“Official” CBC blogger Tod Maffin was granted an audience with CBC president Robert Rabinovitch. Maffin, a noted technology columnist, should know better than to publish plain-text documents as PDFs, particularly with such atrocious typography. (It’s the idea of graphic design rather than the real thing.) I produced an HTML version, at enormous effort, for review and criticism. So let’s!

Now, the key thing everybody has, they talk about an alert system. We talk about, yes, the alert tells you there’s a crisis coming. But we wanted to go a bit further: How does society communicate with the citizens when the towers have burned down, or when the power is out? […] The citizen would learn to have a battery- powered radio, or – I have one of these up in the country – a crank radio. So, at least you could talk to citizens about what’s happening.

He means at least you could talk to citizens who aren’t deaf about what’s happening. Surely Rabinovitch knows that emergency alerts were the subject of an entire CRTC process in 2005–2006.

A couple of examples from the film world: The Rocket, Maurice Richard. Bombed in French. It did fabulously well in English. It’s a great movie, it really is. But it didn’t work because it was a movie about a working-class kid who became one of the dominant nationalist figures. To me, in Montreal? Wow. I understood it. In Toronto? Didn’t work.

Did it “bomb” or did it do “fabulously well”?

Rumours was shot as two separate things. We did do one like that – oh, it’s about the biker gangs, I forget the name.

Rabinovitch is constantly forgetting “names,” like the names of the reality shows CBC had aired before he told a Commons committee that CBC doesn’t do reality TV.

Oh, and hint: The Last Chapter. It was on TV just the other week.

As the people come up, sometimes they find themselves being stymied in terms of promotion and there’s real opportunities to work somewhere else.

The president of the CBC admits that his staff feel “stymied.”

Q. One of the things with PVRs as well which struck me: it would seem promotion is going to be ever so much more important, the publicity of our programming. […] I’m programming it for programming I already know about. I’m zapping through the traditional promotions, the publicity that usually goes through.

A. Even without PVRs, that’s one of CBC Television’s single biggest problems. How do you get to the audience? How are you going to have an audience if they don’t know what you’re showing?

How are you going to have an audience when the CBC outsourced its own publicity department and has reportedly threatened independent producers who try to promote their own shows?

Q. When I was in J-school, what they taught me to do at the end of an interview was to ask an easy question. […] What are you planning to do after you leave?

A. That’s a very good question.

Q. But is it an easy or hard question?

Who the fuck cares, Tod?

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2006.11.29 13:53. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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