the cbc cuts came in today and it's bad news for radio. the worst hit is maritime noon - the news show is going from a 2-hour current affairs and call in program to just a call in show. the staff is falling from 7 to 2. the host, costas halavrezos, doesn't even know if he'll keep his job. i just got off the phone with him and it sounds like he might not even want to.
perhaps it's a bit like when the daily news disappeared and metro arrived - you feel like you're cheating on your old paper/radio show by working for the new one. at least at first.
costas and his staff learned of the cuts just before they went on air -and they still went out live and put on the show. i was surprised he called me back, given the chaos and confusion of the day, but it was a pleasure to talk to him. first thing out of his mouth wasn't his concern for his staff, or even himself, but for his listeners.
to quote from my metro article:
“You keep your chin up and do the show … but it’s very hard,” he said. “It’s really not about us, I’m thinking more about the service to three Maritime provinces – that’s two million Canadians. There’s no program like it in the CBC.”
The veteran journalist, who joined CBC Radio in the mid-70s, doesn’t even know if his job is secure.
“We knew the cuts were coming, but we had no idea our program would be singled out in this way,” he said.
He noted the entire CBC – radio, TV and the Internet – costs Canadians $34 a year each.
he added that that's about half of what most public broadcasters get. it's amazing the work they do, as that money is divided up between the french and english sides of the corporation, between radio, tv and the internet. 'i just don't understand the thinking,' he told me. his normally smooth voice was ragged with frustration and sorrow.
on top of the death of the daily, cuts to global and the herald, it's a bad year for maritimers. blogs like this might give you a headline view of what's happening, but individual bloggers don't have the resources to dig up stories and follow them. we won't ever know what we're missing, because there won't be reporters there to find out.