resources against our various programs in ways that will generate the most impact (i.e. in specific targeted markets) and that ensure that we're taking a strategically planned approach to our overall schedule. We're happy to report that it's working.

Chris suggests that his show has attracted interest internationally despite our efforts at "burying" it. Our view is quite the opposite -- as Kirstine Layfield said recently to Bill Harris of the Sun chain, we spent a lot of time and money on promotion in the first year; unfortunately, the show's viewership remained fairly low. But because we had faith in the show and we knew it had a small but loyal audience, we decided to renew for a second season. We knew this would also help the show internationally. Viewership during the second season, unfortunately again, has remained essentially unchanged.

No conspiracies here. We've been upfront and forthright with everything to do with the show and its people.

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