TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS
FOR THE CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND
TRANSCRIPTION DES AUDIENCES DU
CONSEIL DE LA RADIODIFFUSION
ET DES TÉLÉCOMMUNICATIONS CANADIENNES
SUBJECT / SUJET:
CBC LICENCE RENEWALS /
RENOUVELLEMENTS DE LICENCES DE LA SRC
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Place du Portage Place du Portage
Conference Centre Centre de conférence
Outaouais Room Salle Outaouais
Hull, Quebec Hull (Québec)
June 1, 1999 Le 1er Juin 1999
In order to meet the requirements of the Official Languages Act, transcripts of proceedings before the Commission will be bilingual as to their covers, the listing of the CRTC members and staff attending the public hearings, and the Table of Contents.
However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded verbatim transcript and, as such, is taped and transcribed in either of the official languages, depending on the language spoken by the participant at the public hearing.
Afin de rencontrer les exigences de la Loi sur les langues officielles, les procès-verbaux pour le Conseil seront bilingues en ce qui a trait à la page couverture, la liste des membres et du personnel du CRTC participant à l'audience publique ainsi que la table des matières.
Toutefois, la publication susmentionnée est un compte rendu textuel des délibérations et, en tant que tel, est enregistrée et transcrite dans l'une ou l'autre des deux langues officielles, compte tenu de la langue utilisée par le participant à l'audience publique.
Canadian Radio-television and
Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des
Transcript / Transcription
Public Hearing / Audience publique
CBC LICENCE RENEWALS /
RENOUVELLEMENTS DE LICENCES DE LA SRC
BEFORE / DEVANT:
Françoise Bertrand Chairperson of the
Commission, Chairperson /
Présidente du Conseil,
Andrée Wylie Commissioner / Conseillère
David Colville Commissioner / Conseiller
Barbara Cram Commissioner / Conseillère
James Langford Commissioner / Conseiller
Cindy Grauer Commissioner / Conseillère
Joan Pennefather Commissioner / Conseillère
ALSO PRESENT / AUSSI PRÉSENTS:
Nick Ketchum Hearing Manager /
Gérant de l'audience
Carolyn Pinsky Legal Counsel /
Alastair Stewart Conseillers juridiques
Carol Bénard Secretary / Secrétaire
HELD AT: TENUE À:
Place du Portage Place du Portage
Conference Centre Centre de conférence
Outaouais Room Salle Outaouais
Hull, Quebec Hull (Québec)
June 1, 1999 Le 1er juin 1999
- ii -
TABLE OF CONTENTS / TABLE DES MATIÈRES
Presentation by / Présentation par:
English TV Network (Cont'd) 2068
English Owned and Operated TV Applications 2269
Hull, Quebec / Hull (Québec)
--- Upon resuming on Tuesday, June 1, 1999 at 0905 /
L'audience reprend le mardi 1er juin 1999 à 0905
10315 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning, everyone. We have a new secretary. Welcome. Would you please introduce where we are at for the people who are joining us this morning?
10316 MS BÉNARD: Thank you, Madam Chair. We will continue with the question period for the English Television Network and then we will proceed to the regional television station applications.
10317 THE CHAIRPERSON: Can you begin?
10318 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Good morning all. I have a few follow-ups from yesterday and then I will go back into the main -- we were talking yesterday about program sales to and from Newsworld. There was some mention of buying of the main station for this conversation -- of the main channel -- buying programming from Newsworld. When you buy, do you buy it from Newsworld at cost or at a discount or at some other amount?
10319 MR. KLYMKIW: Commissioner Cram, we treat it like we treat any other acquisition. We negotiate with them and they are as tough as any other company in the country when we buy programs. So we come up with a price that we think is fair and fair market value.
10320 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So then, it would be a revenue stream for Newsworld. Is that the concept rather than simply a cost-recovery kind of thing?
10321 MR. KLYMKIW: It is treated as a program sale. That is correct.
10322 COMMISSIONER CRAM: What about when Newsworld acquires programming from the main channel?
10323 MR. KLYMKIW: It works differently on that side. The understanding has always been that when programs run on the main channel, then Newsworld can have another run at them. That has been the history of the relationship between Newsworld and the information program side now for 10 years.
10324 So obviously, the programming we produce on the main channel can have another window on Newsworld, but to keep cost separation, obviously, I mean, cable subscribers -- I can speak about this. I had a few years at Newsworld. Cable subscribers don't want to, in a sense, subsidize the main channel. So when they produce programs out of cable revenues, we have come to the conclusion that the best way of dealing with that is to acquire a price. So that is what we have done.
10325 MR. HARRIS: If I can just add one thing. If there are any incremental costs incurred, rights, costs or anything like that, Newsworld pays any incremental costs that their airing of the program costs.
10326 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Incremental costs as a result of running -- is it always a second run in the sense that the main channel has the first run and they will go after?
10327 MR. KLYMKIW: Sometimes, even the third run. It really depends on the program. But generally, it is the second run. Like this "fifth estate" would be the best example of that.
10328 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So that is free to them essentially, except for the incremental costs.
10329 Then when we go back to the CTF -- and I wanted to talk about the CTF and CBC's position vis-à-vis the CTF. In a lot of ways, would it be fair to say that CBC has an edge in terms of the new rules because the new rules, as least on the licensing side, appear to favour distinctly Canadian drama and isn't that what CBC is into?
10330 MS PLATT: That is definitely what we are into. I think we are in a situation where the Fund goals move everybody toward distinctly Canadian if they want to go through the Fund. So the private broadcasters are also in that business when they are accessing the Fund. So I am not sure that it gives us an edge.
10331 COMMISSIONER CRAM: M'hm. You are the pros at it though?
10332 MS PLATT: We like to think so. But as you will notice, there are others who are getting into the field who are already very strong in the field. I would mention YTV for example, in the area of youth, who are heavy users of the Fund.
10333 COMMISSIONER CRAM: M'hm. There is the other second issue that the CTF considers licence fees. Generally, your licence fees are higher because they are distinctly Canadian and the lack of marketability outside Canada. So that would be another edge, wouldn't it, in terms of the Fund?
10334 MS PLATT: One of the things that we have said is that we believe we can compete on a level playing field, and a level playing field would mean that licence fees in both the private and public sectors would probably tend to move more to an equivalency.
10335 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So they may come up to your licence fees?
10336 MS PLATT: They may come up to ours and we may move somewhat down toward theirs.
10337 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Then there is the money for -- or the extra points for regional production. That would certainly fit with what I appeared to be speaking about yesterday. Would that in some way change CBC's applications to the CTF to a more regional type of contribution?
10338 MS PLATT: Well, I think we are already quite heavily regional. We need a balance from across the country and Toronto is still the strongest production centre. So the calibration is year to year.
10339 COMMISSIONER CRAM: And this year, you are at 29 per cent, did you say, in Toronto, and the rest outside?
10340 MS PLATT: In 1998-1999, we were at 29 per cent of development out of Toronto.
10341 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Of development, okay. In your application, at paragraph 494 -- and you don't have to read it -- it talks about, in the future, of a predominance of drama from the regions and reflecting cultural and linguistic diversity. That is why I thought there would be more of a regional sort of flavour to the drama.
10342 MS PLATT: Well, we are very heavily in the regions. The question is: How high do you go? How high can you go? But we are very committed to continuing our efforts to help develop both the industrial infrastructure and also the creative bench strength in the regions.
10343 The initiative that has been brought forward to help fund some programming out of the regions, the new initiative that we mentioned yesterday, is very much an attempt to help continue our talent development, our seed money, our strengthening and connecting of the dots kind of approach to developing regional production.
10344 COMMISSIONER CRAM: When you said in that paragraph that there would be a predominance from the region, again, I ask: Does regions mean outside of Toronto in that sense?
10345 MS PLATT: That is correct.
10346 COMMISSIONER CRAM: In the application, you were referring to the CTF contributions and that it was in large part responsible to meet the expectations -- the drama expectations.
10347 In terms of the percentage of monies from the CTF and the CBC budget, has that as a ratio been relatively constant, the budget for drama and the monies from the CTF? Has that been relatively -- for example, the CTF funds have provided 20 per cent of the funding constantly over the years or has that ratio changed over the years?
10348 MS PLATT: If you are talking about the ratio between the CBC broadcast licence levels and the CTF contribution to drama...
10349 COMMISSIONER CRAM: M'hm.
10350 MS PLATT: It has fluctuated somewhat over time. When we went through our belt tightening -- our significant belt tightening, we did find that we could no longer pay the level of licence fee, for example, that we had been paying.
10351 The introduction of the Fund, as I mentioned yesterday, was a godsend in terms of being able to -- it allowed independent producers to structure their financing in such a way that they could still come up with the same bottom-line budget despite the fact that the CBC licences had had to reduce to some degree. Does that answer your question?
10352 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes. So over the years, can you give me just a general idea of what the ratio was? Is the ratio now increasing in terms of CBC's licence fee contributions?
10353 MS PLATT: It has increased because we felt that we needed to again recalibrate a bit and move up a bit because of some of the changes that had occurred within the Fund itself to ensure that there was adequate financing to ensure the quality of these productions.
10354 So it is really a question of what we can do in any given year and what is happening within the Fund. Our main objective is to make sure that adequate financing is in place to allow the independent producer to make quality work.
10355 In terms of the ratios, I would really have to go back and look at that to give you something accurate.
10356 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Do you think you could just provide to us the ratios over the years of CTF funding and --
10357 MS PLATT: And our licence fee levels?
10358 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes.
10359 MS PLATT: Yes. We could do that.
10360 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you.
10361 I see in your projected program development increases -- I have to say I find it very interesting -- 1994-1995, your development was, and I'm sure I am going to get the millions wrong, but it was 1.970 versus 946 in 1998-1999, one-half of that. Yet, you are producing double the drama with that amount of money. How has that come about?
10362 MS PLATT: Those figures tend to fluctuate within a range over time, depending on where we are in any given cycle. If we are in a cycle where we have, for example, a number of quite successful programs on the air that have just come to air in the last year or two, we need less development because to develop too heavily behind a successful schedule means essentially that you are raising expectations or spending money that you probably won't be able to make best use of in the long term.
10363 So the levels do fluctuate depending what is on the agenda at any given time. I think, as I mentioned yesterday, feature film development is now a new part of that equation.
10364 COMMISSIONER CRAM: The projected hourly cost of drama you projected to go down essentially almost to about 50 per cent of the 1996-1997 costs by the end of the licence term. How is that coming about?
10365 MS PLATT: You mean a cost -- the direct financial cost to the CBC --
10366 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Per hour.
10367 MS PLATT: -- per hour of producing drama? A lot of it has to do with our ability post belt-tightening to pay what we used to be able to pay.
10368 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So we are not talking about issues of the quality going down, we are just talking, really, about the CTF contributing and some efficiencies. Is that it?
10369 MS PLATT: I think certainly not the quality going down. If anything, the quality has gone up. Again, that has a great deal to do with the maturation of the industry and the work that we have done with the industry.
10370 I think it is important to point out, however, that the question of the access to the fund is a very critical one, and the quality issue could become an issue if our access is significantly reduced, or the type of drama programming could perhaps be forced to change.
10371 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Could the projected reduction in hourly costs also be related to the issue of independent production going to independent producers?
10372 MS PLATT: We do the great percentage of our drama currently with independent producers. We do less and less in-house drama production.
10373 We maintain some level of in-house drama production because we believe there is some drama that others simply will not do. For example, we received a letter, which I believe has gone to the Commission, from Dennis Foon, who was involved as a writer in both "Little Criminals" and "White Lies". It is a very eloquent letter in which he points out that at least he believes that nobody else would have made these movies, or if they had there was a chance that because they would have had to have foreign pre-sales in order to close their financing the actual nature of the films would have changed, and perhaps not for the better. I would be happy to table that letter if you haven't received it.
10374 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I'm pretty sure we probably have, somewhere in that building.
10375 One of the prices of Canadianization I guess is the repeats. Our numbers on that are about 29.3 per cent in 1994-1995 to 34 per cent -- 34.23 per cent, to be precise -- in 1997-1998. I take your point, Mr. Beatty, that repeats aren't necessarily repeats any more but they attract a new audience.
10376 But in terms of repeats, is there any consideration of repeating only the successful drama versus successful and unsuccessful drama?
10377 MR. KLYMKIW: First of all, in terms of repeats there are kind of two theories out there and they are both correct.
10378 One is, obviously as we tighten our belts repeats help manage the economic side of the schedule.
10379 The second, as fragmentation has hit us right between the eyes, people are watching TV in such different ways than they have had for a long time. There are waves of audience that come at different times of the day, different times of the week.
10380 If you look at one of our big specials and you look at the cost of them for one of our big series, even when we get very good audiences it is a fairly small proportion of the entire Canadian audience. So both us and American broadcasters and European broadcasters are looking at much more innovative ways of getting those programs out there more often, partly because of the cost and partly because, you know, you want to get as many Canadians watching those programs as possible.
10381 So I think the repeat strategy has two sides to it. One, I think it makes sense given the market we are in.
10382 Secondly, it obviously helps us reduce our costs.
10383 In terms of your question, we don't do it with everything. I think it has to be a judicious choice about what you repeat.
10384 "Air Farce" and "This Hour", which we do repeat, does very, very well for us, and it does well because people want to see the show but maybe on Monday night they can't, or maybe on Friday night they can't. So the repeat makes an enormous amount of sense when you have a program like that. So we judiciously decide we are going to repeat.
10385 The other thing you don't want to do, it seems to me, is have so many repeats that you skew the nature of the schedule and of the network.
10386 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I did see the New Year's "Air Force did very well, first and second time. Is that the same with the regularly scheduled "Air Farce" and "This Hour Has 22 Minutes", that the second audience is as good as the first, if not better?
10387 MR. KLYMKIW: The second audience is a little smaller, but when you look at the two audiences together you know that the show gets close to two million viewers a week. If we only ran it once it would get a million-three, a million-four. So more and more Canadians get to see it.
10388 We learned a lot of valuable lessons in unfortunate circumstances during the strike when we repeated third runs or second runs of "Air Farce" and "This Hour". They did very, very well. Audiences who hadn't seen them or couldn't see them came back to them.
10389 So we are learning a lot about that, and that has a lot to do with the kind of fragmentation and choice that we are going to have in the information age.
10390 MR. BEATTY: Commissioner, just as an indication, I think we have tabled with the Commission a list of the top 20 Canadian series on Canadian television from September until mid-February. In the case of "Air Farce" and "This Hour Has 22 Minutes", both of them, the repeats came back up into the top 22. One of them -- was it "Air Farce" or "22 Minutes" -- had the repeat in the top 10.
10391 So it is quite remarkable that with your top rated programs drawing the largest audiences you have that in one showing even you don't generate the maximum total audience. Most of the people coming the second time are not repeat customers, not people who liked it the first time and are watching it again. I think the overlap would be about 25 per cent or so.
10392 MR. KLYMKIW: It is an unduplicated audience for the most part. We are a service as much as we are anything else, and it seems to me we have to get a lot of -- we have to get our programs to as many people as possible.
10393 That is the other reason we repeat "The National" at 11 o'clock. We simply think it is a service. People ought to get as many opportunities as possible to see our key and critical programs. It makes enormous sense in the environment that we are in.
10394 COMMISSIONER CRAM: We talked yesterday about the long term expectation of 10 hours, and in between my coughing I'm not sure I heard, but do I understand that you may be thinking that 10 hours is a bit too much in prime? Is that what I heard? I didn't hear it?
10395 MR. REDEKOPP: I'm sorry, 10 hours of --
10396 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Drama. I'm sorry.
10397 MS PLATT: I think what we were concerned about is two things. One, whether we can -- what level we can sustain or move to based on, again, the CTF situation.
10398 Two, what is the best balance in a schedule at any given time depending on the external environment, depending on internally what is happening with us.
10399 So whether or not 10 hours, again, is the right level for drama is I think something that we are still kicking around and struggling with.
10400 COMMISSIONER CRAM: At the present 8.5 hours in prime I have it at about 32 per cent of prime time.
10401 MS PLATT: I think the total amount for arts and entertainment in this prime time schedule is about 40 per cent all together, close to 40 per cent. So that would sound about right, yes.
10402 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Do you agree with that, about --
10403 MR. KLYMKIW: When you look at the balance of our schedule -- and I think you have a pie chart that we have given you on this, the famous CBC pie chart.
10404 Yes, I think the balance makes enormous sense for the kind of broadcaster that we are. We roughly have 40 per cent of drama and entertainment and 40 per cent of public affairs and news and about 20 per cent of sports. That is the kind of -- I mean, we have to work within that in terms of the calibration.
10405 I think that is what Harold and Phyllis were talking about yesterday. We have to find the balance in terms of the new initiatives we have talked about and where we think we have to go in the new millennium. So we need to keep some flexibility on that. But part of that is obviously going to be driven by our resources. But that balance as we have it now we are very pleased with.
10406 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I will be getting to balance eventually.
10407 But in terms of drama, 8.5 hours as a proportion of total of the yearly prime time, is it at about 32 per cent?
10408 MR. KLYMKIW: Drama is at about 17.6 per cent of the prime time schedule in the peak year --
10409 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Over the year?
10410 MR. KLYMKIW: Yes. That is, yes, over the year.
10411 MR. HARRIS: The complication is that in this pie chart that sketch comedy is in "Variety", where actually in the CRTC categories that is our "Drama" category.
10412 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay. So the 17 per cent doesn't include the comedy?
10413 MR. HARRIS: (Off microphone).
10414 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Oh, okay.
10415 So including the comedies where would we get as a total?
10416 MR. HARRIS: Just one second.
10417 Thirty per cent, if we include the movies, the drama and the stuff that in this chart is part of "Variety" but in your coding part of "Drama". So it's about 30 per cent 1997-1998.
10418 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So then we get into independent production. I understand there was problem in the past about coding of independent production with CRTC logs. That's been dealt with?
10419 MR. HARRIS: Yes, we sent a letter. We haven't heard back so I hope it has been dealt with.
10420 The problem was largely that when we did, for example, I guess "22 Minutes" is a good example of this, that was a program that is produced in our Halifax plant, but is owned by the independent producer. And when we coded it in our coding it got done as something we did in Halifax, so, you know, it is the coding we are working out, but we had the wrong number in places for a bunch of things. And I think overall the story, not having heard back and we know how little we actually do in-house and end up owning that we are at about 60 per cent overall and in drama at about 90 per cent in independent production.
10421 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Some of the problems you mentioned in terms of independent production, one was the long-term rights.
10422 What is the value to you of the long-term rights?
10423 MR. HARRIS: Well, this has been an important debate within our organization and within the industry.
10424 It seems to me -- and I think Perrin should speak about this a bit when I'm done -- that in the age that we are entering, we as a public institution get most of our value, in fact all our value, from the programs we put on the air and the public pays for those programs. And our sense is we have to find a mediation, a middle ground between us and the independent producers.
10425 But obviously they feel that they need those rights or their rights, their intellectual capital, and we, as an institution, need to have some library rights that we can re-purpose that material, use it in different ways, rebroadcast it. And I think that that's going to be part of the discussion we had with independent producers in our trade discussions.
10426 But, as you know, the value of an institution is it's content. And we have to wrestle with a way that the content has as much value for the taxpayer and for our constituency as possible. So we are in the middle of that. I don't have a definitive answer of where we stand on that, but we recognize that we have to come to some terms on that issue. And that value is very important to us, and it's important to every other institution and company and public broadcaster that we've studied and we have talked to.
10427 MR. BEATTY: Commissioner, I don't have a great deal to add to what Slawko was saying.
10428 If you look at what's changed in terms of structure of our business in a sense over the course of the last few years, it's been that as we've found our budgets reduced substantially, the Canadian Television Fund has come in and has saved us and saved our schedule with our ability to put original programming on air.
10429 But a condition of the Fund, of course, is that this can't be used for in-house productions. So what you have seen is a major transfer, if you look at the corporate structure of the corporation of the value of intellectual property from the corporation to the independent producer.
10430 The issue for us going forward that we are discussing with the industry is that increasingly, and it comes back to Commissioner Colville's question about what is the constellation approach they are talking about -- increasingly we want to take an integrated approach toward looking at how we develop programming and how we connect it with audiences. Do we have a number of different platforms that we can use to deliver programming to Canadian audiences. And what we have to do is to work out with the industry how we can insure at the time that we commission programming that we are able to have adequate showings on the main channel on any potential specialty services we might have and also into new media, as well, and take an integrated approach.
10431 They quite legitimately say, "Look, we want to sell this to you for your showings, possibly, in the main network or a package that would include specialty services, but you will have to negotiate each of these in turn". We are at a stage of discussion -- discussing it with the industry now, we are not unique in this, other broadcasters have to do the same thing but it is a work in progress at this point.
10432 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I wanted to get into the CFTPA.
10433 You've been consulting with them, I understand, and talking with them and they refer to the BBC code. Are you in the process of drafting that or sort of trying to arrange that?
10434 MR. BEATTY: We are and I will ask colleagues to respond in that. But let me just say at the outset, we see the independent producers as our partners. They are not our opponents, they are our partners. Without them we would be dead.
10435 We could not fill our schedules. We couldn't fill it with the high-quality Canadian content that's so important to us and we couldn't supply the sort of regional diversity that we have on our schedules. What we want to do is to ensure that we work out terms on which both of us are happy. That we have confidence in the relationship, they feel that they are fairly treated by us and that we feel confident of being able to get affordable high-quality programming from them as well. It's never easy, but I think we are making important process.
10436 And either Slawko or Harold or Phyllis could fill you in on some of the discussions we've been having.
10437 MR. REDEKOPP: Commissioner Cram, you are quite correct. We've been speaking with the CFTPA and in fact their models are both the BBC and the ABC, Australia Broadcasting, in terms of trade agreements. So we have those, we are going to be meeting with the CFTPA in Banff and we hope to conclude our own terms of trade by the end of the calendar year.
10438 COMMISSIONER CRAM: And the core issue is this rights?
10439 MR. REDEKOPP: Well, that's part of it and I will let Slawko speak to it, but it has to do with the whole business of how you pitch programs and a kind of transparency that goes along with the whole business of pitching programs and designing programs and accepting programs.
10440 MR. KLYMKIW: I will talk a little about that and then Phyllis can continue.
10441 I think there is two issues or more, but two major ones. One is an issue of transparency that the way we make decisions are clear to everybody and clear to the producers and they want to make sure that there is a sense that all our judgements are in the open and that they understand them. And we are going to work toward finding something of that sort.
10442 We also want dispute mechanisms. When we have differences of opinion, how does one sort that out without taking forever and ever. Both of us feel that we have to deal with that.
10443 But I think key is that the independent producers, as Perrin has said and Phyllis before, are seminal partners in making that schedule. And so it is important for us and with partnerships, you know, you are going to have days that they don't work as well as others.
10444 So we are trying to find a way of formalizing the relationship even more than it is and finding a way of really being able to work through some of the difficult issues that face us and the industry, because we really -- the partnership is very, very key to us. And that schedule has a lot to do with the success of that partnership.
10445 MS PLATT: I think as I mentioned yesterday, it is important to understand the context of 700 submissions a year. What has happened between us and our partners is that CBC has done business with the independent sector for some time, but there has been an explosion, again, to some degree to do the CTF developments, in the number of relationships. And so I think both sides have found that we have needed to work through new ways to manage that relationship.
10446 And we, internally, have tried to become more and more client-based in terms of, for example, being very accessible at Banff and having seminars about how we operate and introducing our people to new producers. We developed a brochure that we send out to independents that has to do both with how we function and how various departments operate.
10447 We are developing an intranet site specifically for independent producers to keep them up to date on everything we are doing. But the most important development, I think, is this movement towards terms of trade agreement, because I think for both the independents and for the CBC, to have a very clear template of how we can function best together will make it clearer and much more easy for everyone to know where they stand. So we are looking forward to concluding that agreement with the CFTPA.
10448 COMMISSIONER CRAM: In the consults, in terms of independent producers, we heard some issues of the small producers being ignored by CBC. You in fact I believe referred to that yesterday, you talked about the small producers.
10449 I need some idea of how you define a small producer.
10450 MS PLATT: I think it is interesting to remember that most of the bigs were once smalls and that a lot of companies that are now very large, and public companies, began as quite small companies taking their first work to the CBC. I think of "Atlantis". I think of "Salter Street" as examples.
10451 Small can be, you know, anything from a one-production shop, i.e. someone who is making one documentary project to, in the arts and entertainment area, a company that is just getting into the drama side and has a commission for say six episodes of work which we institute to some degree to allow growth on the part of small companies so that they could take their first steps in a sort of protected environment with a lot of support from us.
10452 One of the things we found through the developments in the CTF is that we can provide a very important service to small companies on the business side because the CTF rules and regulations are fairly complex and a lot of the small companies don't have the legal or business infrastructures to make it easy for them to deal with the rules and regulations and the changes in the rules and regulations. So we have also tried to, for the small companies, provide some basic understanding of how the system works as they come into the system.
10453 So small is -- it's not a sort of absolute or distinct definition, but I hope I have given you an idea.
10454 COMMISSIONER CRAM: In terms of the total independent producers -- I think you said there were 200 or did you say 700?
10455 MS PLATT: We get 700 submissions of proposals, but there are about 300 members currently I believe of the CFTPA.
10456 COMMISSIONER CRAM: How many, in your estimation, would be small?
10457 MS PLATT: I really can't answer that. I would have to go back and try to come up with a breakdown. I don't deal with the documentary side, for example, and a lot of the small companies are on the documentary side.
10458 MR. CULBERT: Could I just speak to that?
10459 We have a very strong relationship with various sizes of companies, but the documentaries sometimes are driven by proposals, story access, so often we do deal with maybe people who literally are a one-person company. They have a great idea for a story and we think they can carry it off.
10460 On the main channel we get that on "Witness" and "Life & Times", but "Rough Cuts", which is an unusual program, has specialized in dealing with young, independent filmmakers, sometimes their very first attempt at a documentary and in many ways that has been the strength of that series.
10461 COMMISSIONER CRAM: In terms of small versus large, do you strive for some proportionality between the two at any time or is that something that you don't consider at all?
10462 MS PLATT: We definitely want to work with both large and small companies. The large companies often have expertise that is very important to us particularly in terms of the big budget productions we work on. The small companies are companies that we expect to grow into medium sized and eventually larger companies. So we have very much a system that encourages production with and the growth of the smaller companies.
10463 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So in terms of -- and again I'm looking for numbers -- is there a ratio that you look at when you do this?
10464 MS PLATT: No, there isn't a ratio. I think again it is really more a question of where do we see brilliance, where do we see quality, where do we see great ideas, and great ideas come from both small and large companies. So it can vary from year to year, but to reassure you, there is definitely an emphasis on working with the smaller and medium sized companies.
10465 COMMISSIONER CRAM: When we are talking independent production, do I understand from our discussion yesterday that there is very little consideration given at the present time to acquiring independent production on a regionally balanced basis?
10466 MS PLATT: No. There is a lot of emphasis on trying to encourage production on a regionally balanced basis, but it is not a quota system.
10467 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you.
10468 You are off the hot seat, Ms Platt. We are going to come to another topic, sports, Mr. Clark, and everybody else.
10469 The 1994 decision, 94/437, we said it may be time to reassess the amount and nature of sports programming.
10470 I understand since then the sports issue has been raised with the Standing Committee on Heritage and they recommended that you, CBC, evaluate costs and benefits of professional sports and report back. Have you ever reported back?
10471 MR. REDEKOPP: Let me check with Michael.
10472 MR. HARRIS: I will get the answer for you. I don't know the answer.
10473 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Mr. Redekopp, you said last Tuesday that 12 per cent of your programming, exclusive of specials, games and olympics, is sports and you agree with me that with specials, games and olympics is 15 per cent?
10474 MR. REDEKOPP: I believe that's correct. Let me just again check with Michael.
10475 Certainly the 12 per cent excludes specials, and that is the overall number.
10477 MR. HARRIS: Yes.
10478 MR. REDEKOPP: Yes, it is.
10479 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes.
10480 But if I look at peak, it's 21 per cent of peak in non-olympic years. Michael?
10481 MR. HARRIS: Yes.
10482 COMMISSIONER CRAM: And 25 per cent of peak in olympic years.
10483 MR. HARRIS: Yes.
10484 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you, Michael.
10485 Mr. Redekopp, you said on Tuesday that 95 per cent of the sports you have is Canadian. What is the basis of saying that?
10486 MR. REDEKOPP: I will let Alan speak specifically because he deals with it. We were saying virtually all of our sports is Canadian. We are talking about the crew, the commentators, the perspective, and yes while the games occur outside the country we consider that Canadian content.
10487 Perhaps I could ask Alan to elaborate.
10488 MR. CLARK: I think what has changed over the period of the licence -- and we accept your numbers -- while the balance is about right, what did change was that we got rid of, under the banner of "Home of the Champions", which we developed -- was to say that the CBC should really be there to celebrate major Canadian events that happen in this country. So we jettisoned a lot of material, such as U.S. golf, which was about 30 hours of simulcast programming on CBC; we had a lot of motor sport on Sunday afternoons and Saturday afternoons, we got rid of that; and we had acquired U.S. programming which we got rid of.
10489 So if you are asking "How did you maintain the balance", well, largely it came back through about 80 hours of hockey, which was double-header hockey, which was to serve the west and to serve and expose our Canadian teams. That is where we maintained the balance.
10490 But in terms of Canadian, I think it is now about 98 per cent. Even that little percentage that is left is what we call Canadianized, in other words, we just don't take an ESPN show and throw it on the air.
10491 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So what is that 2 per cent?
10492 MR. CLARK: Part of it is the late night motor sport that you see, Indy car racing, and the other is we carry a simulcast of the Breeder's Cup for four and a half hours, but we send Brian Williams and a small crew to that event and we put about 30 minutes of pure Canadian content into that four and a half hours. So even though we call it a simulcast, it is Canadian -- we think it has Canadian content.
10493 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So the basis for the fact that it is Canadian is the production crews and the journalists that go along, even if it is two American baseball teams?
10494 MR. CLARK: Well, we know Toronto lost last night, so on Saturday night we are going to have two American teams, but you will still see Ron McLean and hear Bob Cole and it's Canadian.
10495 COMMISSIONER CRAM: In your application you say at paragraph 263 that the only addition you made to sports since 1994, aside from the games and the olympics, was the NHL double header. Do you agree with that?
10496 MR. CLARK: There was, in our last baseball contract, an increase in Blue Jay baseball. But in terms of professional sport we actually, I would argue, took more out than we put in because we lost some contracts over the course of the licence period such as world junior and European figure skating, which was considered professional, and as part of our commitment to start to reduce the professional, as contracts come up I can tell you that we have not renewed our contract with the Ontario Jockey Club so there will be five horse races that will -- it used to be seven, down to five, now there will be none.
10497 We looked at something like the Montreal Grand Prix which TSN had bought the rights to. It was two hours on a Sunday afternoon and, quite frankly, we can replace that with about eight amateur sports productions representing 16 hours. So we have already started that process of getting rid of some of our additional professional sport.
10498 COMMISSIONER CRAM: If I understand it, you added the double-ender in 1995. So if I look at the prime time numbers, before 1995-96 there was 18 per cent in prime time; then I go to 1996-97, another non-olympic year, there is 21 per cent in prime time. Would that be the double header, the additional 3 per cent, in terms of programming in prime time?
10499 MR. CLARK: I would say so, and the other is as simple as whether a hockey series in the playoffs goes seven goes or ends in four.
10500 COMMISSIONER CRAM: In terms of prime time, in April and May, you are very prominent, 50-40 per cent, and all professional pretty well.
10501 MR. CLARK: That's NHL hockey.
10502 COMMISSIONER CRAM: At paragraph 264 of your application you talk about the 40-50 per cent prime time being mitigated by people being able to access Newsworld. Clearly, you agree that doesn't apply to people who pick up CBC off air?
10503 MR. REDEKOPP: That's correct, Commissioner Cram. In addition to putting "The National" at 9:00 in the eastern time zone, on Newsworld we have also tried to make arrangements with cable companies. We haven't been entirely successful. I think the Commission is aware of efforts that we are making to place both the supper hour that may be displaced in the west and "The National", if that is possible, in those smaller areas so that in fact people who aren't getting cable -- I guess if they can't get cable, they can't get cable.
10504 COMMISSIONER CRAM: That's right, they can't get it.
10505 MR. REDEKOPP: So I think that is a problem, but we are certainly trying to address displacement with a cable solution.
10506 MR. BEATTY: To assist, though, Commissioner, one of the advantages now that DBS is available, many of the people who didn't -- weren't passed by cable before simply had no option. Suddenly, with DBS, all homes not passed by cable, should people choose to acquire it, have access to DBS and would have access to Newsworld through that.
10507 MR. REDEKOPP: If I may, I think my program director has just reminded me that in fact part of the rationale for putting "The National" at 11:00 is not only to get the audience that may not get it at 10:00, but if there is the hockey game, they can certainly -- if the playoff goes into overtime can get us at eleven o'clock.
10508 But let me say one other thing, Commissioner Cram, and that is keeping all of these things in mind, we have also and this is really a tribute to Alan and his colleagues, we have been able to negotiate with the NHL an earlier start time. So that this year, for instance, the start time for the NHL playoff games during the weekday period is at seven o'clock which limits the amount of overage past "The National". So I think we have reduced the number of occasions in which we have had "The National" displaced by a considerable amount.
10509 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I would like to talk about the percentage of amateur to professional. And by numbers that I believe were given to us by yourselves, from 1990/1991 to 1998/1999, exclusive of special events, amateur sports as a percentage of total sports programming went from 28 per cent to 18 per cent.
10510 Do you agree, Michael?
10511 MR. HARRIS: Yes.
10512 COMMISSIONER CRAM: And so --
10513 MR. HARRIS: I want to agree with something.
--- Laughter / Rires
10514 COMMISSIONER CRAM: And do you agree that most of this amateur sports is aired out of prime time?
10515 MR. CLARK: Yes.
10516 COMMISSIONER CRAM: You had better put the microphone on just so we have it on record.
10517 MR. CLARK: Sorry, yes. Not all but yes, most of it is.
10518 COMMISSIONER CRAM: And according to our logs and calculations, in the non-Olympic year of 1994/1995, 11.6 amateur sport was shown on prime time. Do you agree, Michael? Not sure yet?
10519 MR. CLARK: I don't have that breakdown, but I will look --
10520 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Subject to check.
10521 In 1995/1996, an Olympic year, 17.4 per cent of prime was amateur and that would probably be Olympic?
10522 MR. CLARK: Yes.
10523 COMMISSIONER CRAM: In 1996/1997, a non-Olympic year, zero per cent amateur in prime time?
10524 MR. CLARK: Correct.
10525 COMMISSIONER CRAM: 1997/1998, Olympic, 18 per cent in prime time amateur?
10526 MR. CLARK: Yes.
10527 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Is that the trend?
10528 MR. CLARK: Well, in some cases, and I think, quite frankly, there is a sensitivity about what sports gets, you know, into prime time. And I have made the argument and, you know, as you would want me to do to fight for my area, but I will give you an example of something that is going into prime time this September and that's Spruce Meadows show jumping. I mean, Spruce Meadows is one of the unknown success stories in this country and it is one of the -- voted the second finest show jumping location in the world. And Slawko has agreed that this is an event that has a -- it is amateur, but it has a cross-over audience of high female viewership and is suitable for prime time. So we are going to try it this year.
10529 COMMISSIONER CRAM: And you mean the 1999 schedule?
10530 MR. CLARK: That will be in this September. Well, it is only -- it is a Saturday and Sunday night, or a Monday night, I'm sorry. So it is two Monday nights does not put it into the schedule in terms a streamed programming or regularly scheduled, but as a one-time.
10531 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Can I have some explanation?
10532 MR. KLYMKIW: The prime time schedule starts the first week of October.
10533 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay. So you are putting Spruce Meadows in in September twice for two hours. Have I got that?
10534 MR. KLYMKIW: That's correct. The other -- sorry. I should check with Michael.
10535 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Michael will -- I'm convinced.
10536 MR. CLARK: The other that we did announce yesterday is our documentary series and it will be 18 half hours to be scheduled in January between 7:00 and 8:00, we haven't settled on the day or whether it is 7:00 or 7:30. But that will be a prime time exposure for Canadian storytelling sports.
10537 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Amateurs?
10538 MR. CLARK: Yes, the first series is called, the working title is "The Olympians, Century of Canadian Heroes". And they are all amateurs.
10539 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So do I take it that some effort, at least, is being made to profile or showcase amateur sports on prime time? It sounds like it anyway.
10540 MR. KLYMKIW: Yes, correct.
10541 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Any hope that you would ever get to, say, 10 per cent of prime time being amateur in a non-Olympic year?
10542 MR. KLYMKIW: I don't think you would want me to program that way.
10543 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I see.
10544 MR. KLYMKIW: You know, it really has to be based on the creative content and the kind of programs and I can assure you Mr. Clark's in my office every week trying to get amateur sports, specifically with sports in the prime time schedule. So I think that that kind of creative tension about what gets on there is important. I think it produces the best schedule, the best Canadian schedule and the most watchable schedule so that we get value from it.
10545 But obviously, you know, there is a commitment both from sports and the network to try to find more and more amateur sports that can get to, you know, the biggest audience possible.
10546 COMMISSIONER CRAM: When I go to the full day, you have now added, if I understand, you said amateur sports was a Saturday afternoon?
10547 MR. CLARK: That's correct.
10548 COMMISSIONER CRAM: When I was talking before, I was talking about 28 per cent in 1990/1991 as a proportion of the total sports programming. Is that what you are trying to head back to, some sort of a one-third, one-third, one-third coverage, or sort of one-third amateur and then two-thirds professional? Is that what you are trying to head for?
10549 MR. CLARK: Well, what we -- when we were successful in acquiring the Olympics, which is clearly our biggest sports franchise in terms of what it costs, it made no sense to simply run the Olympics every two years and not expose and I hate to use the word "support", but let's say showcase the athletes who would be appearing in Sydney, Salt Lake, Athens and so forth.
10550 And quite frankly, what happened, you know, during the cuts was that amateur sport was easily exposed. Those contracts are not sought after. They were on, in many cases, one year contracts and when we were confronted with existing professional sports contracts, guess what got cut.
10551 And so what we have done, you know, in the last two years and in particular in looking ahead, was to say, as those professional sports contracts come up and ones that we would argue are marginal and I would put horse racing as one of them and motorsport as another, we have said, "In terms of the priorities of our company, they are not there anymore, but amateur is" and so we have cut there.
10552 I think it is also important to say that, you know, we haven't done this simply on the back of cutting professional sport because we are increasing by 60 hours, but we have also done it by -- just so you know -- internal cutting. And the corporate sector has stepped forward, the Royal Bank, for example, in athletics. And in the documentary series, I will look at sales, I don't think I am to tell you who it is, but we have a corporate sponsor who has stepped forward to support that project.
10553 So this is how we have accomplished it, but the balance overall is being righted back in terms of amateur, yes.
10554 COMMISSIONER CRAM: And what is the balance? What is the goal of the balance?
10555 MR. CLARK: Well, you know, let's be honest. When you look at hockey, it is almost 60 per cent of our professional sport and I don't, you know, I would certainly not argue that I want to see us get out of hockey or that I want to see us not support the Canadian Football League.
10556 So I think there's certainly realities of how far we can go. Maybe I can have more of the off-prime schedule to put amateur sport, I don't know. But as I have said to you, we are trying to get rid of those marginal professional sports or ones that are simply -- could be available somewhere else that we would move out of.
10557 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So there is no goal, there's just a general direction, is that what you are saying?
10558 MR. CLARK: Yes.
10559 COMMISSIONER CRAM: You say about sports that there is -- on Tuesday, last Tuesday, you are saying a small profit. In each professional sports property, do you make a profit in each one?
10560 MR. REDEKOPP: Perhaps I could take that.
10561 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Sure.
10562 MR. REDEKOPP: I think that what we have said is over the last licence period that the professional sports, all three properties cover their rights, the commercial revenue covers the rights, covers the production costs and makes a small contribution to overhead. I could ask for specifics on that from Michael, I guess. But in fact, that's the situation.
10563 Let me just say one other thing if I may, Commissioner Cram, then --
10564 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So each one then at least covers its own costs?
10565 MR. REDEKOPP: That's my understanding.
10566 MR. ATKINSON: I would have to look at that. I can tell you that for total sports, total professional sports, it provides a contribution to overhead. But in given years one sport may be down then up, depending on the performance of the sport in that year. But we have made an undertaking that in total, total professional sports provides a contribution to overhead.
10567 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Has there been any analysis of individuals --
10568 MR. ATKINSON: Yes, we have that analysis.
10569 COMMISSIONER CRAM: And you could provide that to us?
10570 MR. ATKINSON: I could, yes.
10571 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you.
10572 The Olympics. You say in your calculations when you were making the bid that there would be a small profit and in your application you go through the process of how you developed what you would bid for.
10573 These calculations and the concept that you would make a profit from it, was that made before or after what you journalists call the Olympic Scandal?
10574 MR. REDEKOPP: Well, I will let people who were there talk about the bidding process, but certainly when we bid for the last round, that was obviously before the so-called scandal erupted.
10575 So I don't know where you want me to take that.
10576 COMMISSIONER CRAM: And have any calculations been made now based on that?
10577 MR. REDEKOPP: Perhaps I should ask Bill Atkinson to speak to that, but I believe our projections, I think are still on track.
10578 MR. ATKINSON: Our sales are on track. I mean, that's where the potential loss would be. But our pacing on our Olympic Games for Sydney are on track, so we still are projecting a profit.
10579 COMMISSIONER CRAM: CTV said to the Heritage Standing Committee that there was $160 million paid for the next five games. That comes down to $32 million each game. Surely TSN is paying some of that?
10580 MR. REDEKOPP: That's correct, they are a part of the package.
10581 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Mr. Clark, you said yesterday that amateur sports will increase by -- the written part said "approximately" but you said "at least" 50 per cent over the next two years.
10582 MR. CLARK: I am more optimistic than the scriptwriter.
10583 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes, you were. I made very specific notes on that by the way.
10584 MR. CLARK: I hoped you would because I intend to overachieve that target, which I hope you won't hold against us in terms of the total balance of sports.
10585 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So you mean that the number of hours of amateur sports will increase by 50 per cent within the two years?
10586 MR. CLARK: Yes. It will be 45 per cent this year and we have already started to do it. We did water polo last weekend in Winnipeg and that is part of the new hours that are being added. So it is 45 per cent and what we consider -- and I know your years don't quite match our years, but let's just say, in 12 months, 45 per cent in this year and a minimum of 55 per cent next year. That is why I say at least 50 per cent over the next two years.
10587 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Then, you talked about the documentary in prime. What is going to be taken out in order to fit in the documentary?
10588 MR. KLYMKIW: Well, we haven't made that decision yet.
10589 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I see.
10590 MR. KLYMKIW: But the documentary series Alan was talking about is directly linked, I believe, to the Olympics. So we will find a spot for it. Just to reinforce what he suggested, if we are going to have banners across the country that we are the Olympic network, we have to be there from the day the Olympics end until the next one starts, and I think that is the point of all this.
10591 So we are going to find time, obviously in off prime, but we are going to find time in prime time to be able to accentuate that particular, very proud brand we have. But I don't have a date and a schedule for you today.
10592 MR. REDEKOPP: But just to clear, we did make the commitment, and Alan has also made the commitment, that while we are going to increase by 50 per cent at least, which is about 60 hours of amateur sports over the next two years, we are going to also reduce professional sports by that amount over the whole day to make sure that the total amount of sports does not increase.
10593 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I was going to ask you that, Mr. Redekopp, because you then spoke about the amount of professional sports falling by 10 per cent when the amateur sport strategy is fully implemented next season.
10594 MR. REDEKOPP: I think what I should have said is: over the next two seasons. In other words, I think that we are looking at two years to get up to the 60 conditional hours, and during that period, we are going to reduce by 10 per cent on the professional sports front.
10595 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So that 10 per cent of the hours presently broadcast in professional sports will be reduced by 10 per cent?
10596 MR. REDEKOPP: That is correct.
10597 COMMISSIONER CRAM: What about prime time?
10598 MR. REDEKOPP: I think we have limited ourselves to sports throughout the day. If I may, I think we are incredibly proud of our sports programming here. I don't know if this is the place to talk about it. If it isn't, then you will stop me.
10599 We look at sports -- and I come from somebody who isn't necessarily from the sports field -- we look at it as good programming and we look at it as good business, good programming in the sense that that is what Canadians want.
10600 The last survey I looked at in terms of what people were interested in, in television, something like 28 per cent of viewers said they are very interested in sports, and I am talking obviously about anglophones. That is higher than the number that are very interested in international news. That is not to say we are going to skew our programming but there is obviously a very strong interest in sports.
10601 Every national public broadcaster is covering sports because it is a major part of cultural life. I won't get anecdotal here because that would take all morning, but across the country, we know the kind of interest that exists for sports.
10602 The other thing I would say is we have been in sports since the beginning of television. Indeed, we have been there since "Hockey Night in Canada" started on the radio. But on television, we have been there with hockey, with the Grey Cup. It is part of Canadian tradition. It is part of the CBC tradition.
10603 Alan can go on at length to tell you about the reputation of the quality of sports programming they do around the globe. We have already talked about the fact that it is all Canadian and Slawko can talk about the fact that sports makes good sense as an audience driver and in terms of a platform for promotion. So on the programming front, we believe it is a very important part of our offering.
10604 It is also paying for itself. That is, the professional sports does, and when we lump them together, they cover the cost of rights, they cover the cost of productions. They put in place an infrastructure that allows us to do amateur sports and it frees up, if you like, the government appropriation for underrepresented parts of our program offering.
10605 It is also good business. As I said, it pays for itself. We have entered into partnership with TSN and we will probably look at expanding that over the next licence period.
10606 So I think those would be the major arguments that we would put forward, that we are proud to be in sports, that it makes good sense for the schedule overall.
10607 COMMISSIONER CRAM: You are now on the record, Mr. Redekopp.
10608 I want to now go to the performing arts. Prior to 1994, the Commission required one performance per month. In 94/437, the Commission said it was not clear that you had actually done that and talking about -- the intention was to allow Canadian viewers to see full presentations by the major performing arts. It was not the intention to include excerpts of concerts.
10609 Could we take 5 minutes?
10610 THE CHAIRPERSON: With pleasure. We will be back in 10 minutes.
--- Short recess at / Courte suspension à 1015
--- Upon resuming at / Reprise à 1030
10611 THE CHAIRPERSON: Now, we will pursue with...
10612 MS BÉNARD: Yes, Madam Chair, we will continue.
10613 LA PRÉSIDENTE: Merci.
10614 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you, Madam Chair.
10615 So we were at performing arts and the 94/437 saying it was not the intention to include excerpts of concerts or other performances during magazine-type programs but the full presentations.
10616 I then find it curious, in your application, that at paragraph 165, you say, within the narrowest of definitions, you didn't meet the expectation but you met the spirit of it. You really agree that you didn't meet the expectations?
10617 MS PLATT: We did not meet the expectation of complete or substantially complete presentation of a Canadian performing arts company's performance. I would suggest, however, that we maintained a significant arts programming -- if I could just sort of give you a bit of that history.
10618 When we decided to Canadianize and were Canadianizing in the midst of budget cuts, the emphasis on protecting and building the prime time schedule was very intense, and since we were doing well and pretty well in comedy already, the first significant emphasis went to drama in order to build a schedule that would have a lot of strength in it. We believe we have done quite well in that area.
10619 We, at the same time, felt that we needed to change our arts programming over time, that there were issues. Frankly, because of not being able to do everything at the same time in issues of priorities, in issues of money and financing, that has taken us longer than we would have liked.
10620 However, what we decided to do was maintain the existing commitment and try to move toward a change that would both address the more specific definition of the Commission. We have gone toward a series of specials we call "Something Special" now and stood down the "Adrienne Clarkson" program. But Adrienne's program was on the air for, I think, eight seasons and really provided almost a weekly special on the arts for Canadians, which was something, I think, that not only no one else would do in Canada but probably most parts of the world.
10621 So we were able to do that despite everything, at the same time, trying to move towards something new. What we have engaged in is a consultation with key people in the arts industries. We have done the first leg of that consultation and it has included dance and theatre, music, and we are going to broaden that out across the country.
10622 What we are hearing through this consultation is that a lot of the key people involved in the arts are not necessarily convinced that the full performance model is the model that will be best for their communities, that they are looking to find a way to suit their expression to our medium, in a sense, so that the Canadian public will attach itself more to the arts and therefore, everyone would hope, be more connected to both live performance in the theatres and in the dance halls but also coming to arts on television in larger and larger numbers.
10623 So we are hoping that that ongoing consultation, which will involve setting up a permanent arts council that will advise the CBC, will take us to the place we need to get to to be most supportive of the community as a whole.
10624 One of the other things that we are looking at as part of that overall strategy is something that has been successful in the Halifax area. It is called "Arts Spots". They are small vignettes that feature artists that can be dropped in throughout the day's programming.
10625 It is something that BBC has done very successfully and it is something that was mentioned to us by one of the key people we talked to as something that he felt could bring audiences who aren't necessarily familiar with the performing arts to those arts through drop-ins in everything from "DaVinci" to "Hockey Night in Canada". So that is what we have done and where we are hoping to move.
10626 MR. REDEKOPP: Commissioner Cram, could I just also add to that, that in fact in the final year of the licence term we did have 12 complete performances.
10627 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes.
10628 MR. REDEKOPP: As you know, we have committed to doubling that in the next two years.
10629 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I was going to get to that. I wanted to though -- I am intrigued by this leg one of the consultation and ending up at a performing arts council. So this is sort of a plan you have developed, that you are going to sort of proceed with. When will the performing arts council sort of come into existence?
10630 MS PLATT: As I said, we have completed the first leg of the consultations. They are primarily Toronto- and Montreal-based and we want to move across the country to make sure we are representative of the regions.
10631 COMMISSIONER CRAM: That is a good idea.
10632 MS PLATT: So we believe that we can complete that next leg by the end of the calendar year, at which time we would like to draw from the consultation a group of people that we feel is representative of not only the regions but also the various disciplines within the arts and it would be a standing advisory council to the CBC.
10633 In addition to that, we are hoping to talk to our colleagues in radio and in news and current affairs. One of the things that was mentioned was that arts groups would love to have a slightly higher representation in the news and current affairs area.
10634 As you know, "Life and Times" has done a number of specials on artists in this country. That is being cheered. I think what we are trying to do is take a coordinated approach to arts programming across the board in order to strengthen it quite significantly, we hope.
10635 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So this advisory council, you would expect, would be set up by, say, February or March of next year?
10636 MS PLATT: I think that is a realistic expectation. I hope so.
10637 MR. CULBERT: Could I just mention, on the news and current affairs front, one of the core values we put into the new redesigned supper hours was arts regular spots and a number of the programs have daily sections for regional local arts and artists. It has been, I think, one of the success stories of the new supper hours.
10638 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I have one concern and it is a small one, and I probably shouldn't even raise it, but in terms of the three performances that you had in 1994, you included 22 short films about Glen Gould. That is a full performance?
10639 MS PLATT: Well, it wasn't a movie, a feature film that looked at Glen Gould's life. It was definitely substantially complete presentations of pieces of Gould's work. So the entire feature was very much performance art, it wasn't -- it was Gould performing or people performing his work. It wasn't kind of a story of his life.
10640 COMMISSIONER CRAM: For the feature you say you will maintain your regular weekly arts show. Can I sort of look at 1999, and that is CBC Thursday, is it?
10641 MR. KLYMKIW: I think what you are seeing here is kind of building the foundations or laying the pipe for the future. We are going to have arts performance programming on Thursdays in the prime time, which is really pride of place in our schedule. We are going to begin again to have it on Sunday afternoons, and we are going to begin to put more of it in on Sunday nights. So you are going to see much more of that on the network.
10642 What we thought we should do is foreshadow it through the architecture of the schedule. We start building. We will let our audiences know that we are heading in that direction. We will put quality programming in there that we have now in either our library or that we are producing or that we can acquire, and over time I think there is going to be a kind of richness that is going to come from those streams.
10643 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So I thought your weekly arts show was "On The Arts" and it is gone.
10644 MR. KLYMKIW: Yes. "On The Arts" was a program we had from Newsworld and we don't have it now.
10645 But obviously our "Magazine" program has a lot of arts coverage. We are going to look at that, to be honest with you. We have been talking, again, inside for a long time about how we can have an ongoing arts presence. But what we decided to do first was create the Thursday night so that we could have this pride of place to have performance, to have arts programming that people could find on a regular basis. That is the first step.
10646 We now are going to discuss between our departments what we can do in terms of an ongoing arts and entertainment program.
10647 What we did last year, simply to have that in the schedule, was to take a second play of the Newsworld program. We have decided not to do that this year and we are putting our efforts and our financial efforts into Thursday and Sundays, which is fairly ambitious.
10648 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So the arts show concept then would be covered in the news? Would that be the idea, that it is now in what you were referring to, Mr. Culbert?
10649 MR. CULBERT: No. I was referring to the supper hours, and say we designed deliberately a section in the supper hours.
10650 But I think what Slawko is referring to, that the "Magazine" has always had a tradition of covering arts stories, both when they are news and sometimes profiles of artists, et cetera. In fact, some of the other current affairs shows, you will find arts sometimes on the "Fifth Estate", they specialize sometimes in profiles of people in the artistic community.
10651 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So what you are saying is that is covered under Thursday night, the CBC Thursday?
10652 MR. KLYMKIW: I think it will be.
10653 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
10654 MR. KLYMKIW: To be quite honest with you, this was a conscious decision. We took "On The Arts" off so that the money we put "On The Arts" we could put towards Thursday nights and Sundays.
10655 We just can't do everything. But our view was that we needed to have both the architecture and the place -- pride of place to do performance on CBC television, to continue to do the kinds of things Adrienne I think has been doing, and our arts and entertainment department has been doing for years and years, but finding a regular place for it and build a format that is going to tell our audiences "Look, this is what the CBC does".
10656 So that is why we did that. But we took "On The Arts" off because, frankly, we had to redirect those dollars into that slot.
10657 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Is this new weekly space going to be full performances or, as you call it, performances as a key component?
10658 MS PLATT: There are full performances within that strand, significant performances. The total number will undoubtedly include some of the substantially complete presentations that are mentioned by the Commission.
10659 There will also be some full performance that has no interruption, if I can put it that way. Although "interruption" is probably not a very good word, because one of the things that I think the community has also felt is that putting the arts into context for an audience is quite important and that if you do a mix of some interviewing, for example, and performance, that it gives the audience a better sense of who the artist is and how he or she approaches the discipline.
10660 MR. REDEKOPP: Can I give an example of this, Commissioner Cram?
10661 I think when we recently put on Ben Heppner, he obviously sang complete arias, he didn't sing the whole part of Lowengren(ph). But I think that does more, that is the profile that we did on Ben Heppner, does more to bring people to opera, to the world of opera, to Canadian singers than in fact just putting on Lowengren, which is not to say that we won't put on full performances.
10662 I think what we are wrestling with here is: What is the appropriate place to build audience for performance on television. That is really the intent of the strategy that is going to double the number of performances over the next two years.
10663 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Do you have any proportion when you talk about full performances versus a performance as a key component in this Thursday program, any proportion between the two that you are looking at?
10664 MS PLATT: I think because we are still engaged in the consultation we are not yet to conclusions as to what will work best for both audiences and the artist community as a whole, so there is no set proportion at this time.
10665 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Then we are talking about the number of performances, and, as Mr. Redekopp has said a couple of times, you are doubling them. Are these going to be originals, original performances, or second run, third run?
10666 MS PLATT: No, these would be original performances.
10667 We are also, however, I think going to look at performance from Saccate Radio-Canada, for example, that we can play in a first run in English Canada. We will be looking at partnerships with Bravo!. We are already partnering with them on several projects.
10668 Anything we can do to try to find the levels of funding to bring original performance to English Canadian audiences.
10669 COMMISSIONER CRAM: These performances, the 24 in total, would, say, at least one half of them be in prime time?
10670 MR. KLYMKIW: It's hard to tell, but I think quite a few of them will be. For instance, this year on the Thursday -- and we haven't quite finished how we are going to schedule that -- but Pinky Zuckerman at the NAC is going to be in there, "Bickers Chancey", which is a two hour broadcast of the performance "Notre-Dame de Paris" is going to be in there, and then there is going to be "Frame by Frame" which is a documentary about one of the great film designers in this country. So it is going to be a mix of those things, but there is going to be performance in there.
10671 We also want people to see things that have been on the network already, "Long Days Journey Into The Night" and "Karen King" are two terrific performances that were seen once.
10672 So it is an opportunity for us to go back to stuff that we have had on the air, but again, as I said, in a fragmented world people get to see once or twice. We have much of that that we would like to get in there. We simply want to make a big deal about it every Thursday night and put the best material in we can, which says CBC is in this business again.
10673 MR. BEATTY: It is also, Commissioner, a useful form of counter programming on Thursday night too, offering something that sets us out from what everybody else is offering.
10674 COMMISSIONER CRAM: You talked about it also today, Ms Platt, the issue of audience tastes changing, or what is the word, appetite for arts or the nature of their appetite for arts and this concept of using television as a unique performance medium. The basis for your saying that is with these groups that you have -- leg one of your consultation. Is that why this is your belief?
10675 MS PLATT: Yes, that has a great deal to do with it, and that is everything from theatre to dance to visual arts to music.
10676 Consistently we are hearing that the people engaged in those disciplines believe that the medium and the artistic message need to wed better perhaps than they have in the past and that there are a variety of ways of doing that, but that perhaps the traditional approach of earlier years of taking cameras and shooting a stage really creates quite a distancing and doesn't attach the audience to the work in the same way as some kind of other restaging or a different approach to coverage of the arts.
10677 COMMISSIONER CRAM: It doesn't necessarily mean less time in terms of coverage of the arts, the issue is, I guess, the immediacy of the medium?
10678 MS PLATT: That has a great deal to do with it.
10679 I think that if you are, for example, sitting in an audience and watching an opera in a hall, there is a very different feeling than if you are not surrounded by an audience and sitting in your living room and watching a production that is essentially the stage having been shot of a major production. There isn't the intimacy that television as a medium has mastered. I think that audiences who are used to that intimacy find that problematic.
10680 THE CHAIRPERSON: To rest your throat, maybe there are a few questions on areas that you have already covered that other Commissioners could pursue, if you allow.
10681 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you.
10682 I have had that cough. Let it go. I think at another hearing I had to dash as well.
10683 On the arts programming, then, I could continue a little bit on that just to get a sense of your vision for arts programming.
10684 Commissioner Cram used the term "coverage of the arts", which is one area, but I think, Ms Platt, you were getting into another whole aspect of this which are production values and the nature of how to present performance, which is a whole other level, perhaps we could say, of commitment to the presentation of art and artists on our television screens.
10685 I'm wondering how that translates when it comes to discussion of hours, when it comes to a discussion of investment. When we see percentages of hours on the screen or numbers of shows we don't get a sense of what your vision is on arts programming to the extent where, for example, you would be investing in the creation of original works if, for example, it isn't sufficient to present an opera with a camera but rather to enter into the creation of that work. One would expect then a slightly different vision, a larger investment, a greater presence on the screen in the final analysis for arts programming. Are you thinking in those directions?
10686 I'm having trouble getting a sense of the vision behind the numbers, the commitment to coverage, but the commitment to the actual creativity of arts programming and television as part of that process.
10687 MS PLATT: If you are having trouble catching the vision it is probably partly because, as I said, we are still engaged in the process. We are anxious to complete the process before coming up with a firm vision, frankly, because we are finding through these consultations that we are learning things that have surprised us and delighted us.
10688 But if you look at the various approaches to trying to bring arts to audiences in television, you can look at something like the restaging we did of "Nothing Sacred" for example, which was taking a theatre play and restaging it in our studios in a fashion that was far more intimate.
10689 You can look at something like the art spots that I mentioned earlier where you have 30-second vignettes of an artist's work that are really quite stunning. I don't know if you have had a chance to see any of them, but they are -- the imagines that they leave sort of burning in your brain are very powerful and dropping those in on a regular basis I think is feeding an audience with ideas about art and with -- one would hope generating an affection for the arts that may not be yet inherent in them.
10690 Art and television are not always an easy mix or an easy fit, and finding the best way, I think, to connect the art to the audience is something that many broadcasters have worked on and struggled with, and some more successfully than others.
10691 One of the reasons that we are working with Bravo! and we would like to work more with Bravo! is I think they are trying a number of different and new ways of putting arts to air.
10692 So we are still in process and we want to finish that consultation.
10693 But I think the idea behind it is how to make arts -- the arts on television -- audience friendly.
10694 I think Adrienne Clarkson has done a tremendous amount of work in that area as well over the years. I don't know how much of her program you have had a chance to see, but really so many of her programs were just extraordinary in terms of trying to make that connection with "Le dortoir" and the "Ante Chamber" and some wonderful complete works that were yet staged very differently for the medium.
10695 So that is what we are trying to do, we are trying to break through the distancing, and the conventionality I guess, of some of what we have done in the past to a much more connected approach to our audiences.
10696 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So that would be the distinguishing characteristic of your approach to arts programming? In other words, rather than just straightforward presentation, you were looking for something distinctive, something that is a connection, familiarization with the arts. This is the driver behind the choice/choices that you will be making?
10697 MS PLATT: That's correct.
10698 MR. REDEKOPP: Could I give a concrete example of what Adrienne Clarkson is working on and I assume it is going to appear on the Sunday night special or the Thursday night program.
10699 Alexina Louie has been commissioned by the COC to write an opera and in fact Adrienne Clarkson reminds us that television deals well with the kind of process of the arts, so she is working on "The Diary of an Opera in the Making", from the commissioning to the casting into the performance. That will be aired. We believe that will do a lot to interest viewers in the whole business of opera, new opera, and in the creative process.
10700 So that is already in the works. If I may have a wish that I will pass on to our people here after the hearing, I would like us to look at things like the PBS series with Winton Marsallas where he takes the Boston Symphony players and puts them with a young jazz group and the connection between the two types of music, that is the interpretive versus the kind of preset, and the respect that they gain for each other I think makes great television and it does a lot to promote interest in what we call the classical arts.
10701 So I think there are a variety of ways. I don't think any of us have a final blueprint. I think what you are sensing from this table is a deep commitment.
10702 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I have noticed on page 92 of your application, item 5, which is actually a listing under "Drama", it says:
"Work closely with regional stations to develop two new arts and entertainment series in each region over the course of the next licence term." (As read)
10703 It is a fairly specific commitment and it mentions arts and entertainment. In later sections of the application we include something called "light information", which I assume is not the weather but is something else.
10704 What is the arts programming you are envisioning happening in the regional stations?
10705 MR. REDEKOPP: Perhaps I can make a start on this. We are going to announce at the next panel, when we talk about regional stations, 1,000 hours of new regional programming over the licence period. Basically, what we are saying is that in each of nine regional areas we are going to have an additional hour over the licence period devoted to the non-news area, and a big chunk of that will be arts/arts-related. We will also include light information.
10706 So those are the two -- and there will be two half hour series in prime time for a total of an hour. That is what we will be talking about in the next licence or in the next panel.
10707 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I think the balance of my questions are perhaps yet to be addressed, so perhaps I could turn to my colleagues.
10708 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
10710 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: I'm going to get branded as being totally anti-sports I'm sure by the media and the public as a result of this hearing.
10711 I hate to belabour this issue, but I would like to get a little bit better understanding. Let me preface my questions by just making this comment and responding to Mr. Redekoff, and I guess, Mr. Beatty, your comments earlier.
10712 The Commission understands that the CBC does an excellent job in producing sports and has a great reputation in its handling of professional and indeed amateur sports. I don't think there has been a suggestion that the CBC should get out of sports. It is a question of balance I think, and that is all of the questioning on it.
10713 Unfortunately, I think part of what happens with some of our questioning is the media picks up on this, whether it is sports or advertising or whatever, and it gets characterized as either we are championing the private sector or we want you totally out of whatever area we are questioning on. That is certainly not the case here with sports.
10714 MR. REDEKOPP: Commissioner Colville, we sympathize entirely. We get misrepresented all the time.
--- Laughter / Rires
10715 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Well, it is something we are used to.
10716 MR. BEATTY: And what is worse, we are the media.
10717 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Yes. Yes.
10718 I guess if I can pick up on a couple of comments that I heard hear this morning.
10719 Mr. Klymkiw, you mentioned in your comments, and I think I got the quote just about right:
"Mr. Clark is in my office every week looking for more sports, and in particular amateur sports in prime time."
10720 I guess what we are trying to understand is how you arrive at that balance. If Mr. Clark is in and Ms Platt is in and others are in, how do you arrive at -- what is the appropriate balance to deal with here in terms of putting, say, professional sports on as opposed to arts programming?
10721 I guess historically the Commission had a bit of a concern that the balance seemed to be shifting more towards sports, and in particular professional sports, and in particular in prime time. I guess we are trying to get a better sense of how those decisions are made and how one might approach this in terms of shifting that balance back a bit.
10722 So let me ask a general question first. I asked this when we were starting this process a week ago.
10723 It would appear that there is quite a different philosophy between the English network and the French network when it comes to dealing with this issue. The French network in particular, it would appear, not just because of the suggestion from the Commission in the last licence renewal but because of its own look at the programming and the audience, made a conscious decision to say, "We are going to back off. We are still going to do it. We do a good job in it, but we are going to play down this area because we think there are other areas that are perhaps more important."
10724 I don't get a sense of where you draw this distinction between the French network and the English network in arriving at this balance between saying, "Okay. In fact, we are doing more professional sports or have over the past licence term at least."
10725 MR. BEATTY: Perhaps I could, Commissioner, start, just before asking colleagues to comment because you raise a corporate issue of what is the balance between French and English.
10726 The approach we have taken is that that is spelled out in the Act that says in doing our programming we should recognize the fact that there are different needs or different interests in the francophone and the anglophone markets. In both cases, what we try to do is to present a balanced schedule, one which allows us to meet various elements of our mandate, the various items that are enumerated in the Act as being important for the corporation to be dealing with, but setting it in the context of the market itself: What is the interest of the people to whom we are trying to speak?
10727 The simple fact is, what we find in the francophone market is that there is a lower degree of interest in seeing sports on our French television than there is in the anglophone market, so that --
10728 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: And how did you arrive at that conclusion?
10729 MR. BEATTY: Just simply from experience in dealing with the market. Our programmers find that what really drives the audiences on the French side tends to be the Canadian dramas that we have on on the French side.
10730 You tend to find that on the English side that sports is something that really connects with audiences.
10731 Then within that what we would do is try to strike a balance to ensure that it is indeed a balanced schedule, that there is a broad variety of programming that we have on, and it's a work-in-progress. There is no arbitrary figure that one sets that X-percentage is and should be for all time either in French or in English, the amount of airtime they devote to sports or to drama or a comedy or to any other genre.
10732 In looking at it on the English side, and I will ask my colleagues to comment momentarily, what you are seeing taking place is precisely what you were talking about earlier. I fully accept the point that you make that you are not just simply saying sweep away all sports, get out of it. We do it well. We are proud of it. We believe it is an important part of our mandate and we believe it is something that audiences are looking for, but there is always this question of balance.
10733 One of the things that you are seeing happening now is a rebalancing with the amount of professional sports coming down and with the amount of amateur sports going up.
10734 On a regular basis, Slawko was charged with the responsibility of looking beyond that and saying, okay, between genres, between news and current affairs, between drama, sports, how do you strike this balance, keeping in mind what else is out there in terms of offerings to the public, the mandates spelled out under the Act, and expectations that the CRTC may have, our sense as to what our mandate and the appropriate mix this season would be in our schedule. Slawko could certainly give you I think a very straightforward sense as a programmer of how difficult that sort of a choice is.
10735 MR. REDEKOPP: Just before he gets to the balance, let me just give you some figures from CBC Audience Research, and that speaks to exactly your question about interest in sports and viewing in sports.
10736 Our audience research people tell us that, as I said before, about 28 per cent of anglophones say they are very interested in sports, which is higher than the number that are interested in international news, and that is considerably higher than the same number of francophones who are very interested in sports. So that is on the interest side.
10737 On the viewing side, viewing to sports on all English television is about twice what viewing to sports on all French television stations is in this country.
10738 So both in terms of interest and actually in terms of behaviour there is a marked difference in terms of an appetite for sports on television.
10739 MR. BEATTY: Commissioner, even within sports what you will find is the difference between the markets in terms of the interest that there is in specific sports. I think you will find on the French side that there is a stronger interest in motor sports at this point than there is on the English side, not surprisingly because of the Villeneuve family. So what you want to do is to program to the interests of your audience there, even within the whole broad genre of sports.
10740 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: But notwithstanding that, you have decided to, more or less, get out of motor sports. I happen to be interested in motor sports myself --
--- Laughter / Rires
10741 MR. REDEKOPP: I will get it back. We can get it back if you like.
10742 MR. BEATTY: We are reconsidering that decision right at this moment.
--- Laughter / Rires
10743 MR. KLYMKIW: I am going to walk you through specifically why we made the three decisions about sports, but before I do that, you all know in the last several years we made some tough decisions and we are all very proud of them.
10744 During cuts we decided we needed to do several things. One is to consolidate our information service so that our strong information service continued; that we create and put on air strong Canadian drama, more strong Canadian drama, which we have; that we maintain our movies and mini series, which I think are a credible part of our legacy; and we had to do that within -- and then we wanted to make sure that that reflected, over the years, that schedule so that schedule would go out there and win the hearts and minds of Canadians so more Canadians would watch Canadian television.
10745 That is what we did. That was our approach. We will see if you agree with it or not, but that was our approach and we agree with it.
10746 I think we have gotten to a point now where we have stabilized the share -- oh, by the way, to do that -- I guess it is a big point -- we needed to maintain a resource base. When we ran hockey and it fills air time and it pays for itself, and we run baseball, run CFL, it helps us do those other things, and we made that decision.
10747 We have gotten to the point now where we recognize we have a variety of things we need to do, and you know them all: youth, feature films, regions, arts performance. We recognize there is limited shelf space and we recognize that we have to come to certain terms about that. I guess that is our job, to come to that balance, create a balanced schedule to do that, and I think Alan has talked about the beginning of certain reductions we are going to make to do that.
10748 In the case of the sports properties, I will tell you why we decided to do baseball. We decided to do baseball because what we found in the summer, as the world fragmented and fragmented, was that if you didn't have fresh material in the summertime people would not watch you. We also recognized that it would pay for itself. So instead of investing a lot of money in the summertime, we went to baseball so that we could put most of our emphasis in the fall and in the spring. We had that debate for six months.
10749 We did CFL because there was enormous, again, pressure and debate in our own organization about: Should we support the CFL; should that particular institution be on our network? We came to the conclusion it should.
10750 We decided to do double-header hockey because it's Saturday night at 10:00, it, as Alan I think argued earlier, spoke to audience and needs in western Canada. We have a lot of hockey fans, younger hockey fans.
10751 So we did all of that. We did all of that so that we could do the other things that we have talked to you about. That is how we came to those decisions.
10752 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: On the double-header hockey, if your prime concern was serving a western audience, why would you use up all of the evening for hockey for the entire country with a double-header rather than run a game in the east and then a separate game for the west, instead of using up the whole --
10753 MR. KLYMKIW: It goes back to my point again that by running double-header hockey, you know, it was a smart business and it was smart programming, and it allowed us not to have to put more programming on Saturday night. It actually created programming that worked on Saturday night to allow us to do the Sunday nights that have been so successful, to allow us to "Da Vinci's Inquest", to allow us to keep the strongest information and news organization strong and vibrant. I mean, those are the trade offs and that is why we made those decisions.
10754 I must say, to go ahead we recognize we have to recalibrate again, a word I'm sure you are going to hear a few more times today. We recognize that as the world changes around us, as services change around us, as demands change around us, we have to, as a fluid organization, continually take those into consideration and create the balance that makes sense. That is the process we are in the midst of doing.
10755 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: During a discussion with Commissioner Cram, you indicated that -- I'm sorry, I missed your name, the gentleman behind Mr. Klymkiw.
10756 MR. ATKINSON: Atkinson.
10757 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Atkinson -- that some of these sports, on the whole, makes a profit, which implies to me at least that some doesn't, some of the professional sports doesn't. I guess you have agreed that you would file that information with the Commission in terms of the analysis of that information.
10758 Given that, that some of the sports doesn't make money, then the profitable sports is actually subsidizing some of the losing sports, which actually, then, if you weren't having losing sports, you would have even more profit on the remaining sports which could be supporting some of this other activity here.
10759 What sort of analysis do you bring to that sort of thing in deciding why we would continue to carry some of the sports which in fact isn't making money?
10760 MR. BEATTY: If I might start with that, Commissioner, and then my colleagues might want to comment.
10761 Taken as a whole, sports is our single least-expensive programming that we put on air. Whether we are dealing with news, with arts programming certainly, drama and so on, all of that draws very heavily on the parliamentary appropriation.
10762 I guess what we are saying is that if you look at the time on the schedule that is allocated to professional sports, we do not have to draw upon the parliamentary appropriation for that. If we were to drop any sports property that isn't turning a profit in and of itself, we would have to replace that.
10763 We could either replace it with profitable sports activity, in which case the net profit would go up if such properties were available, or we could replace it with other programming which draws upon the parliamentary appropriation and generates less revenue than the sports it would be replacing.
10764 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: But didn't we make that statement, Mr. Beatty?
10765 MR. BEATTY: I'm sorry.
10766 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: You were surprised about how when you dropped the American programming and replaced it with Canadian programming, and I take it that was not all just replaced with sports, that in fact the audiences stayed there and the advertising revenue came along with them.
10767 I don't understand why we wouldn't take this similar approach and say: Well, some of the sports are losing money. Let's have the confidence that we could drop the losing sports and replace them with some of the programming that we have here and hopefully get the same kind of surprise that we had when we dropped the American programming.
10768 MR. BEATTY: First of all, as it relates to the Canadianization of the schedule, there was indeed some reduction of revenues as a result of Canadianization, but the reduction was not as great as we anticipated it was going to be when we Canadianized and we were very pleased with that. It was a risk we were prepared to take in the public interest because we felt it was appropriate to do so.
10769 Further, as we continue to re-examine sports properties and look at the balance within the schedule on a measured and reasoned basis we will be taking that sort of a risk. We do know to date though precisely what revenues we get both from sports properties and from non-sports properties. We certainly do have a pretty good idea.
10770 If you were to replace professional sports properties, which may be close to break even but may not have actually made it there, with normal drama or news and current affairs programming, we can project fairly easily what the impact would be on our revenues and we will certainly share any figures with you that we can on that.
10771 What I don't want to leave you with, Commissioner, is the impression that we have a fixed and inflexible view toward the role of sports on our schedules. It is a balance which we are constantly adjusting. It is an area where we are prepared to and where we do take risks. It is an area where we are constantly saying to ourselves: In terms of our mandate, what is the appropriate balance to try to strike?
10772 As Slawko was trying to indicate, what we are trying to do, looking first to our mandate, looking at the desires of our audiences within the resources available to us, is to build the strongest, most varied, most mandate-driven television schedule possible, one that is proudly, assertively Canadian in everything that we do and one which takes risks that nobody else will take and one that adds value to the whole of the system.
10773 We see ourselves -- and it's an issue which inevitably will be raised, either at this session or in a different one -- we see ourselves as adding value to the system, often by taking risks and doing things that nobody else will do and we are quite prepared certainly to continue to do that.
10774 We don't consider -- we are proud of our sports. We believe it adds enormously to our schedule, but it is not a case that what we do is cast in stone and that we will never make changes to the balance that is there. What Mr. Redekopp is signalling is that this is an issue that is constantly under review.
10775 I would make just one other broad comment, if I could, and I apologize for going on so long. Let me pull back and talk about the English network as a whole from my corporate perspective: that is that you are seeing a network in transition in an environment that is exceptionally fast-changing.
10776 We have taken the first step, one we are very proud of, and that is to Canadianize English Television. We are the only broadcaster in Canada that has made that commitment to Canadianization and we are proud of it, but Canadianization in and of itself is not enough. It is only the first step.
10777 Within that, we intend to further sharpen the differences between us and other broadcasters to ensure that there is a distinctive public broadcasting personality that English Television offers. It makes good sense from the point of view of our mandate because that is why we exist: to add something of value to the system.
10778 But I believe as well, Commissioner, that it makes good business sense as well. On the first day, you and I had a discussion about constellations. We had a discussion about new media. We may disagree about the speed or even whether eventually we will be finding streaming video of broadcasting quality, causing an explosion of new choices out there.
10779 I mentioned to you the first day the study that was done by News Corp that was printed in "Business Week" a year ago that extrapolated up to 2010 and said that, at that point, Americans would have 1,000 different choices for any minute they were watching TV.
10780 Let's assume for a second that Rupert Murdoch is a very stupid businessman and he got it wrong, that he was 70 per cent wrong, and that by 2010, there are only 300 choices out there instead of 1,000 for any minute of programming that broadcasters are doing.
10781 All I know is that we will never know less competition than we do today and that as a business person, it makes sense to me that the way in which you can stand out in that is by offering something that is unique and that makes you stand out from the rest of the pack. If everybody else is doing reruns of "Mad About You", they are going to split that market that is interested in that.
10782 Where the public broadcaster can offer something is with an all-Canadian schedule and one that increasingly sharpens its personality and stands out from the rest of the pack, even with Canadian programming. That is the direction in which Mr. Redekopp is taking the English network. It won't happen overnight. It is a work-in-progress.
10783 We will make mistakes, but we are going to move inexorably in the direction of offering a proudly Canadian schedule that stands out from what anybody else is offering in the system and all of the elements within our schedule are elements that are building blocks really to allow us to do that.
10784 I'm sorry -- I apologize for going on with this long narration but I think it is important perhaps just to pull back and say: Where are you taking the network? What will it look like five or 10 years from now and how will you be able to offer something that is unique to the system when there is all that explosion of choices taking place?
10785 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: That is quite all right. I would agree with you and I would even go perhaps a little farther and suggest that even if there are no more channels than there are today, but that I could use the Internet to access even the existing channels and I can go right to ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and get my American programming, then if I am going to be a successful Canadian broadcaster, whether I am a public one or a private one, I had better figure out a way to differentiate myself because I won't be able to depend on that American programming even if the total number of offerings is static.
10786 MR. BEATTY: Exactly.
10787 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Let's pick up on your last point then: What are we going to look like in the next five to 10 years, let's say seven years, being the maximum licence term by law we are allowed to award and let's go back to sports.
10788 In Mr. Redekopp's comments in your opening of this English network session at page 14 of your written text -- and I will just read it here:
"We are committed, at a minimum, to not increase the overall proportion of sports on our schedule in the coming licence term. We will carefully review each of our major professional sports contracts as they come up for renewal in the next several years. We will seek reductions, where appropriate, in the total amount of air time we devote to professional sport -- particularly during prime time. In fact, that process has already begun."
10789 So if we are looking forward not five to 10 years, I guess it is five to 10, but let's say seven, and given that direction -- and I am picking up and stress the words you used here "minimum" -- so I take it that we are looking at something beyond the minimum so that we are looking at "the minimum was not to increase". So if I go beyond that, that implies to me at least a decrease.
10790 We talked about this review in contracts that will come up for review during the licence term.
"We will... review each... major professional... contracts as they come up for renewal in the next several years. We will seek reductions, where appropriate, in the total amount of air time we devote to professional sport, particularly during prime time."
10791 So given those statements and the direction you are looking at in terms of what the Corporation would want to move to, what can we expect over the next licence term then? If we were sitting here for your next licence renewal and reviewing what happened over the last, I guess it would be probably six years, what would we see? What would we be looking at? What would we be reviewing in terms of what CBC did in professional sports?
10792 MR. REDEKOPP: Commissioner Colville, I don't think we can be any more specific than what I said in my opening statement, simply because we don't know what the assumptions will be, what other expectations the Commission may have for us.
10793 I would say that following the Tuesday appearance before the Commission, we have done some preliminary work and I just want to say that when you look at replacing high-audience, high-revenue professional sports with similar programming that will attract similar audiences, as I say, our preliminary analysis shows a net cost to us.
10794 So there is obviously more work that has to be done. We are obviously anxious to know exactly what the full list of expectations might be and I think we would have to come back to the Commission at that point.
10795 We are trying to forecast as best as we can, in an uncertain world, in a fragmenting world, where the funding isn't secure, where we are not sure what happens to government appropriation. When we are looking increasingly at commercial revenue as a relatively stable source of funding, I think we want to make all of those calculations carefully and come back to the Commission and say: We have a better idea of what we are talking about in terms of appropriate reduction.
10796 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: But are you -- let's just assume the Commission wasn't here. You were just operating this Corporation under the mandate of the Broadcasting Act that you have. I take it from these words that these words weren't here just to satisfy us, that you have some plans to deal with this issue on your own account.
10797 I take it that this means that you have some plan to reduce the dependence on professional sports during prime time over this next period of seven years?
10798 MR. REDEKOPP: I am going to go to the word that Slawko used and that is "recalibration". I think when we talk about what we are going to do for underrepresented categories, obviously that is part of the recalibration. There are only so many hours in prime. That is a consideration. The whole issue of rights is going to come up when the contracts come due.
10799 So we are committed to a balanced service that has wide interest programming, that attracts significant numbers to the schedule. Beyond that, at this point in time, it is very difficult to be more precise. Perhaps I can ask someone else on the panel to speak to it, but that is the situation we are at, at the moment.
10800 These are all the variables that we are going to have to look at. We are going to have to calculate revenue implications. We are going to have to make sure that the programming that we replace in any kind of recalibration also includes significant audiences.
10801 I think that what we want to avoid, in any event, is to be marginalized and to be, as you call it, a picturesque side road. So that is the exercise that we are going to go through in the next week or so.
10802 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: I don't understand though -- I mean, I take your comments -- I don't understand how you think we should deal with this in terms of issuing a licence then for the next seven years when it comes to dealing with these kinds of issues and where the Corporation is going to go and how we are expected to treat this whole business, whether it is performing arts or sports or whatever.
10803 MR. REDEKOPP: I think in each case, Commissioner Colville, we have tried to put down what we call minimum expectations, in other words, taking into account a sort of uncertain future. We are saying in every area what the minimum will be.
10804 We have said that about professional sports. We have said that about the performing arts. We are saying that about youth and children and I think that would be the most prudent way to proceed, which is to say: Given a range of assumptions that may be conservative, here is a minimum and you know the CBC's record.
10805 English Television's record is always to strive to exceed beyond those minimums but there is a minimum that we will commit to. That is really, I think, our approach throughout this whole hearing.
10806 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: You said that you might have a better handle on this, whether it is sports or some of this other programming, in another couple of years, and then you might want to come back to the Commission. How would you propose to deal with that sort of thing?
10807 MR. REDEKOPP: Well, we would always come back to the Commission if we are talking about a significant change in our licence. So if it were significant, we would certainly come to the Commission. We are hoping that we can come to some kind of an agreement that respects minimums and allows us to overachieve wherever possible so we won't have to cut back in a couple of years. But if that need arose, we would definitely come back to the Commission.
10808 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Of course, I guess overachieving in some areas may mean underachieving in others to get that balance, right?
10809 I think we will leave it at that for now.
10810 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
10811 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Thank you very much.
10812 THE CHAIRPERSON: Some other commissioners have additional questions, but I think we will complete Commissioner Cram. I want to mention for the public record that there is -- comment on dit un haut-parleur?
10813 MS BÉNARD: An audio feed in the staff room.
10814 THE CHAIRPERSON: Audio feed in the room where Commissioner Cram went to calm her coughing.
10815 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I did hear Commissioner Pennefather asking about cultural issues and Commissioner Colville.
10816 The other part -- and I am back at performances -- the other reason you talked in your application about why you haven't gone for major performances, you said, one, the whole issue of the performance medium and the audience taste changing; and the second, the fact that there are other channels that offer it.
10817 So therefore, I take from that that it is not as necessary to offer performing arts. Is that what I should take from that?
10818 MS PLATT: Certainly not that it is not as necessary to offer performing arts. I think what you are seeing us put on the record is a significantly increased commitment to the performing arts. The real question is how best to present performing arts to the public so that there is that strong connection between audiences and the artists.
10819 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I take it that you are going to sort of essentially, hopefully, come up with a strategy once your council or your advisory group has been established?
10820 MS PLATT: That's correct. We do want to complete the consultations before coming up with a firm strategy because we feel that we have not heard, particularly from the regions, and we also want to have the larger discussion with some of our other potential partners in this enterprise.
10821 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Mr. Redekopp -- and I do hate to go back to the issue of sports. You talked about it as a major part of our cultural life. Isn't performing arts just as major?
10822 MR. REDEKOPP: Absolutely. And you don't have to convince me of that.
10823 But I will tell you, when I come out of the broadcasting centre any day and see streams of traffic going to the Air Canada Centre, or streams of traffic going to the Dome, I don't see that same stream going to the Hummingbird Centre, and I go there regularly.
10824 I think what we are trying to do is provide a place in our schedule where all Canadians, including the ones who are streaming past the broadcasting centre, can come and see programming.
10825 I think what we are saying in the performing arts area is that we would like to optimize audiences for full scale performances. We are not backing away from those. But I think what we are also saying increasingly is we have to be concerned about what makes good television.
10826 Adrienne Clarkson in her advice to us is what may be more interesting and more useful is to do a diary of a creation of an opera rather than put the whole thing on without any kind of context. So I think what we are looking at is a combination of those kinds of techniques.
10827 But, yes, we do believe that arts is an important part of our program offering. You are seeing that in our schedule, and you are going to see that throughout the schedule so that it becomes an actual part of, say, "Current Affairs", an actual part of "Life and Times" so that it isn't isolated for once a week. I think that is what we really are aiming to do in our arts strategy.
10828 MS PLATT: Could I just add that building on our experience with children through the Children's Outreach Program, we also want a component of outreach involved in our arts strategy.
10829 One of the things we have been hearing from our consultations is that arts groups feel we should be doing far more talent scouting, and we are also looking at the possibility of providing some sponsorship support for the arts in order to help build and encourage the base.
10830 COMMISSIONER CRAM: When you referred, Mr. Redekopp, to a survey saying 28 per cent of the individuals surveyed wanted sports, how many wanted arts?
10831 MR. REDEKOPP: I could ask our research people and Christine could speak to that.
10832 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Jennifer?
10833 MR. REDEKOPP: No, it's Christine this time. Christine Wilson.
10834 MS WILSON: The question was asked classical arts, which is ballet, classical music, and I believe the number is something like 13 were very interested.
10835 COMMISSIONER CRAM: The equivalent one to the sports, the 28 per cent very interested?
10836 MS WILSON: Yes, that is exactly correct.
10837 I'm sorry. I found the page, and -- I'm sorry, that was the total of interested and very interested.
10838 Very interested is 6.6 per cent.
10839 MR. KLYMKIW: Could I add something to that?
10840 I think when Phyllis was talking about finding the right medium between arts and television and Harold was talking about getting folks to the network. Our primary goal, it seems to me, is really to be a place that engages our audiences and engages communities into art. That is what we have to do, and I think that is what distinguishes us.
10841 There is no point in us running a lot of these programs and having tiny audiences. We don't want to do that. We would like to get more and more people to find interest.
10842 I mean, the challenge for us is to find a way of producing and creating those shows and those formats so more and more Canadians use the CBC to come to us. I think that that is one of the most salient goals we have in arts performance programming, which we are completely behind and completely want to do, but we want to get more -- every community to buy more and more into that. That is why we have done Thursday, that is why we are doing Sunday, that is why we are probably going to expand Thursday in a year or two, it is because we want to find pride of place in the schedule so those kinds of shows get there and attract more and more Canadians.
10843 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Michael gave me this distribution of broadcast time and program types. In the meantime, in 1997-1998, 1996-1997, 1995-1996, 1994-1995 I think this category would be in "Others", would it, Michael, at 1 per cent in prime time, performing arts?
10844 MS WILSON: No. I think that it would probably be categorized under either "Variety" or "Drama", depending on -- "Others" is basically instructional programming.
10845 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So there is no way, then, of knowing where performing arts would have been in a --
10846 MS WILSON: Principally I think it would have been under "Variety", but there could be, for example, situations where it was like a dramatic -- a play, for example, which might end up in the "Drama" category, whereas perhaps a ballet would end up in "Variety" because of the musical component.
10847 COMMISSIONER CRAM: It is your intention, clearly, to increase from what it is now, increase that substantially in prime time?
10848 MR. KLYMKIW: Yes.
10849 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes.
10850 Can we get some sort of quantifiable number for that?
10851 MR. KLYMKIW: No.
--- Laughter / Rires
10852 COMMISSIONER CRAM: We can't quantify --
10853 MR. KLYMKIW: We promised about the performance, I just don't want to repeat all of that.
10854 You know, we are going to try to work both those streams out. We are going to try to produce more.
10855 A lot of it really is driven by the resources we have and where we place them. It goes back to Commissioner Colville's issue of balance. Where do we -- you know, the pie is just one size actually, although -- I was going to say a shrinking one, but I won't talk about that. Let's assume it is the same size.
10856 We simply have to move resources and money and priorities around to do that, and we are going to do that. So we have already committed, it seems to me, fairly directly to how many more performances we are going to have on the CBC.
10857 I think we will probably do more than that, because we have already committed the air time, the structural part of the schedule to it. So our commitment is very brassy and bold and I assure you we are going to work very hard at getting more and more programs into that.
10858 MR. REDEKOPP: Could I just make a comment, Commissioner?
10859 I recently had to go to an arts summit event, and I think the people in the arts who are dealing with symphonies and ballets and opera companies, and so on, they are all wresting with the same thing we are.
10860 I think the initiative that Phyllis is talking about will help us get the appropriate treatment of performance on television. I think that all of them would like to work with us, so we don't have an absolute grouping for the next seven years, but I can tell you that the commitment is there and the commitment to work with this arts council is there so that we do get the appropriate treatment, which will include full performances, but it will also include the kinds of profiles we have done with Ben Heppner, and so on. I think they would argue that that is a great way to develop interest in the form of opera.
10861 MR. KLYMKIW: Just to point out, we have been doing quite a bit of this. It always sounds when we say this that we have to put it on the record, but I think it is important.
10862 Ben Heppner we put in the middle of prime time this year. We did that with four or five or six others. One of the things we have been trying to do is find real pride of place for these specials so more and more people will find them and know who Ben Heppner is and know something about his life and recognize what an incredible gift he is to opera, not only in this country but everywhere else. So we don't want to put it -- we want to find pride of place and a place where people are going to find him. We did quite a bit of this this year, which we have submitted to you.
10863 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you.
10864 Canadian music talent. Last time around, 1994, the Commission talked about exposure to artists in the other official language. Now, I am not clear on whether that was even referred to in your application or whether -- I don't believe it was.
10865 Mr. Klymkiw, you have a different idea?
10866 MR. KLYMKIW: No, I don't have a different idea.
10867 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay. So was there some of this during this last license term?
10868 MS PLATT: There was certainly some exposure of Quebec artists to English audiences on programming like "Rita And Friends" for example. We every year do the major Canada Day and Governor General's Awards programs that definitely does that kind of exposing of talent to the other culture.
10869 One of the programs in development right now is called "Rendez-vous Québec" and we are looking to it, we hope, to bring specifically in a program designed to do that Quebec talent to English audiences. This will be the program called "Kaboom" that we are piloting this summer that is a mix of musical and other types of talent.
10870 So there has been exposure. We are hoping to increase that level.
10871 COMMISSIONER CRAM: The first program that you were talking about, was that the variety series?
10872 MS PLATT: That's correct.
10873 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Is it going to be a half an hour or an hour, and when is it going to be?
10874 MS PLATT: I'm sorry, I thought you were referring to "Rita and Friends".
10875 COMMISSIONER CRAM: No, no.
10876 MS PLATT: Yes, it is designed to be a half hour or an hour -- depending on through our programming what the best mix is -- program specifically designed to expose Quebec musical talent to the rest of the country.
10877 COMMISSIONER CRAM: What about the discovery and promotion of music talent in "n'importe quelle langue" in terms of just musical talent, because you were talking about that before, I believe, Ms Platt.
10878 MS PLATT: We have an extraordinary history of doing that. I think if you talk to artists who are now international stars like Celine Dion, Alanis Morissette, Anne Murray, Shainia Twain, they would tell you that they got their television start at SRC, or in Ottawa, or with the CBC. I think that that is an indication of the talent development that we have done over the years, not just with musical talent but across the board.
10879 In a way, I guess the CBC is the cornerstone as well as the keystone of the industry, of the television industry. We are the cornerstone very much because there is a tremendous effort put to developing talent of one kind or another, and in the musical vein we have consistently done that over the years. The list of names, Bryan Adams, Terry Clarke, Tom Cochrane, Bruce Guthro, k.d. Lang, Joni Mitchell, these are significant performers who either got their start with the CBC or appeared significantly on the CBC.
10880 COMMISSIONER CRAM: What about now?
10881 MS PLATT: I mentioned the programming we have in development from Quebec. We also have several conversations going with potential producers of ongoing variety or musical series. We want to find another major showcase for musical talent.
10882 One of the things that we are hoping will happen through our regional initiative is that we can root some of them in the regions. We spent some time a few years ago seeing if we could create regional music programming and did so quite successfully. We think that we can return to, potentially, that idea in the regions, but with the whole idea being to be a talent developer and to create venues where that talent can move through our system, we hope to more and more international stardom, but the most important thing is to expose them to Canadian audiences.
10883 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Am I right, though, that -- I'm sorry.
10884 MR. HARRIS: I was just going to add, Phyllis didn't talk about the award shows that we do and maybe I will just nudge her in that direction just for a second.
10885 MS. PLATT: Okay. I forgot the award shows.
10886 We do, of course, the Juno's; we do the aboriginal awards, which exposes aboriginal musical talent; we do the ECMA awards in the east; have for the first time produced the WCMAs in the west. The kind of exposing of talent through shows like Canada Day, for example, of major musical performers is consistent through our schedules, and definitely award shows play a big part in that.
10887 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Those people have made it, though. Am I right that the last time there was a show for new people, new talent, was "Rita and Friends"?
10888 MS PLATT: That was definitely a mix. It was not designed for new people, it was designed to expose talent, much of it already fairly well established.
10889 COMMISSIONER CRAM: New and so-called old talent.
10890 MS PLATT: New and so-called old talent. Yes, that's correct.
10891 COMMISSIONER CRAM: But is that the last program that you had on the network that had anything to do with new talent?
10892 MS PLATT: No. We did a program called "The Nine O'clock Show" which was an experiment. We were dealing with cost issues and trying to bring the cost of this kind of programming down so we tried a new experiment, which wasn't entirely successful, and we are moving on to other models.
10893 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So aside from the Quebec variety show, anything else to expose new talent in the pipe, and where in the pipe?
10894 MS PLATT: Again, I am hopeful that the regional opportunity will prove very fruitful. We did during that period of time a number of programs, "Up On The Roof", "Fiddlehead Country". I think there were five all together that were specifically designed to spot and develop new talent.
10895 MR. KLYMKIW: Just to reinforce what Phyllis said, there are several discussions going on, we just simply can't discuss them here because there are several people we are talking to about a musical program or musical series. So those discussions continue on.
10896 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Network exchanges. There has been some network exchange. Based on your experience do some genres work better than others?
10897 MR. KLYMKIW: Yes, I think that's true. I mean, if you don't mind, I would like to tell you, we actually do have a plan on this and --
10898 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Oh, good, better.
10899 MR. KLYMKIW: I am more than prepared to share it with you.
10900 COMMISSIONER CRAM: That's --
10901 MR. KLYMKIW: We decided a year ago and this was in our planning book and went to our board that we would begin systematically to find ways of getting cross-cultural programming that would work both for us and for SRC. We felt it was important that we worked more and more together, we do a lot of that. But we really wanted to formalize that.
10902 So we now meet on a regular basis and we decided we would come together and develop programs in the areas of children, documentary, series and mini-series and feature shows.
10903 And then we did a very small thing, but I think an important thing. We, on English television created a slot for the best of programming from Quebec that runs on Monday night and we hope that in our Thursday slots and in our specials which we did just a while ago, ran "Orphans" and "Duplessis", we are going to do more of those.
10904 But everyone felt that what we needed to do is really have a strong commitment to the development so that we would produce programs that would have a lasting value on both networks. There has been a long history of that which often gets neglected in this discussion so I would like to put that on the record.
10905 I think we have put in a series of programs where we have done that, but we have formalized that relationship and are working very hard to find new programs that are going to do that. And we are doing that because we think it makes business sense and we think it makes cultural sense and we think inevitably we can get series that can work across the country.
10906 And I say the very best example of that would be our major documentary project, "Canada, Peoples' History", which is 30 hours and I have to say that, you know, it is conceived from the outset as a culture shock in both languages, which adds to the cost. That's not to say we shouldn't do it, but we hope to build on that success, that it was not -- this is not a translation from one language to the other, it is conceived from the outset in both languages and it will have the same range of interpretations around historical events in both languages on both television screens. And I think that's a major initiative that we hope we can build on.
10907 COMMISSIONER CRAM: And in terms of the plan, Mr. Klymkiw, is that the idea on the children documentary series, mini-series, that you would do the same type of essentially a production in one language and then the next. Is that the idea?
10908 MR. KLYMKIW: Well, you put your finger on what we are wrestling with. We are trying to find what works the best, that could work the best. Those discussions are continuing.
10909 I guess my only point is we have taken it seriously, we always have. We have now formalized that and we are working very, very hard in those areas to find more opportunities not only to work together, but to produce successful programs that will work in both markets.
10910 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So you really don't know which is the best technique in terms of dubbing or anything like that? You are just not sure.
10911 MS PLATT: I think we have found and we did do some surveying in the past when we have run docu material that most audiences prefer dubbing to subtitling. However, when we have run significant feature films from Quebec, we have tended to subtitle them because we feel that there are viewers who are bilingual who would prefer to see the original version.
10912 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So it depends on the genre then, almost?
10913 MS PLATT: To some degree, yes.
10914 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Can you provide us with some idea of the number of hours that are on the network that are based on exchanged programs?
10915 MR. KLYMKIW: I think I will turn to Mr. Harris.
10916 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Michael?
10917 MR. HARRIS: We have done a lot of that analysis and I believe I can get it to you although I don't have it with me at this moment.
10918 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay, perfect.
10919 There was some discussion simply because we have analysts that like to track this. Is it possible that there could be some, when you send in your logs you could sort of show this to be an exchange program on the logging system, Michael?
10920 MR. HARRIS: It terrifies me to say anything that has "logging system" in it.
--- Laughter / Rires
10921 COMMISSIONER CRAM: And with my extensive knowledge of it, that is really helpful.
10922 MR. HARRIS: I will get back to you on that, as well. I'm not going to say anything that the people in Toronto are going to be on the phone.
10923 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you.
10924 So you were talking about "The Best of French-Canadian TV" and then the Film Festival. When are they going to be on air?
10925 MR. KLYMKIW: Well, "The Best of French-Canadian Television" has been on for over a year already.
10926 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
10927 MR. KLYMKIW: And it has done very well, in fact. And "Omerta" has run in there and a variety of programs and we are acquiring and buying those programs on an ongoing basis and we will continue to do that. Then we hope we are going to run some of them on Thursday nights and we will begin to run some of them on Sunday nights.
10928 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Why don't I see that over here on the schedule?
10929 MR. KLYMKIW: There's only so much we can put on that red schedule. I mean, I think Thursday night represents some of that space for it. And then on Sunday we have been doing it for a long time. It didn't start this year or the year before, we have been doing it over the years which we have outlined fairly extensively in our presentation.
10930 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Feature films, $30 million in the next five years, Mr. Redekopp. The Heritage Committee wanted you to do $25 million and you have outdone them.
10931 MR. REDEKOPP: Is that congratulations?
--- Laughter / Rires
10932 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes. I wanted to ask about the division between French and English of that $30 million.
10933 MR. REDEKOPP: I will let Phyllis speak to that.
10934 MS PLATT: The total commitment is $50 million over five years.
10935 COMMISSIONER CRAM: It is $50 million, okay.
10936 MS PLATT: That's right. And $30 million for English and $20 million for French.
10937 COMMISSIONER CRAM: And are we talking, like, 10 a year kind of concept when it is over five years?
10938 MS PLATT: I think it will probably vary marginally from year to year, but yes.
10939 COMMISSIONER CRAM: You talk in your application about "a prime time Canadian feature film program" starting in the year 2000 to 2001. Weekly, I take it, Mr. Klymkiw?
10940 MR. KLYMKIW: That would be yes.
10941 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes. What will be displaced? What nature of programming will be displaced?
10942 MR. KLYMKIW: Well, it is that old recalibration answer again. We are going to have to make that decision. I mean, we do now have a feature film stream which we started two years ago which we run Saturday nights in the summertime. And the reason we run it Saturday nights is this is probably the only time in our schedule that we can start something at nine o'clock and a lot of the content in these films would be more difficult without severe cutting to start earlier in the evening.
10943 So we have a variety of issues we are going to have to wrestle with. The content, what can run in prime time. You know, what makes the most sense and then you get into huge creative discussions about, you know, is television shaping the feature film or is the feature film shaping television. And you know, we obviously have responsibilities about what we run between 8:00 and 10:00.
10944 So just to give you a flavour, that's the kind of discussion we are having now about feature film and how it fits in television. But the Saturday night stream has worked very effectively for us. We are committed, when given our development of feature film and what we think is going to be the continuing growth and nurturing of the feature film business that we will have a prime time slot for it. I just can't tell you where and when now.
10945 I mean, again, I don't want to make Thursday night the catchall for everything, but it has the potential of expanding the two hours, both for long documentaries and feature films, so it is a good short-term strategy to where we are going to get inevitably with feature films. And I can't tell you today what we are going to displace.
10946 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you.
10947 Northern service. You said in the application that you provide a good deal of free programming to TVNC and that you expect if they are licensed as they were that you would have a complementary relationship. Do you envisage any change in your relationship with APTN?
10948 MR. KLYMKIW: Perhaps I could invite Marie Wilson to come to the -- she's at that table, I'm sorry.
10949 I would like to introduce her to you. Marie is the Regional Director the CBC North Service.
10950 MS WILSON: Yes, good morning.
10951 And your question specifically is how we imagine our ongoing relationship with --
10952 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes. How do you envisage it?
10953 MS WILSON: We are currently an associate member of TVNC and as you know from the APTN application, their intention is to run basically a southern distribution system with two releases and maintain the northern distribution.
10954 So we continue to be involved in the northern aspects of their organization, though we are not an associate board member for APTN as it is in the south. We do intend though and it was described in their application for licensing that they foresaw having CBC North programming as part of their core schedule, the draft schedule, the program schedule that they submitted to you included our programming in there. And it is our intention to negotiate a programming acquisition arrangement with them as soon as they have their program director and that office in place.
10955 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So let me get it straight. You will still continue to give them free programming?
10956 MS WILSON: No. And we made that very clear, including in our own intervention on their application for the national licence, that we would expect to negotiate a program acquisition agreement with them because it would not be possible for us to provide that programming for free for southern distribution. Of course there would be cost implications for us including translation, but also rights issues and so on.
10957 And also we are very well aware that TVNC has benefitted from our programming contributions over the past several years. Many of the -- the advertising revenue that they have received on TVNC in the north has, to a very large degree, been placed here on our CBC North programming, which is prime in their schedule. We have made no issue of that. They have had that revenue pure and simple.
10958 But if it is a southern distribution we are going to be incurring costs, we are going to be adding to the profile, we hope the success of that network. We have been fully supportive of them from the beginning and we think it is fair and reasonable for us to be properly compensated for that.
10959 And they have said in their initial news release that that is their intentions.
10960 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So you are not talking about charging them just incremental costs, you are talking about charging them fair market value costs?
10961 MS WILSON: Yes, because they are talking about going forward in a progressive way, becoming a self-supporting specialty channel and we need to negotiate a business relationship with them.
10962 I just want to make clear, though, I mean, we have been very, very supportive of them from the very beginning. In fact just three weeks ago, I was very happy to receive a plaque from them in appreciation for all that CBC North had done in support of both TVNC and its growth and development and the now birth of APTN.
10963 COMMISSIONER CRAM: What about "CBC North Beat", considering the cost and the little audience and given APTN, is "North Beat" still a priority? Are you the proper one to ask?
10964 MS WILSON: Yes, I am exactly the one to ask and I don't know why you would say "low audience", because that is certainly not our indication.
10965 It is a very popular program, in fact, with high recognition. It is award-winning, both nationally and internationally and it is a very important vehicle for programming of aboriginal and non-aboriginal issues as it affects the entire north and sometimes national issues, as well.
10966 So it is our intention to continue it.
10967 COMMISSIONER CRAM: When I say "low audience", I mean compared to Toronto.
10968 MS WILSON: Well, you know, I will just speak to that. I mean, one of the difficulties we do have in the north is because of the way our population is dispersed it is very hard to use standard tools for measuring.
10969 But it is also true the way we are distributed that though our target in primary audience is north of 60, which limits it in population size, our reach goes beyond that into the northern provinces and significantly into B.C., for example and we know that we have significant audiences there, as well. So the number of people it actually reaches is about double what is within our mandate of reaching.
10970 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you.
10971 Foreign content diversity. There was a reference in the 1994 Decision that you would increase your diversity of sources. It wasn't referred to in your application about what you plan to do with the future. Michael?
10972 MR. HARRIS: I believe in the future that whatever commitment we make will go along the same that now we have reached a balance where the non-American is slightly in excess of the American and we would hope to maintain that balance in the future.
10973 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I recognize we are only talking about two hours. I mean, we are not talking about big numbers.
10974 So, do you think you could reduce the American even further?
10975 MR. HARRIS: I will let Slawko talk about this, but my original remark would be, you know, it is certainly the simulcast American that -- there's still a lot of places where we can bring value to the system by bringing American programming.
10976 MR. KLYMKIW: Obviously we are out of simulcast American. You know, there are programs that are produced in the United States that are very good programs that you don't see anywhere on Canadian television. And I would hate to limit ourselves in terms of being able to buy those in arts and performance, certain movies. You know, there are a variety of industries that are producing things that I think are incredible documentaries.
10977 So I think the balance we have now is very reasonable and I think we would like to keep it.
10978 COMMISSIONER CRAM: We are down to, by the way, the short snappers, so I will be changing subjects. No, this is not "Reach for the Top".
10979 I was talking about -- my next subject is aboriginal portrayal and I think you have made significant strides. What I notice though is that there is not a series involving natives on the schedule now. You had some very successful ones, but there is nothing now.
10980 Do you think it is priority to have that?
10981 MS PLATT: Just to know that there is one that is going to be coming to --
10982 COMMISSIONER CRAM: It is in the tubes, yes.
10983 MS PLATT: No, seriously, it has been triggered for production and it is a children's program called "Tales from the Long House" and this is a definite show.
10984 You are right. We are out of "North of 60", it had a very long and terrific run. "The Res" did nicely for us, as well. I think it really again is an issue of the ebb and flow of any schedule that if there is a strong concept and a strong idea, then obviously we are looking for this kind of material, it is not necessarily always there. But we are constantly encouraging aboriginal programming in our schedule. And as you know, the record is quite strong.
10985 MR. KLYMKIW: I was just going to add let's not forget "Big Bear" and the "North of 60" movie were huge successes for us this year and important projects. And on top of that, you know, we are working very hard on a pilot called "All my Relations" which is --
10986 COMMISSIONER CRAM: That was it.
10987 MR. KLYMKIW: That's right. Which is an aboriginal magazine program. And we are going to try our best to inevitably get that on the air.
10988 MS PLATT: Plus there is a second "North of 60" movie coming for this coming season, as well.
10989 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So instead of a series, you have got sort of the three movies and then you will be getting into the magazine?
10990 MR. KLYMKIW: Plus the "Aboriginal Awards" which you are well aware of.
10991 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes, yes. "Big Bear" and the "Aboriginal Awards", both in Saskatchewan this year.
10992 MR. KLYMKIW: Did I tell you they were in Saskatchewan?
10993 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Yes, the schedule.
10994 The multi-cultural representation. I note that you have training and internships for natives. And plans to expand that into other sort of cultural minorities?
10995 MR. REDEKOPP: Michael?
10996 MR. HARRIS: I will pass this to Bob.
10997 MR. CULBERT: In fact, all our training programs embrace all. I am not sure what program you are referring to, but the newest and one we are most pleased about, we have a very high end internship program we just started this year and the idea is not just as other intern programs we have to bring people in for a short term and work with us usually maybe during summer or breaks in whatever they are doing. But this is designed to give people a year's experience in various programming areas, network and the regions. The end result will hopefully get them meaningful work in one of the network regional units.
10998 And it is part of something we talked about with "Newsworld". While this is separate from the "Newsworld" program and the purpose of this, like "Newsworld" is the gene pool was not helped by the cuts and we are trying to bring in some very top people from different areas to try and improve the gene pool.
10999 In that program, I believe, we have two visible minority people in the first round of the intern program and one aboriginal journalist and they are currently now assigned to various units with mentors to try and develop and hopefully this time next year they will be working for us somewhere in the system.
11000 MS WILSON: Madame Commissioner, may I just say a word about that, as well.
11001 As you are aware, we had the creation of the new Nunuvit Territory this year, and we have done significant work, as well, in training northern journalists to be able to cover their own new political jurisdiction. We created a new bureau in Cambridge Bay, which is a bi-medial bureau and trilingual, in fact. And we have done particular work in training our journalists on political and legislative reporting so that they can do a proper job of covering that as a new and stand-alone political jurisdiction.
11002 And we were very, very proud to have some of key people as part of the national broadcast team on Nunuvit Day when we were the only broadcaster in the country who went live from Iqualuit and using not people that had to be brought in for the purpose alone, but also our northern based broadcasting who were part of that event and proud to be so.
11003 MR. HARRIS: Just one more. We are in the middle of what I think is an important initiative on another aspect of this question and in our news department where we have an extensive contacts list and we have been going through that contacts list in a two-year process to try and make sure that it reflects the diversity of Canada so that when people go to experts on subjects that the field that they have to choose from is as diverse as the country is.
11004 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you.
11005 From your numbers you have 4 per cent on air visible minorities. Do you consider that an appropriate number? Mr. Redekopp, you don't want to answer it?
11006 MR. REDEKOPP: I think that in all of these categories we are not satisfied with our performance. So the answer is yes, it should be higher, it should reflect more appropriately the mix in this country and I think we have steps to address that.
11007 I think part of the difficulty when you are downsizing is that you have to take into account the constraints of collective agreements. So it hasn't been as -- we haven't been as aggressive in changing, as it were, the face of our television screen as we might have.
11008 But I can tell from all the initiatives that you are hearing here, we are determined to do that. So yes, there's work to be done.
11009 MR. KLYMKIW: And we are beginning to do it.
11010 I will let Phyllis talk in more detail if you want, but "In the Mix", which just happens to be a very, very good show that is coming on next year, has two strong black leads.
11011 Phyllis, you might want to talk about it a bit.
11012 MS PLATT: Yes. "In the Mix" is a spin off from our successful program "Straight Up", done with an independent production partner, and it is the world of the hip-hop station and very much features black performers, as will the opera "Beatrice Chancy" which we are doing, the programs such as "Riverdale", "Da Vinci's Inquest", "Nothing Too Good For a Cowboy", "These Arms of Mine", "The Newsroom", programs like that that have brought and will continue to bring multicultural performers into integral roles in these dramas so that they are seen to be part of the society as a whole.
11013 I might just mention some of the movies that we have done over the licence period that reflect the multicultural realities of Canada: "The War Between Us", "Frost Fire", "Trial at Fortitude Bay", "Dance Me Outside", "Spirit Rider", "Big Bear" of course, "Planet of Junior Brown", "One Heart Broken Into Song" which goes to air this coming season, the two "North of 60" movies, "Revenge of the Land" which is coming this fall, and the big Christmas Movie "Must Be Santa" starring a black santa.
11014 MR. CULBERT: Commissioner Cram, if I could just add one from the information?
11015 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Sure.
11016 MR. CULBERT: At the network information area we have 26 either aboriginal or visible minority people on air, which I'm told is about 9.4 per cent of the staffing quota. We would like to do better and that is why we are particularly sensitive to it when we do the training programs.
11017 In the current affairs area we I believe have 10 people working in various on-air roles, reporters mostly. But we would like to do better, too.
11018 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you.
11019 The deaf and the hard of hearing, you have yet again been quite successful. You refer now to captioning blocks that have not yet been done and you refer to children's blocks. What other blocks have not yet been captioned?
11020 Is that you, Michael?
11021 MR. CULBERT: This is Michael. He doesn't know as much as he pretends.
11022 MR. HARRIS: Essentially, we have captioned prime time at this point and the big questions left are daytime.
11023 I think that there was a lot of resistance at the beginning to the idea of captioning children's programming because -- or preschool programming, you know, I suppose largely conditioned by the expectation that it wasn't a reading group.
11024 But in fact we have had a lot of input from parents, that they watch the programming with their children and that the captioning is in fact a very useful reading tool. It really can help not only children but it can help new Canadians learn English. It is getting used more and more in that kind of way so that I would expect that our next initiative would be in our children's block in the morning to start captioning parts of that schedule.
11025 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So then what blocks, aside from children's, are not captioned?
11026 MR. HARRIS: Well, the afternoon programming is not captioned. And late night foreign movies aren't being prompted.
11027 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Do you think by the end of the next licence term that the afternoon block and the children's block will be done -- could be done?
11028 MR. HARRIS: I guess you are in a situation where the last bits are the most expensive bits and that -- you know, we are certainly moving in that direction. We are 97 per cent now in prime time. You know, I think we are getting up over -- in this licence term we will get over 80 per cent over the whole day. So we are doing well.
11029 We did win a special award for the network that had the biggest achievement over the last period in terms of captioning. We managed to caption all our supper hour news with live captioning ahead of schedule and we are committed to doing this.
11030 You know, partly it's the cost coming down and our expertise in live captioning going up, but we are proceeding as quickly as we can.
11031 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I have about one page of questions, but you have an obligation, so I will hand it over to the --
11032 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. We will pursue after lunch. Let's reconvene at 10 to 2:00 please.
11033 Thank you.
--- Recess at / Suspension à 1210
--- Upon resuming at / Reprise à 1355
11034 THE CHAIRPERSON: Alors, we will start again.
11035 For the ones who are wondering and following the proceeding, we will complete the television this afternoon and we hope also to complete the regional stations. Then we will interrupt for an evening of rest, or worry depending on the agenda, and we will start tomorrow morning with the radio.
11036 So, Commissioner Cram, you will --
11037 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you, Madam Chair.
11038 I hope to be finished in a very short period of time.
11039 DBS. In the application you spoke about having discussions with the NBRS and said you would let us know here what are your plans and what is happening.
11040 MR. REDEKOPP: Michael?
11041 MR. HARRIS: I am going to ask Suzanne Lamarre to come up to the table. Suzanne Lamarre is with our CBC engineering department.
11042 MS LAMARRE: Okay. I can maybe give you some information from a technical point of view.
11043 Maybe, Michael, you would like to speak to a discussion first.
11044 MR. HARRIS: (Off microphone).
11045 MS LAMARRE: Okay.
11046 From the technical point of view, the descriptive video system requires that we have a second channel available in the TV transmitters. It's the case for the Toronto English transmitter. It's also the case for a certain number of transmitters in the large English markets.
11047 However, one of the hurdles is obviously to feed the descriptive video signals to those transmitters. We have conducted a preliminary study that shows that with a certain amount of investment in those large markets it could be possible at one point to be able to do that, but we would have to, from an engineering point of view, go a little bit further and see how much investment as far as the distribution is concerned.
11048 MR. HARRIS: Yes. We are very proud that we were the first network to do described video, and we started with "The Arrow" and then last year we did "Big Bear" -- this year we did "Big Bear", and it was -- I mean, I looked at the tapes and it's really quite incredible the quality of the work that is done.
11049 Because we were in at the front end, we got a good deal on the cost, which is quite expensive because essentially it has to be rewritten and, you know, the script has to be delivered in time and with sound ups and everything.
11050 I'm not sure that everybody has seen it. If you haven't seen it, it's a very compelling way to present programming for people that can't see the TV set. There are more than a million such people in Canada now and as us boomers get older there are going to be even more, and television being as important as it is it is important not to exclude them from television events like those.
11051 On the other hand, we can only use that second audio channel where we have stereo transmitters and right now, as Suzanne says, without significant investment, that's kind of Toronto.
11052 We have been talking with the organizations concerned with this about -- they have other ways to get the audio out, but all of them are a little cumbersome. They have some access to some radio frequencies in some markets or they can use the reading channel to deliver audio, but that means that they would have to have two TV sets in the room where the program was. So largely it is technical.
11053 We are committing now that we will do the next, whatever we are calling it -- Ann III, Phyllis? That is how I have been referring to it -- "Ann of Green Gables" with this. We are looking at the children's program "Guess What" and we have talked about doing that in descriptive video because it is a science show and we think that that would be a good use for it. The big piece that we are really investigating doing is the "People's History of Canada" because we think that that ought to be available in described video form.
11054 The cost is still pretty expensive. It is still about $100 a minute to do it, which makes it about -- well, 10 times as expensive, say, as captioning.
11055 MR. BEATTY: Commissioner, could I ask, have you had a chance to see this, because if you haven't --
11056 COMMISSIONER CRAM: No, I haven't.
11057 MR. BEATTY: If you haven't -- I don't want to speak too quickly here -- I would be very pleased to have us make available for you a print of "Big Bear" for you to see it.
11058 For most of us, when Michael did a brief demonstration for us it was the first time that we had had a chance to see it and most of us were just blown over by it. It was just extremely impressive and the mind starts going about other ways that you can put this sort of material to use. I think you might very well find it, just as an experience to see that, very worthwhile.
11059 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Perhaps you can just file it and then we can have access to it.
11060 MR. BEATTY: (Off microphone).
11061 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you.
11062 New media. Do I take it that the new media in English fulfils the same role, somewhat the same role, as in French in terms of it is also useful for the digital TV lab concept?
11063 MR. BEATTY: Yes, Commissioner.
11064 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I know you know the number of hits. Any idea of the proportion of those hits that are youth?
11065 MR. BEATTY: I don't know whether research would have that data. I guess not, Commissioner.
11066 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Three short questions.
11067 Do you agree to continue the COL on advertising to children?
11068 MR. REDEKOPP: Yes.
11069 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Do you agree to accept the COL regarding gender portrayal?
11070 MR. REDEKOPP: Yes.
11071 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I note that you have 44 per cent women on air. Is that a number that you believe is appropriate? What are your plans?
11072 MR. REDEKOPP: Slawko, are you going to speak to this?
11073 MR. KLYMKIW: I think we want to get as close with the population distribution as we possibly can. I think we have done a very good job and will continue to get as close to that as possible.
11074 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Or even the allocation on the Commission: seven to six? It sounds appropriate to me.
--- Laughter / Rires
11075 MR. HARRIS: I think we have always been close to -- we have been performing well in terms of on air. Where we have fallen behind is -- not fallen behind, but where we are making bigger strides is in terms of experts that we are interviewing and stuff like that, and that is part of that database project that I talked about earlier to increase the women's representation.
11076 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you.
11077 On violence, there was some discrepancy as to your own code. In 1994, you were required to file it and I believe we wrote back and said, "Please make these changes", and I don't think we have ever heard from you.
11078 Are you content with a continuation of the present COL?
11079 MR. REDEKOPP: We are. But in terms of where we stand with our own code, I could ask Michael to speak to that.
11080 MR. HARRIS: Yes. We are content to live with the current code. I believe the only question was in terms of the start times for programming and you have heard Slawko talk about -- when we have programming that is inappropriate, we do reschedule it out of family time and I think that is the only discrepancy.
11081 So I would be just as soon to get the other matter settled. I thought the ball was in your court, but if it is in our court we will work on it.
11082 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Now we know that we all have to work on it.
11083 There was some reference to accountability at page 85 and 86. I listened to the SRC and heard not only the same model but also the fact that they have consultation groups. Is there any consideration of that on the English side?
11084 MR. REDEKOPP: We made a start with the arts consultative group and I think we have had informal as opposed to formal consultation. Certainly, my predecessor made a point of doing forums. When I was in radio we did them regularly. We are going to build on those.
11085 I think we are debating how structured and formal we should be, but the consultative process, certainly in the arts, will probably be a useful clue.
11086 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you.
11087 Advertising, and I'm not going to dwell on it.
11088 You heard Mr. Odette of Cogeco talk about the discipline of ads; in other words, it would be a good idea for CBC to keep advertising because it disciplines you. In other words, if your ratings are low, then you change your programming and therefore you will get increased advertising.
11089 Am I fair in saying that it is not a discipline to CBC that that reason for keeping ads on CBC, the discipline of ratings and therefore more money, doesn't necessarily affect CBC, because the programming comes first and then you worry about the advertising?
11090 MR. BEATTY: Commissioner, there is no question that the programming comes first and we worry about the advertising secondly. We are not unaware of the impact of the revenues that come in. If there is a shortfall in revenues, either on the English side or on the French side we have to look at how we make the books balance.
11091 But what causes us to take a decision in the first place is going to be mandate-driven as opposed to commercially-driven. An example of that will be an issue you raised earlier this morning and that was the olympics.
11092 I believe it was you who asked whether, as a result of the olympic scandal, we were losing value on the olympics. Certainly, there is that risk that that could happen even if it has not happened to date, but that clearly has had no mitigating effect whatsoever on the decision by our journalist to cover the whole olympic scandal. They have been very aggressive on it and they have been front and centre without any consideration for what economic impact there could be for the CBC.
11093 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Mr. Klymkiw -- and I am having problems saying your name -- after you have had the time to recalibrate, what are we going to see in seven years on CBC? What is the mix? What is the balance?
11094 MR. KLYMKIW: I think the balance will be determined by the enormous changes that are taking place around us. I mean, our job is to be distinctive, to be popular, inevitably to be indispensable with our audiences, and we have to take everything into account, what the competition looks like, how many platforms there are out there, how our distinctiveness is measured against the rest of the industry, and how we dispense the best we possibly can both broadcast and cultural policy. I could make up something today and tell you what it is going to look like in seven years, but I suspect you wouldn't believe me because I'm not sure it would be correct, but in every year --
11095 You asked this morning about -- I think we were talking about sports and commercial revenue and so forth. We are sitting down every year, as an organization like ours should, and look ourselves in the mirror and say: How does CBC remain relevant and how does it continue to dispense its responsibilities? A great public broadcaster remains fluid and the schedule has to represent that. We are doing that more and more because the world is changing and the country is changing around us quicker and quicker.
11096 So I'm sorry for the generality of that, but I can't paint a schedule today that is going to be terribly accurate in seven years.
11097 MR. REDEKOPP: Commissioner Cram, perhaps I could underline again the emphasis that we placed on the schedule that indicates the direction in which we want to go. In addition to news and current affairs, which is our core asset, we are emphasizing we are going to build on children and youth, we are going to build on the performing arts, and we are most definitely going to build on the regional roots.
11098 I would say that those are directions that we are indicating now on which we are going to build and I think that is where you would book for improvement in that area. I'm sorry, I should have also mentioned amateur sports, which is also part of that.
11099 COMMISSIONER CRAM: And Mr. Beatty referred to being Canadian isn't just enough, it is Canadian plus more.
11100 Mr. Redekopp, in seven years, what will tell you whether or not you have been a success?
11101 MR. REDEKOPP: I think, Commissioner Cram, there are always two indicators. The first is audience size measured by reach, measured by hours tuned, measured by share. The second equally important measurement, harder to get, is impact: To what extent have we really registered with people, to what extent is there loyalty and affection for the television service? As I say, that is harder to measure, but I think both of those indicators would indicate success: impact and numbers of people who are enjoying the service.
11102 MR. KLYMKIW: If I could add to that. That famous pie chart that we have seen everywhere about the many, many choices people have, and you see the CBC share, the CBC has maintained its share and will continue to and I hope, over time, grow it. The reason we have done that is I think we have found a distinctive way of getting quality Canadian programming on the air, which ostensibly differentiates us.
11103 Obviously, as Harold has pointed out, we are going to differentiate ourselves more in the areas that he has laid out. But I think that in a day and age when there are going to be so many choices to get so many different programs, we have begun in the right direction to make ourselves more and more distinctive and I would hope indispensable to people because of the red schedule you see there and the programs.
11104 People are waking up in the morning and seeing "Cowboy" and "DaVinci" and "This Hour Has 22 Minutes" and they are saying: Those are damn good programs and they are on the CBC. I think that that you are seeing more and more and more. So I think we are ahead of the curve in terms of the mass of changes that are taking place in the Information Age.
11105 COMMISSIONER CRAM: So the "Canadian plus more" is "Canadian plus more quality"? Is that the distinctiveness?
11106 MR. KLYMKIW: I think quality and I think what Harold and Perrin and Phyllis and I have been saying all day today -- and we want you to obviously believe us on this -- looking in the mirror and deciding how we become more distinctive and how we redefine ourselves, given how things change around us, is an ongoing process and we are dedicated to continuing doing that.
11107 That means higher-quality programs on an ongoing basis and I think that is taking place. That is always looking at ourselves and saying: All right. How do we make sure we are valuable, distinctive, indispensable and in fact we are doing something that we can define as a public broadcaster as something that is not only worthy but distinguishes us from everyone else?
11108 That process is never-ending in a live organization like ours and it ought to be that way in a public broadcasting organization.
11109 MR. BEATTY: If I can add, Commissioner, I think there are a number of other criteria in addition to that that we would look at. I won't be here for the next hearings seven years from now. You may very well be.
11110 COMMISSIONER CRAM: You might be, as a consultant.
--- Laughter / Rires
11111 MR. BEATTY: And I will be much better paid than I am today.
11112 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Never say you won't be...
--- Laughter / Rires
11113 MR. BEATTY: I would hope that one of the things that we won't be spending a great deal of time on is the success of CBC in Canadianizing. I hope that will be so deeply entrenched that nobody can remember what it was like before it was fully Canadian.
11114 I hope the criteria that you will be judging us on go well beyond Canadianization to the quality, not simply in terms of production values, quality in terms of the reflection that we give of Canada, the contribution we make to Canada, to the flourishing of Canadian arts and culture, to a genuine understanding of who we are as a people, of the country in all of its diversity, but also of the transcended values that make this such a remarkable country; that you measure us in terms of our kids' programming as to whether or not we have provided for parents a place where they feel it is a safe haven for their kids, where the programming will help their kids learn and to grow in a way that is healthy; that in our journalism, that you will feel that we have set standards of excellence that have drawn up everybody, that have caused everybody to aspire to something better; that as a public broadcaster that we have taken the approach that not only can we afford to take risks that others can't afford to take but that we can't afford not to take risks; that in our programming, we should be pushing the envelope, not for the sake of offending people but for the sake of inventing new forms and finding new ways of portraying Canada to Canadians; and that we would give to Canadians an opportunity to -- the Act refers to a shared national consciousness and identity.
11115 If we succeed in all of these areas, the areas that each of you have been pressing on over the course of the last week -- if we succeed in these areas, then I think we offer something of unique value to the whole of the system and it answers that fundamental question: Well, why do you have a public broadcaster? Why do you need one with all of these choices in the 21st Century?
11116 The answer is: Because they offer something that is indispensable, that is more important today than it has ever been at any other time in its history, and if we can have achieved that, then I will feel that this process and the whole strategy that we have laid out to you has been a success.
11117 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you.
11118 Ms Platt.
11119 MS PLATT: I was just going to add that I think that there is something that a public broadcaster -- and I would hope, the CBC -- does very differently, and if you see that in seven years even from where we are today, I think it will be important and a victory, and that is that we treat our viewers as citizens, not as consumers, that we program and we imagine our programming for young people who grow up with "Mr. Dressup" and who learn values and sensibilities that are about this place and this country and our society so that as they grow, they expect to grow into citizenship rather than consumerdom.
11120 We try to give them that throughout the schedule, in our news programming, in our arts and entertainment programming, and in our sports programming: that they are a part of this community and this country and citizens of this place and not simply consumers. So I hope we are still there in seven years.
11121 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you. That is the end of my questions. I want to sincerely thank the panel for your very frank and candid responses and I want you to know I heard everything in the other room too. So I know they were frank and candid even then. Thank you.
11122 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. There are other questions from other commissioners, I think.
11123 Commissioner Grauer.
11124 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: I just wanted to make sure I understood when you were talking about rights earlier -- I think quite near the beginning actually. You were talking about working with independent producers and the problems and challenges you had in not owning those rights.
11125 Now, this is a situation which is common to the private broadcasters as well, is it not, that you don't have the rights?
11126 Now, when you say you pay, you are not paying for the program, you are paying a licence fee. Is that right?
11127 MR. BEATTY: Yes.
11128 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Okay. I just want to make sure I understood that this is sort of...
11129 MR. BEATTY: That is quite right.
11130 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Yes, and really an essential element of the whole system is that the independent producers retain rights and that is a condition of all the funding access.
11131 MR. BEATTY: Yes, and it is a fundamental change -- it means a fundamental change in the structure of the CBC and its role in the industry and also of the assets that it has.
11132 People often talk to us about our archives and the value locked up in those archives, that we have issues raised about program sales abroad and what CBC is doing to promote the sale of Canadian programs. We have those assets in our archives because they were our programs that we produced and we own the intellectual property there.
11133 Increasingly in the future, we will be renting that intellectual property as opposed to owning it, which changes then the nature of the asset that we possess and also may affect our ability to re-use the asset in different ways.
11134 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Right. If I was going to be the devil's advocate here, I would say that the way -- if I can look at the broadcasting and production industry together, what we have is diversified ownership of intellectual rights in different segments of the overall industry?
11135 MR. BEATTY: Yes.
11136 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: So you still, though, own the rights to your news and public affairs programming in those archives, which presumably could be of some value to you, is that right?
11137 MR. BEATTY: Except where it may be commissioned from an independent producer.
11138 COMMISSIONER GRAUER: Right. Absolutely. Okay. Thank you.
11139 THE CHAIRPERSON: Vice-Chair Wylie.
11140 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Mr. Klymkiw, while I was listening to the answers to your questions today, you planted the seeds of a new role for me, a new career as a recalibrator.
--- Laughter / Rires
11141 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Would you agree that the Broadcasting Act gives the Commission the mandate to participate in the recalibration?
11142 MR. KLYMKIW: I think that we have a joint responsibility to recalibrate together.
11143 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Because when you say that it is very difficult to tell us what things are going to look like in seven years, within limits, that is of course true. It is true for private broadcasters as well but I always thought that the Commission has a role in examining plans and to decide in its wisdom, as it discharges its mandate under the Act, whether or not new directions or some recalibration is necessary and then setting up mechanisms that ensure that after it has made that decision there is something there to measure it.
11144 Of course, seven years is the longest term possible, but where that is not possible and judged to be necessary, you can always give a shorter term and test whether your redirection or recalibration is working.
11145 You would agree we have a role in trying to establish these tests after discussing the possible need for a redirection or a recalibration?
11146 MR. KLYMKIW: Yes, I said that. But the question that was asked me was: What would the schedule look like in seven years?
11147 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: No, but it raises nevertheless the whole question of the extent to which measures and measurements that go beyond "Trust us, it will be good" are part and parcel of our responsibility and I suppose we will discuss that further next week.
11148 MR. KLYMKIW: I think we will but we went beyond that. We have shown you by the pipe we have laid in the schedule that we want to do more arts performance. We want to do more youth programming. We want to do more amateur sports. We want to participate in Canadian feature films.
11149 There are a lot of signposts, very strong signposts of the directions in which we are going to go.
11150 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Yes, and then, the clearer the signposts, the better, of course.
11151 Commissioner Cram referred to the Cogeco intervention last week. It also mentioned it was speaking about the French side of the equation but I am sure it would also have some appropriateness or relevance to the English side of more transparency.
11152 We have heard that from a number of intervenors and during the consultations, in the sense of having an accountability somewhere in one's performance, and I suppose the best way to do that is to establish mechanisms that direct the recalibration so that there are guideposts then to test whether that is indeed what has happened over periods of time.
11153 They were suggesting something as elaborate as an annual report. I asked them particularly what was meant by that and what was meant was some measure of testing to what extent the recalibration or the new directions, if there are any, are actually occurring.
11154 Do you have any comments about the appropriateness of such measures, which would, if you backtrack from the report -- I am not suggesting annual, semi-annual, every two years, whatever, but if you backtrack from the report, it speaks to setting goals that are quite precise at the beginning of the period in as many areas as possible: commitments, conditions of licence in measurable, quantifiable amounts, once a direction is set upon and then having a means then to test whether you are still going in the same direction or recalibrating with the same compass?
11155 MR. REDEKOPP: Perhaps I could just make a comment before Slawko speaks. No one is challenging the Commission's role. We certainly understand and accept that role.
11156 I was reminded earlier today by the Senior Vice-President of Resources of the CBC, Louise Tremblay -- and she was reminding me -- that we have an obligation under the Act to balance every year and I think we all at this panel take that very seriously, looking ahead at an uncertain future, wanting to make commitments, knowing that under the Act we have to balance and knowing at the same time that 40 per cent of English Television's costs are fixed, infrastructure across the country, regional operations and so on.
11157 If we are a little tentative here about agreeing to new levels, it is because we want to be prudent, Commissioner Wylie. It is not that we are being resistant. We take all of these things very seriously. We have to obviously balance them at the end of the day and that is why I make the comment that came from Louise Tremblay, just to remind us that we have an obligation to balance, that we do have these fixed costs, and until we can do something significant about them, there are certain constraints we will have to live with and they have to guide us in terms of commitments.
11158 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: But there are choices to be made and the Commission has a role as well to look at what those choices are. If it is too difficult to predict what the recalibration can accomplish, obviously it may be necessary to have not an annual report but a shorter period of time allowed to see whether it's working or whether it's not.
11159 It is simply to verbalize my sense that we do have a role to play and there aren't that many mechanisms to play that role, both on the commercial side and on the public side and perhaps even more on the public side. Whether or not that role is played requires measurements and tools for measurements, within limits, without undue intrusiveness, et cetera, but as many mechanisms as possible.
11160 Recalibration, if I remember my days as a gofer in a lab when I was student, requires a number of mechanisms and measurements and so on. Otherwise, you get an explosion instead or an implosion.
11161 MR. BEATTY: I wonder whether I could attempt to respond to that. Can I just get some clarification from you first? When you say a shorter period, are you talking about a shorter licence period or are you talking about other --
11162 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Whatever would allow -- if it is too difficult, once a direction is decided upon and discussed with you -- there have been a number of subjects and areas raised to try to move towards it.
11163 If it is too difficult to make commitments that can be expressed in terms of measurements that allow some transparency or testing, if it is too difficult because the time frame and the buoyancy of the industry is too high, it may well be that that is the only answer because otherwise it negates the ability to recalibrate and leaves it completely to you.
11164 We trust Michael intrinsically, but --
--- Laughter / Rires
11165 MR. BEATTY: We are prepared to leave Michael as hostage if that would be helpful.
--- Laughter / Rires
11166 MR. BEATTY: Let me deal first, if I --
11167 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: But I believe you know -- what I am saying is there have to be tools to test where we are going. Otherwise, it is a "Trust us" mechanism which doesn't make me feel that I am discharging my mandate as a member of the Commission. I'm sure it is true of other commissioners as well. We wouldn't have this process otherwise.
11168 So it has to be a meaningful process that ends up with as many of these measurements as possible. The public asks for it and it is our responsibility to establish them with you and in a reasonable fashion, and reasonableness may indeed require shorter periods if that is what is necessary.
11169 MR. BEATTY: Let me try to respond on that, starting first with the issue of the importance to us of the seven-year licence term. It is important to us. It allows us to do long-range planning and it gives us some degree of certainty that you are not simply working -- I can remember very well what the cycle was when I was in Parliament.
11170 A majority government gave you the ability to take long-range decisions as opposed to worrying about where you were going to be three months from now down the road. It is important to have sufficient stability to be able to do long-range planning and this is why the seven-year licence term is very important to us.
11171 I also understand where you are coming from. The Act is very clear. There is a role for both the Commission and the Corporation. Both of us have our statutory responsibilities. We are not attempting to go back to the 1950s when we were both regulator and public broadcaster. Those days are gone. We don't seek to go back to that and there is an appropriate role for both of us to play there.
11172 On the issue of transparency, we expect to meet a level of transparency that goes beyond any other broadcaster in the system. We do today, we will in the future, and we are looking for what other mechanisms we can put in place, whether in consultation with you or other ones that we can take unilaterally ourselves to ensure greater transparency and accountability.
11173 One of the commissioners -- I am not sure whether it was the Chair or Commissioner Colville -- referred to the annual reports. The only annual report that we have instituted within the last couple of years, where the Chair and I will go on air, I then subsequently did phone-in programs on French radio, French TV, English radio, English TV.
11174 We also have had -- and Harold has participated very extensively in these in his previous capacity -- in a series of forums called "Take It To The Top", particularly in radio, where anybody was welcome to come in, make a complaint, hold us to account, ask questions. We have done that across the country and we are looking for other ways to do that as well.
11175 We will be instituting something which I consider very exciting and important with an annual statement of promise of performance directly to our audiences and saying: These, in a detailed way, are the sort of engagements we are making in our contract with you, our audiences, this year. We will both give you a report card at the end of the year and are open to be scored both on your assessment of how we did and on your assessment of how honestly we have scored ourselves in the report card.
11176 I would invite you if you haven't had a chance yet to take a look at how the BBC does that because it would be based on the model of the BBC and I think you will be struck both by the degree of detail that they have in setting objectives but also with the honesty and openness with which they score themselves.
11177 There are many other mechanisms in mid-course as well, whether it is the ability within the parliamentary committee to examine our estimates or our annual report. Our corporate plan is tabled in Parliament -- a summary of it annually. That provides another opportunity as well.
11178 You undertook an innovation which I felt was a very constructive and positive one in going out across the country and having hearings, inviting people in to comment on the Corporation before going into these hearings. It is a process which I am very open to seeing us look at either ourselves or in other ways in collaboration with others to provide fora in which the Corporation will be accountable, in which people feel that they have a direct opportunity to be heard. I am certainly open to seeing us looking at ways of ensuring that we are able to report on the progress we are making and answer questions that you have with the Commission as well.
11179 The reason why we are operating with an abundance of caution in terms of commitments that we make -- and we have made a whole series of commitments to you as it relates to English Television and Newsworld, but in every instance, these are minimum commitments that we make because the uncertainty that we have is what the performance will be with the Canadian Television Fund under the new rules that Commissioner Cram was talking about or the uncertainty that we may have with regard to the parliamentary appropriation.
11180 But these are minimum conditions that barring force majeure we will meet and our full expectation is to be able to go beyond that. What I felt was important as we prepared to come in to meet with you is that we be absolutely straight and honest with you, that my successor not find himself or herself here, seven years from now, explaining why we made commitments that weren't met, that any of these commitments would have to be realistic and achievable, even if ambitious.
11181 What we would like to do is to find with you engagements which are reasonable and responsible and achievable, and our goal will be to exceed those undertakings that we give to you and to Canadians as a whole, and we will hold ourselves to standards of transparency and accountability that go well beyond that of any other broadcaster in the system.
11182 The only other thing I would say is that you correctly say, if we ask you to trust us that you have a right to ask us: On what basis?
11183 MR. BEATTY: My response to that would be that we have gone through the most serious challenge to the corporation in its history over the course of the last four years with massive reductions to our budget. And yet, we are able to come to you now and able, I think, to demonstrate our sincerity in trying to achieve those commitments that we made to you last time, even when we could not have anticipated a budget reduction on the scale.
11184 And we can demonstrate to you that even with all the strains on the corporation, we, in good faith, are making commitments today and changing directions in a way which I think are in line with what you are looking for and which represent an attempt to make this the most successful and most relevant public broadcaster that Canada's ever had.
11185 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: I just have one more comment, Mr. Klymkiw.
11186 I do understand that a schedule is only a snapshot of what is being done now and that you can't tell me what it is going to look like in seven years.
11187 But it brings to mind the Christmas cards you get where people choose to put a snapshot of their family as a Christmas greeting. And to the extent that some choose to be in jeans in the forest, as opposed to in shirts and ties including the five year olds in front of the museum, I conclude that they are trying to give me a picture of their family and what direction they wanted to take and I can take a fair amount from that. Would you agree --
11188 MR. KLYMKIW: Yes.
11189 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: -- that we are entitled to look at the schedule and have an idea that this is what you would like it to look like and continue, unless there are other commitments made that will change it.
11190 MR. KLYMKIW: Yes, and I think we have been very clear about that. I mean, to repeat we want to do more arts performance; we want to do more youth; we want to do more programming from the region.
11191 But we want to be -- I want to echo what Perrin and Harold have been saying all day. We want to be as honest as we can with you about what we can accomplish. And we have, I think, foreshadowed very clearly the areas that we think we want to do more in. And that is beginning to show up in the schedule now and will continue to evolve that way in the process that we have talked about.
11192 And you know, I hope we have been very clear about those areas.
11193 COMMISSIONER WYLIE: Thank you very much.
11194 Thank you, Madame Chair.
11195 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Commissioner Langford?
11196 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: I will move into the sick bay here.
--- Laughter / Rires
11197 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: My questions -- there are not many of them and they arise mostly from the consultation process that Mr. Beatty just referred to.
11198 I am conscious though that that consultation process, just by the nature of it, had a very strong regional focus and if any of you feel that the answers might be appropriate in the next set, that's fine, too. I'm fine with that. So I don't want to overstep the jurisdiction. But with the CBC it is tricky, you cover so much of the world, nationally, regionally.
11199 The first piece of feedback that came to me from these consultations over and over, I was in four of the cities, three in the Maritimes and one in Edmonton. And what I heard over and over, and I don't say this to make you feel bad, but unfortunately what I heard over and over is "We love the radio. We love the radio. We love the radio and the TV is okay, too. But we really love the radio".
11200 I was thinking of this when I was listening to Mr. Redekopp just a few minutes ago speak about how to measure audiences and obviously there is reach and there is numbers and there is statistics and then he spoke rather eloquently, I thought, about loyalty. And I thought you might be able to help us a little here because you have been on the radio side, as well. You are kind of a rare commodity here. You have got the heavy background in this wonderfully successful area of the CBC and now you are setting out into the TV area.
11201 Are there any lessons that you can bring that you are now bringing or are they just totally separate and it is just the way it is and we all love the radio and the television will just have to struggle to keep up? Are there lessons that you have learned from radio that you are going to bring to broadcasting?
11202 MR. REDEKOPP: Well, first of all radio and television are very different media for sure and people use them differently. But I would say the thing that CBC Television and Radio have in common and if we want to build loyalty, this will be the key fact or idea, is connection with the community.
11203 You know, in 1990 when we made the decision to take the cuts, we took it largely out of regional television, regional radio was spared. The networks, both radio and television were spared. And I think this time around with this last cut, I think there were all kinds of parties, newspapers urging us to get out of the regions in television, at least, entirely. And we didn't.
11204 But I think the area in which we have to make connections and we will be talking about that in the next panel is precisely in that area. I think the people who did have some affection for television, and there were a number of them that I heard, want more of it. They want to see themselves on the screen more often. Our frustration will be deal with it within the constraints of our budget.
11205 But the loyalty and affection starts with a local and regional connection. There is no question about it.
11206 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: I think on a similar vein another one of the themes that were struck over and over again -- and again I want to try to walk this fine line between the network and the regions and not step over it yet. But one of the things that we heard, particularly in the Maritimes, I think, and Mr. Harris was there and he, I'm sure, would corroborate this, was that a lot of the rural community there, and they have a very large rural base still get only CBC and if they are lucky and the bounce is right, something else occasionally on the rabbit ears or whatever.
11207 But quite a few people who came to our hearing still get only the CBC, which brings me to a kind of a question you may find strange coming from this side of the table, but have you, for this audience, gone too far into Canadian content? Is it conceivable that by locking in your prime time into this wonderful, laudable Canadian presence that you may deprive these people who depend solely on the CBC of some wonderful foreign broadcasting, the sort of thing that the CBC traditionally has brought Canadians?
11208 MR. REDEKOPP: Well, let me make a start on that, Commissioner.
11209 I think that we have always tried to include the best of the world and Slawko is certainly programming that into the schedule and into his future thinking. I think as the present has said and others at this table have said, our first obligation though is to program Canadian, distinctively Canadian, attractively Canadian and we wouldn't back away from that.
11210 I do think that a full and bound schedule also sets Canadian in the best of the world context. So I think to that extent we want to always maintain some best of the world.
11211 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: And are there holes for that? As a programmer how do you find holes for that if something extraordinary comes up and you want to run it?
11212 MR. KLYMKIW: Well, generally, we buy special series or limited series, we buy one-offs, we buy movies so that they are easier to schedule. And we try to buy them so they are in line with both our core program activities and that they make sense in terms of their quality and their subject matter and the kinds of things I think that they add to the richness of our schedule.
11213 But, you know, you raise a good point through the hearings. I heard stuff like what you just said and we hear many different things about what CBC English television ought to be. And I would just like to repeat what I have probably said a couple of times already: We made some very difficult, but I think important choices about what that schedule is today. And I think it is a place of departure for us now.
11214 We have very, very strong drama and very, very strong information and sports and we believe that the next step for us is to make sure that our regional, our arts performance, our youth components, our amateur sports components grow, because I think they can add distinctiveness to the network.
11215 So I think it is important again to reinforce what we have been, for the most part, more than foreshadowing most of the day.
11216 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Just a couple of more areas where I am still a little vague and you have been very clear, so there aren't many left.
11217 But with the sense and a couple of my fellow Commissioners have tried to get at this as well, and you have answered, I think, as forthrightly as you could, but it still bothers me a little bit about the sense of looking forward. And I am not trying to nail you to any kind of commitment here, but I too, I am seeing the progress, I am seeing the movement and I am seeing this wonderful swatch of red here and the pride that you rightfully take in being able to accomplish this and hopefully to maintain it.
11218 At the same time, I do want to look forward two, three, four years -- I don't want to push you all the way to seven perhaps, but just to kind of get a sense. I have heard Mr. Beatty speak eloquently about the power of repeats and when he spoke at the very beginning about constellations and how repeats can be used in that way. But still, when I look at the handout that you gave us showing us CTV's schedule and Global's schedule and your schedule, they didn't have repeats, or if they did, I missed them, but they didn't have many. You have a lot of them.
11219 In an ideal world, would you have fewer and though there is -- and I take Mr. Beatty's point -- some benefit to them and new audiences, in an ideal world, would you have fewer of them and is that something that you are hoping -- is that a goal that you are hoping to attain?
11220 MR. KLYMKIW: First on the repeats. And you know I am loathe ever to speak about our competitors, but they repeat a lot and they do it for the same reasons we do it. You can see "Frasier" on several channels and on the same channel many times and they spread their repeats out through the year. So we all do that for economic reasons. We also do it for the reasons I have detailed about audience flows, how people watch television.
11221 My sense is that becomes partly an economic issue and it also becomes an issue of how people's viewing habits are changing. And it is what I said earlier. When we look in the mirror about how we want to change the service, we would be irresponsible not to look at how people are using the television set.
11222 And they are using it differently, they are not using it in an appointment way like they did in the past. There are not that many appointment television programs that we all gather around. They want a schedule that is convenient, that is user-friendly and that they can find their programs.
11223 So you are going to see a certain level of repeats for that reason. But I would argue -- and again I leave some of this to Perrin -- in an age where the world is fragmenting the way it is, an over-the-air broadcaster -- to be simply an over-the-air broadcaster is a very difficult way of extending our value. And that's why we have worked hard on constellation, if you want to call it that. But the shelf space issue is an important issue for us and it is one way that we can deal with the repeat issue. It is also a way we can deal with getting more value back to audiences, which is the business we are in.
11224 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: So if money weren't a factor we would still be seeing this. And there is no trick to this question, I am just looking for some guidance.
11225 If money weren't a factor, is this the modern face of prime time television?
11226 MR. KLYMKIW: You know it depends if we had specialty channels or not. If we didn't have specialty channels or accompanying channels or associated channels of some sort, we would look at what our viewers needed. And our sense about our viewers, about the citizens who watch our network is that on Monday night at eight o'clock they all can't get to one of our most popular shows. So we decided that we would put it twice a week and it has been very successful in terms of how the demographics have come to us. And I think we will look at that all the time.
11227 I think the snapshot is an interesting one and I think you have to work toward goals which we have laid out. But I think as the world changes, we simply as a public broadcaster have to be able to react to those changes and the question you have asked about audiences and repeats has a lot to do with that. It has to do with viewing habits and how they used their public service.
11228 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: So the answer is "yes"?
11229 MR. KLYMKIW: Yes.
11230 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: I just want to be sure. I mean, you speak so eloquently all of you, but sometimes it is good to get a "yes" or a "no" on that.
11231 And if this is the modern face of television, I take your expert advice on that. I am simply looking for information here. It is certainly different, it is new and it is a new look. I am not here to judge it, but I do want to learn from you folks.
11232 I have one last question. We did talk, as well, in the regions when we went out on these consultations, we heard from a number of independent producers and Commissioner Grauer referred to the rights issue, as did Commissioner Cram earlier. And I confess a little ignorance on this, but some of the independent producers talked about their hopes that the CBC would enter with them into an agreement modelled on what they call the Australian/British model.
11233 I confess, I don't know what that model is and I am not asking you to give me a Ph.D. course in this precedent. But what is it that they want? What does that model mean to them in a few minutes or less and are there any problems with it that you have?
11234 MR. REDEKOPP: Well, I think we were speaking about that to Commissioner Cram earlier.
11235 We call that generically terms of trade and the model that the CFTPA has put out is both the British model, the BBC model, and the Australian model. And we are, in fact, looking at it now. We are meeting with them at the Banff Festival and we hope to conclude our own terms of trade, as it were, by the end of the calendar year.
11236 And as Slawko and Phyllis were defining it, it talks about how we -- it is a transparency mechanism so that people know how we make decisions about projects, how they are funded. And I can let the others speak a little more about the details. But it really talks about the whole business of commissioning, financing projects so that people understand the decisions that are taken when we go to do in-house as opposed to independent production.
11238 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: And does it deal with rights, with the rights issue?
11239 MR. KLYMKIW: I believe there's a section -- there is a list of six or seven issues that we are going to talk about and rights is one of them.
11240 It's what Phyllis said earlier, it is to formalize a very, very important relationship that has grown. It has exploded in the last couple of years and it is to find a way of formalizing it so everybody understands the goal posts or the field we work in, understands how we make decisions, understands how we deal with disputes if we have them. And begins to work together to both help the CBC and at large help the industry grow.
11241 And I think we are all quite excited about it. I think it really formalizes a very important partnership for the CBC.
11242 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: And what are the stumbling blocks? I got the impression from some of these independent producers they are ready to sign on now, this sort of model agreement. Are there stumbling blocks from your point of view?
11243 MS PLATT: I think the independent producers are particularly interested in clarity. I think they have concerns about additional rights and how that will work between the CBC and themselves in the future. I think that we, as stewards of public money, will certainly be discussing with them our need to negotiate proper agreements with them and what we believe that that means.
11244 But what we have said to them is that we will look at the BBC and ABC models. They have agreed to come to us with a model that they feel is particularly relevant to Canadian producers because the circumstances vary from country to country, in some cases quite significantly. So what we are trying to do is work together toward terms of trade that are appropriate for Canada, appropriate for the independent production sector and appropriate for the CBC.
11245 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: And are you close on that? I mean, are you confident?
11246 MS PLATT: We have begun the process. We received the information from them about a week ago, and as Harold mentioned, we are meeting with them in Banff. So we have had several discussions with them to date about how to approach this issue and we have agreed with them that a date of the end of this calendar year is realistic in terms of coming up with a final agreement.
11247 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Those are my questions.
11248 Thank you very much.
11249 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
11250 Commissioner Pennefather.
11251 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you.
11252 I would like to briefly pursue the programming questions which Commissioner Cram and Commissioner Wylie raised, and Commissioner Langford just touched on one of them.
11253 A couple of questions to clarify two areas which you have mentioned as important components of your strategy, and one is features, feature film. It is not clear to me exactly how that is going to work and where these features will end up on the schedule.
11254 Now, I take the conversation that we have had regarding snapshot, but it is a guide to your approach to beyond Canadian, or Canadian plus more, as Commissioner Cram put it, what this translates into as an initiative. We see money going into features to do -- how will it work? Are these features you are acquiring? Are these features you are producing?
11255 Secondly, where will they end up on the schedule?
11256 MR. KLYMKIW: If I could just talk a little about our scheduling philosophy -- this won't be long.
11257 I think I said earlier that we really look at counter scheduling everyone else, which means that we look at three seasons or four seasons, and in those we can divide up, for instance a Thursday night, into two or three blocks.
11258 To begin with, with feature films, the reason we began the hour Thursday experiment is that we think we can expand that block to two hours next year. So we think that there can be a period of time of 13 weeks or 16 weeks or 15 weeks that can begin to accommodate feature film.
11259 But we are going to begin looking at the schedule that way because, you know, with the limited shelf space we have one of the things we have been trying to do is look at scheduling differently and looking at these distinct periods of time that we can change some of the programs, create new streams, put new programs in them. So the foreshadowing that we have done on Thursday is that that could become two hours and that could become, for part of the season, a feature film strand.
11260 We can also look -- and this is where it becomes difficult. I could easily say to you "Friday night will become feature films". Well, I don't know if that is true. It is a very, very popular comedy night for us right now. It partly depends on a whole bunch of decisions we have to make about what we are going to do less of. We haven't quite made those decisions.
11261 What we have decided is, we obviously want to do more in arts performance, regions, youth, children's, and we have to come to some terms of where we are going to find shelf space.
11262 But I just want to make the shelf space point. The way we have dealt with that without more shelf space is to carve up the schedule into kind of four blocks and try to find fresh ways of putting fresh programs in.
11263 It does a couple of things. First of all, it is completely different than what any other network does.
11264 Second, it helps us create more program time for different genres.
11265 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: What I am trying to understand is not just on the feature area, and I will come back to that in a second, but also your overall programming strategy. It is at a level where we can translate what you have described as a television, which is conventional television; and what Mr. Redekopp said must meet a first criteria of audience size, share and reach.
11266 Secondly, impact. I think those were the criteria you laid out.
11267 As you know, we had a fairly extensive discussion with your colleagues on the French network on getting a better understanding of how the strategy of -- in this case English television, in their case French television, obviously, fit with the overall corporate strategy and the objectives in that strategy.
11268 Secondly, how your going forward strategy translated. In this case they are translating into initiatives. I think earlier this afternoon Mr. Redekopp called them priorities of programming. They are children and youth, performing arts, regional roots and amateur sport. So one would assume that we would see, over the course of the period of time of the licence, shifts in terms of more presence for these genres in the scheduling, and it is in that nature that we are looking at what these words mean in terms of the commitment.
11269 There is only so much time in the schedule and there are only so many choices that you are making. As a public broadcaster you are saying what all the words translate into is more of this, more of this, more of this and more of this.
11270 So as we look at the layout of percentages in the prime time hour and news, public affairs, sports, movies as they exist, are you telling us that this is the basic balancing act that will go forward, and, if it is, we have 3 per cent for movies, which doesn't leave a lot of room for the features which have now become a major portion of your strategy.
11271 The features is interesting because, as you yourself say in your application, this is an area where the CBC has called upon itself and, as you say, has been recognized in some ways -- you say "at last" -- as a major cultural player in terms of dealing with the constant and ongoing challenge for feature film making in this country. It is a level of discussion around not just another program in the evening but a whole genre of cultural programming -- and I don't mean that in an elitist sense -- for this country.
11272 So how does feature commitment translate into a real shift in terms of the space, the promotion, the scheduling, the acquisition and the production of feature films? To take the words and put them into specifics is what I'm after and I'm using features as an example.
11273 MR. KLYMKIW: Well, I guess maybe I just haven't been clear enough. We have this year created an hour of prime time real estate on Thursday night. Next year that will go to two hours.
11274 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: That will be feature film?
11275 MR. KLYMKIW: That will be partly feature film. As I was trying to point out, I am trying to look at the year in a different way, partly to counter program and create a distinguishable scheduling philosophy, but partly to create space to do more things. So that is how we are partly dealing with the shelf space problem.
11276 Also, to go back to Commissioner Langford's question, we have this year run a comedy strip at seven o'clock, partly because of the nature of what happens between 7:00 and 8:00. Most of that is repeat right now, so we have done that partly to extend our brand. We are very proud of what we have done in comedy, we think it works well at seven o'clock because of what audiences want, but it is a whole strip in the schedule that we can re-look at in terms of what we put in there.
11277 We have also laid the pipe on Sundays and we have Sunday nights where, you know, obviously we do a lot of miniseries and made for television movies. All of that is the discussion we are having in terms of the balance of those things. But I think we have been fairly clear on the shelf space side because we have actually created those pride of place points in our schedule for next year and we have already said that we are going to expand some of those for the year after.
11278 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I understand what you are saying. It's just that when it comes to what our role is, as Commissioner Wylie was saying, it is important that that translate at some point into specific expectations that we can in fact look at where we are heading in those directions, and we had this discussion at length with your colleagues in French television.
11279 If I may move to one other area, and that is the diversity question, gentlemen and Ms Platt. We talked about multiculturalism and programming, and I asked Newsworld this question as well: If you could give us a better sense of the specific steps you are taking to invite, to offer access -- I know you are discussing with the independent production community in fact a number of major issues -- the whole matter of diversity in terms of the product you have access to, the product you are producing, the staff, the training, the accessibility to programs placement at CBC.
11280 What specific plans you have over and above the employment equity steps which are repeated in each application here for the main network in terms of increasing the diversity, which you have said is not appropriate yourselves, increasing diversity. I know it's good to have -- it is absolutely essential, particularly for a public broadcaster, to have that goal but there have to be some steps to get there.
11281 MR. REDEKOPP: Perhaps we could start with the training, Commissioner Pennefather, and start with one of our key assets, and that is news and public affairs.
11282 I think we have said a little bit about it, but perhaps Bob Culbert could start there and we could talk about all the other areas, training that first of all makes it possible for young, first-time broadcasters to join the CBC. We had some of that discussion with Newsworld, but we probably haven't had enough with the main channels.
11283 So, Bob, could you start?
11284 MR. CULBERT: Yes. I will repeat the new internship program I spoke about this morning. I think of the nine candidates chosen for the first pilot three are one aboriginal and two other categories.
11285 We, I think, have three or four different types of internship programs at the corporation, including the one we talked about at Newsworld yesterday. Some are just summer programs for students through their education. All of them are highly sensitive to this issue.
11286 I think it's the way we are at the very starting point of identifying potential young journalists, because it is always difficult to get people into a position in sort of -- especially a network show, but also our regional shows that have all the expertise that they can immediately start work on certain skills. We certainly seem to get them in early to the intern programs to identify it. Then it is a matter of sensitizing, as best we can, all our hiring boards and all the people responsible for hiring to, whenever possible, find the people to meet these categories.
11287 MR. REDEKOPP: Can I speak a little bit about the hiring boards? We have in fact an expectation of all major hiring boards to identify candidates, appropriate gender balanced candidates and certainly from the visible minority community as well.
11288 The other thing that I would say -- we will get more into this when we get into the regional panel -- that the greatest point of entry, or the best point of entry is often usually at the regional level. That is another reason for maintaining those very strong regional roots.
11289 I think you heard from Mark Bulgutch yesterday, I mean the number of people who have come into the system from any one of our regional stations is truly remarkable. In fact, people join up knowing that that is the route in. That is also where we have put expectations on every one of those regional directors -- and you will be seeing them and meeting them in just a moment -- to make sure that we had that entry line absolutely full of diverse candidates.
11290 Did you want to add anything to this?
11291 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: It's what's on the network. I understand the mechanism, and we can come back to that, but it's how the network ends up with a reflection of diversity.
11292 MS PINSKY: In terms of our departments, we are not doing much hiring. When we do we certainly look for a strong representation, multicultural representation when we do hire.
11293 But, as I said, we are not in hiring mode. So we depend far more on our independent production partners and what they are bringing to us to try to advance these various issues.
11294 I think I mentioned earlier that we have encouraged the inclusion of diverse representation in terms of the actors who portray roles in a very wide variety of what we do. If you watch a CBC series you will often see -- unless it is completely inappropriate -- faces who are not all white male.
11295 So that has been a priority for us for a number of years. We continue to push on that front. We have several series in development that are very strongly rooted in multicultural themes and we have programming either on the air or coming to air that speak again very strongly to that initiative.
11296 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you very much.
11297 Thank you, Madam Chair.
11298 THE CHAIRPERSON: Legal counsel.
11299 MS PINSKY: Thank you, Madam Chair.
11300 I just have a couple of questions of clarification.
11301 First with respect to your Canadian content commitments. You have set them out at page 158 of your application, and you have set out two levels of Canadian content commitments, one for the period between September and February and the other for March to August. The period for March to August would have a 10 per cent lower level of Canadian content. Could you please first explain why you have set out this different level of commitment for two time periods?
11302 MR. REDEKOPP: Michael?
11303 MR. HARRIS: Essentially, the issue has been in the summer and is less acute now. But it has been that we have had large positions of American inventory with the network and as we went to an all-Canadian schedule we had inventory left that we played off, and that was largely played off in the summer so that the Canadian content levels in our peak season over the winter were higher than they were in the summer. Now we are pretty much playing through that inventory at this point.
11304 MS PINSKY: When we look at the new fall schedule that you have filed with us there doesn't seem to be a problem any more. Is this still an issue that you need to address?
11305 MR. HARRIS: We are well into discussion. We are prepared to move this up higher. We are in a better position than we were. We have written off some inventory and the problem isn't as acute as it appeared to be.
11306 MS PINSKY: To what level? You said you are prepared to move higher. What are you looking toward? The higher level for September to February, then, for the entire year?
11307 MR. HARRIS: We are looking to average over the whole year. We would move to the 75 per cent Canadian content over the broadcast --
11308 Similarly, while we are there, in the evening broadcast period we are prepared to move to 80 per cent over the full year.
11309 MS PINSKY: Thank you.
11310 Now a very specific question. With respect to your commitment to air in prime time a Canadian sports documentary series with respect to amateur sports, is that the type of program that would fall within the category of information programming or would this fall within the category of sports programming?
11311 MR. HARRIS: Within sports programming.
11312 MS PINSKY: Again, if I look to your fall 1999 schedule, in your presentation you mentioned that you have expanded the CBC playground from two to three hours. Just to clarify, when I look at the schedule I see two-and-a-half identified for children's, followed by a half hour for family and youth. Could you just clarify with regard to the indication in the presentation you intend to, in the future, increase to the full three hours, or did you want to make that distinction between youth and children's?
11313 MR. HARRIS: It's my understanding -- I'm looking at Phyllis here -- that the full period from 8:30 to 11:30 is preschool programming, children's programming.
11314 MR. REDEKOPP: It should be three hours a day but weekdays.
11315 MS PINSKY: Okay. So from 11:30 it should indicate otherwise.
11316 MR. KLYMKIW: The children's block is from 8:30 to 11:30.
11317 MS PINSKY: Okay. It is just that it is indicated here "family and youth".
11318 Just with regard to that coding issue that arose when you rescheduled "Degrassi" from later in the evening to earlier in the afternoon, and that may arise again in relation to "Road to Avonlea", can that simply be remedied by recoding? Is there a problem?
11319 MS PLATT: I'm assuming that that is a discussion with the CRTC. I guess our sense is that a program like "Degrassi" or like "Odyssey" is clearly designed for a youth audience. "Odyssey", for example, had virtually no adults in it. It seems to be a coding issue rather than a substantive issue, but we would want to discuss that with you.
11320 MR. HARRIS: Yes. One of the things that we would like to engage in at the conclusion of these hearings is we would like to schedule a meeting with the CRTC to talk about coding issues we have to make sure that we can be on side and that we don't get into fights over things that aren't really issues.
11321 MS PINSKY: Another specific question.
11322 On page 92 of your application where you set out your specific commitments with respect to drama you identify as number 5 specifically that you would intend to:
"...work closely with regional stations to develop two new arts and entertainment series in each region over the course of the next licence term." (As read)
11323 Just to clarify what that commitment is, when I read the regional applications you speak of two either arts and entertainment or information programming. Are we speaking of the same regional programs here so it is not necessarily two new arts?
11324 MR. REDEKOPP: Correct. We are speaking about those two programs. There are two half hour programs that are going to be introduced in the next licence period in nine of our regional areas in the country.
11325 MS PINSKY: Okay. So with respect to this, this is set out as a drama commitment, it is possible, then, that in several of the areas there could be two information depending on the particular circumstances of the --
11326 MR. REDEKOPP: I think the emphasis would be on light information. We will get into more detail into that in the next panel. But it could also have dramatic material and comedic material.
11327 MS PINSKY: Again, just to clarify the specific commitment being made with respect to regional programming, you set out in your presentation that you would have one hour prime time allocated to regions for a 26-week period to present programs and variety drama and information. Then you say you would broadcast the best of those regional programs on the network: one 13-week series in the first part of the licence term and two in the later years.
11328 I wanted to clarify whether that was a specific commitment that of these regional programs that would be developed that one in the first part of the licence and two in the second would be broadcast on the network.
11329 MR. HARRIS: Not the particular regional series but repurposed versions of them. So it is not as if we would take a show out of a region and put it on the network but that we would use the material to repurpose them for network play.
11330 MS PINSKY: At the risk of beating this one to death, I do want to just clarify what the specific commitment is with respect to performing arts.
11331 When we look at page 53 of your application -- and we spoke earlier that you had extensive discussions about the different interpretations that you have given to the concept of performance -- I just wanted to clarify, at page 53, paragraph 169, you have identified five different types of programming that you would consider to be under the rubric of performing arts, and with respect to the commitment to broadcast the 24 performances, would those only relate to the first of the two which would be arts performance specials and significant arts performance within the larger context as opposed to the three latter ones which include arts journalism, arts documentaries and award shows?
11332 MS PLATT: That's correct.
11333 MS PINSKY: Okay. Then just with respect to the undertakings that you have made earlier today, I believe there were four, I wanted to clarify when you would be in a position to fulfil them and file the information with the Commission. Could you do that by tomorrow afternoon?
11334 MR. BEATTY: Specifically, which undertakings?
11335 MS PINSKY: There were four. There was one outlining the ratios of the CTF funding and the CBC licence levels reporting back on whether you had reported back to the Heritage Committee, the third one was providing an analysis of the contribution of each sport to the overhead, and the fourth was hours of exchange programs on the network.
11336 MR. HARRIS: The first three we can have by tomorrow. The fourth one may take a little longer, but certainly by Friday.
11337 MS PINSKY: Friday morning?
11338 MR. HARRIS: Sure.
11339 MR. BEATTY: Remind me, Madam Chair, not to make any commitments.
--- Laughter / Rires
11340 MS PINSKY: Okay.
11341 Finally, I just wanted to note for the public record that the CBC has filed two documents in response to the undertakings that they have made. The first is entitled "CBC Television Network and Stations Overall Canadian Production Volumes", a document of three pages; and the second is a document entitled "Distribution of CBC Canadian Broadcast Time According to Program Type".
11342 Thank you, Madam Chairman.
11343 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
11344 About the broadcast centre, it is not clear. Did we agree on the first day of the hearing last week -- it seems like months ago already -- that we would have further information to kind of clarify the cost allocation there? I don't have the transcript from last week.
11345 MR. BEATTY: I don't recall that. I don't know whether Louise Tremblay is with us.
11346 MS TREMBLAY: This was not discussed at the hearing at all, but it had been questioned in the deficiencies process and we provided the answer.
11347 THE CHAIRPERSON: It was in the deficiency and we were satisfied. Okay.
11348 I'm sorry. It's just that I had a note here.
11349 I think that concludes this part of the hearing.
11350 I would like to say that the same kind of areas of concerns and preoccupations we raised since last Tuesday are still there on the table and there was some similarity, though recognizing that there is a difference: a difference in terms of the public and the citizens that are served, a difference in markets, also different approaches. The questions are concerns and preoccupations and we hope that in the rebuttal phase we will have a chance to pursue them.
11351 There is a general discomfort, I would think, because of the stability of the revenues and the costs. It is in discussing this with you that there are trends that are kind of design in terms of where you are going to go, but it is not apparent when we look at the forecasting you are doing in terms of figures.
11352 For example, you talk about getting some new agreement with the independent producers vis-à-vis the distribution rights in order to allow some new revenue stream to allow for new development. Well, it is not apparent at all in your figures here, except for in the olympic years where everything is pretty much stable in terms of figures.
11353 So it may be out of prudence and caution and certainly we can relate to that and understand that, but it is very difficult to see the real push and the passion behind it that will really kind of come alive. We get it when we talk to you, but it is not there.
11354 Maybe when we get together again at the end of the hearing those are areas where -- although we understand the necessity of not promising something you cannot deliver, for which you don't have any guarantees in terms of what you can produce, you have a sense of firmer commitments in terms of what are the real directions -- whether this is a snapshot, it still shows, as other Commissioners were pointing out, the trends you are trying to push and to kind of infuse into a new way of doing things, a new way of providing the public service to Canadians. I think we need that.
11355 In terms of also the idea about independent producers, I think it is important. The idea of getting more transparency -- we will be talking about that again -- it's there and I suppose it exists also at other levels, so anything you can provide us with in the rebuttal phase that is more precise, more clear, in terms of what are the commitments and the goals so that, as Commissioner Wylie was saying earlier, we can really, with you and with all Canadians, kind of see the progress from year to year --
11356 MR. BEATTY: Madam Chair, we have noted all of those. We would be pleased to come back on any of them and to try to provide you the greatest precision that we can.
11357 If I can, let me also just briefly make a comment with regard to what Commissioner Colville said when he first started this morning. He prefaced his comments by saying that because he was getting back into sports that we might see him as anti-sport and he pointed out that the Commission has an obligation to pursue a whole range of issues, the sports advertising or any other.
11358 Let me make it clear from our side, that there are no illegitimate questions at all. We are here to account for our activities. We want to maintain the highest possible level of transparency. We welcome the opportunity to have the exchange with you. We will do our best to supply any information that we can.
11359 At the end of the day, our only goal is to ensure that any commitment we make to you we are able to deliver on that so that if there is any uncertainty that you have about what our good intentions in terms of the directions in terms of the directions in which we want to go, simply out of prudence that we will be cautious where there are variables such as the Canadian Television Fund where we simply don't know at this point what access we will have.
11360 But on any of the issues that you have raised, on other issues of concern to you, we will do our level best throughout to be as transparent and responsive on each of those.
11361 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. We appreciate it.
11362 Before I forget, there was one last thing about sports. It would be interesting to know if those are --
11363 MR. BEATTY: Did that comment just incite this --
--- Laugher / Rires
11364 THE CHAIRPERSON: No, no, no. It's just that I was looking at my note here.
11365 MR. BEATTY: So I take it back.
11366 THE CHAIRPERSON: Sorry.
11367 It is in-house productions most of the time, isn't it, the sports, whether it is professional or amateur? If we could get some comparisons there with genre that would be helpful because when you are saying that you are not making much profit on those types of programs, at the same time it allows to free up some kind of money in order to do other things and investing in development or in drama or arts and entertainment, because you are ensured of really getting the proper level of work so that you can really make good use of all the resources you have, so that would be helpful.
11368 MR. BEATTY: (Off microphone).
11369 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Thank you to all of you. We will see some of you just after the break.
--- Short recess at / Courte suspension à 1520
11370 THE CHAIRPERSON: With the next step of the Hearing, I am sorry that Mr. Beatty has left because we have just learned that it was his birthday today, so we want to extend our nos meilleurs anniversaires, bon anniversaire and it is his last year in the forties. Lucky him, he hasn't reached that big five yet.
11371 Madame Bénard?
11372 MS BÉNARD: Thank you, Madame Chair. The presentation will be for the renewal applications of the CBC owned and operated television stations across Canada.
PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
11373 THE CHAIRPERSON: Hello again.
11374 MR. REDEKOPP: Hello again, Madame Chair, Commissioners.
11375 I would like to introduce three of our Regional Directors of Television from across the country. Two from my right, Fred Mattocks from the Maritimes, Jane Chalmers from Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and Rae Hull from British Columbia.
11376 Behind us are some people you have already met. Our Program Director, Slawko Klymkiw. Our Executive Director of News and Current Affairs in "Newsworld", Bob Culbert.
11377 In the audience --
11378 THE CHAIRPERSON: Somewhere.
11379 MR. REDEKOPP: It doesn't match my script. And our Director of Finance and Administration, Bill Atkinson.
11380 Joining them for this presentation are two new faces, Gino Apponi who is sitting to my left in the rear is our new Director of Regional News and Information and the person responsible for the redevelopment of our supper hour programs. And to his right is Judy Fantham, Director of Regulatory Policy for English television. She is also a former Regional Director.
11381 And at our side table we have, starting from my right, Directors Ron Crocker from Newfoundland and Labrador and Bruce Taylor from Ontario, Dave Knapp from Quebec, Joe Novak from Alberta and Marie Wilson from the North. And we have Christine Wilson at the table as our Legal Counsel.
11382 So I think I have introduced the whole side table.
11383 THE CHAIRPERSON: Welcome.
11384 MR. REDEKOPP: Commissioners, I have spent a large part of my career at the CBC working in and for the regions. I believe deeply and passionately that strong regional roots, meaningful regional presence and effective regional reflection are the very heart and soul of what the CBC is all about.
11385 It is through our local stations that we connect with Canadians at the communities where they live. Without them we could not provide a valuable service to our citizens, nor could we share their stories and their talents with the rest of the country.
11386 The past few years have required us to make extremely difficult choices about the allocation of resources across our system. They have also challenged us to become even more creative and innovative about how to use the resources we do have.
11387 So I want you to hear today from some of the people who are doing that work in our owned and operated television stations. I believe you will be as impressed as I am by their determination and commitment and by the results they have achieved.
11388 And I will return at the end of the presentation to summarize how we plan to build on this strong regional foundation in the coming licence term, but first, let's hear from Canadians.
--- Video presentation / Présentation video
11389 MS HULL: Part of the family right there in the neighbourhood.
11390 Madame Chair, Commissioners, that is the kind of affirmation we all heard about the importance of strong local roots during the Commission's public consultations. It was a privilege to listen to our viewers and many of them have very personal stories to tell about the impact CBC Television can have in the community.
11391 Shirley Young spoke of a hospice that recently opened its doors in Vancouver and she credited CBC Television's local news with its existence. Over a period of two years we developed and broadcast a series of essays by and about a young doctor coping with a diagnosis of Aids. It went on to win an Academy Award nomination. But equally important, the response in the community was so incredible his legacy continues today with the opening of the Dr. Peter Centre(ph) through funds raised locally and nationally.
11392 At the consultations Shirley Young wondered out loud how many lives were spared because CBC had the gumption to air the diaries. Shirley Young spoke with the passion of a mother, Dr. Peter was her son. Now, I don't know if we saved lives, but I do think that we open hearts and minds.
11393 And I like that word "gumption". I think it describes what I have seen at CBC Television since I returned from the independent sector a year ago. And it certainly describes the commitment by all the regions and my regional colleagues to discover creative and inventive ways of remaining connected to our communities.
11394 CBC Winnipeg, for example, is home of the Pan-Am Games this year. Taking the initiative the local station has leased some of its building space to international broadcasters. Now, the revenue from that has been turned into a licence fee for an independent production, a series called "Pan-Amania", ten half-hours celebrating the colour and the culture of the games.
11395 CBC Regina has opened its doors to new tenants. Saskatchewan's educational broadcaster, SCN, moved in three years ago. And SCN has just rented a studio and control room to provide a long distance classroom. Two local independent producers rent our facilities to produce a youth entertainment program and from that CBC receives equity and revenue that we can use to generate more programming.
11396 In Vancouver, the local leading newscast, "Broadcast One" has just become a partner with Simon Fraser University in the creation of an educational website which uses the scripts and video of the nightly newscast in a media literacy project accessed by B.C. schools and B.C. students.
11397 In Alberta, CBC supports the National Screen Institute with an annual drama prize for up and coming filmmakers. This February, CBC Alberta broadcast the 1998 winner of that prize, "Samurai Swing". This week, "Samurai Swing" airs nationally on "Canadian Reflections".
11398 CBC Manitoba and Manitoba Film and Sound provide similar support with a project called "Prairie Wave". We hold a script-writing competition for a 30-minute drama and produce the winning entry.
11399 And if you watched CBC's coverage of the visit of Nelson Mandella to Toronto last September, you saw the anchor of our Toronto supper hour right beside him. Suhanna Meharchand hosted the Canada - South African Economic Summit and MC'd a gala luncheon in President Mandella's honour.
11400 Further east today, in the rain, the anchor of CBC Montreal is scheduled to host an annual golf tournament for literacy. In fact, I think they are on the links right now. CBC Montreal is very proactive in the promotion of literacy, winning accolades from the literacy partners of Quebec.
11401 CBC Montreal also has a special connection to the Anglophones of the Eastern Townships. We broadcast live from the Annual Townshippers Day, this year celebrating its 20th anniversary. And in fact, CBC Montreal's news makes a habit of getting into different neighbourhoods and broadcasting live from there once every six weeks.
11402 New ways of doing business apply to internal relationships, as well. We restored local news programming in Windsor through innovative thinking and job redefinition founded in a strong partnership between management and union. Our Windsor news team won a valued internal award for this achievement, a fitting tribute to their flexible, creative and progressive solutions.
11403 Back in my home station, British Columbia, the story is now of building back. This fall, the network schedule will reflect a 40 per cent increase over two years ago in the amount of network programming originating from British Columbia. That includes two of the network's prime time drama series, "DaVinci's Inquest" and "Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy". And a new daytime talk show, "In the Company of Women", which grew out of one of the regional projects developed a few years ago.
11404 "In the Company of Women" is the kind of development you will see percolating in our regions later this year because of new initiatives touched on earlier and which Harold will outline later.
11405 But first, I turn to my colleague, Fred Mattocks, the community efforts of CBC Halifax have won international recognition there.
11406 MR. MATTOCKS: Thank you, Rae, and good afternoon, Commissioners.
11407 In 1997, our station in Halifax was awarded the North American Gabriel Award for TV station of the year for reflecting the values and creativity of its communities by the analysis of issues and the celebration of its talent and culture.
11408 The award recognized a contribution to and a connection with our communities through our programs and our activities that moves well beyond the traditional image of CBC Television. Let me give you a few examples in and around my region.
11409 Canada's vibrant East Coast music industry has deep roots in our culture and our communities. We have contributed to the growth of that industry through a long-standing tradition of high quality programming activity and partnerships. The East Coast Music Awards started as a partnership in 1994 between the East Coast Music Association, CBC Newfoundland and CBC Maritimes. It has grown to become a major network broadcast and a major industry event and it reaches more than a million Canadians each year.
11410 East Coast culture has many manifestations. We are a significant partner in the Celtic Colours Festival held in Cape Breton Island each fall. We produce the Halifax Comedy Fest in partnership with Brooks, Diamond Productions, one of the Maritimes more significant talent promoters and agents. Our production was the third most popular Canadian program on television this year.
11411 We have a unique project called "Art Spots". "Art Spots" are short programs produced in collaboration with Maritime visual artists. They are the result of a seminal partnership involving ourselves, the visual arts community and the Nova Scotia Arts Council. And I am happy to tell you that we were joined last year in that project by the Canada Council for the Arts and the CBC Television Network.
11412 This kind of outreach and recognition is not unique to the Maritimes. CBC Newfoundland found corporate sponsorship to produce a five-hour documentary project which chronicled the history of Newfoundland to commemorate Newfoundland's 500th anniversary. The series was launched with a gala hosted by Lieutenant-Governor of Newfoundland. It went on to play both locally and on the network.
11413 The University of Western Ontario and the Canadian Journalism Foundation honoured CBC Newfoundland for the journalistic excellence of their three local information programs, "Soundings", "Here and Now" and "Land and Sea". They join the Toronto Star and Maclean's magazine as honorees of that award.
11414 And this brings me to the cornerstone of what we do, news and current affairs.
11415 The Atlantic provinces are Canada's most rural provinces. We are committed to continue to provide rural issues and rural people a voice with our documentary series, "Land and Sea" which is produced in both the Maritimes and in Newfoundland. We also support a "Country Canada" bureau in Halifax to serve that rural constituency.
11416 Finally, I am extremely proud of our three Maritime supper hour programs which have successfully undergone significant challenge and change through the licence period. For more on that story, I pass back to Gino Apponi, the Regional Director of News and Current Affairs.
11417 MR. APPONI: Thanks, Fred. Good day, Commissioners.
11418 As Fred said, there has been some significant changes in how we produce our regional news and current affairs programs across the country. Rae mentioned the restoration of our news program in Windsor and that is something that we are especially proud of, especially since it was in response to a grassroots community effort.
11419 The other thing we are extremely proud of is the restoration of an hour-long news program in Calgary, which I am happy to say we will be launching in a new exciting format in a couple of weeks.
11420 Also, since the last licence renewal we launched two daily shows in the North. This morning you mentioned "North Beat", that is one of the shows. The other one is a show in Inuktitut called "Eagle Act". Both those shows were a major expectation of the Commission the last time we appeared before you and of course they were a long-standing priority of ours, as well.
11421 That rebirth of our regional news and current affairs programs has happened across the country, not just in those markets that I have mentioned.
11422 Over the last three years we were forced to look at everything we do in the regions, how we did it, whether we wanted to continue doing it, what order of priority we should scribe to it. The broadcast world has changed so we were going to change with it.
11423 So we put all those shows under the microscope and what we found surprised even us. We had to admit that by the mid-nineties we were losing sight of our mandate as a public broadcaster. Our shows looked less like the CBC and probably more like their competition.
11424 So through an effort we called the "supper hour project", we systematically examined each program. We redefined what each community and those stations what they needed, what their audiences needed. We redesigned the shows to meet those needs and then re-engineered our work methods so that we could actually deliver it and do it more cheaply as well.
11425 We had to become innovative in job descriptions and we also had to become innovative in how we covered the news and how we did our storytelling.
11426 I am happy to say that all the hour long shows we do now deliver the essential news of the day like they used to, but they do much more than that. On a daily basis they deliver context and analysis to those stories in a full menu of treatments which can include vibrant political panels, satire by local commentators, by artists, and of course, something that the CBC specializes in, documentaries.
11427 Over the past month we monitored the CBC supper hours in four markets, in Vancouver, in Winnipeg, in Toronto and in Halifax and we compared them to the top-rated private sector newscast in each market. And our shows are measurably different. Overall the CBC supper hours spend more time on locally produced stories consistently. As I said earlier, we do documentaries which is a mainstay for those supper hour programs and seldom, if ever produced by local broadcasters.
11428 We featured double the volume of local arts coverage, again another CBC public broadcasting value. And we do half the volume of coverage of petty crime stories, traffic accidents, building fires, those kinds of things.
11429 Let me translate that into some specific examples. CBC Ottawa produces a column featuring investigative consumer journalism. One recent viewer tip about sport utility vehicles led to investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.
11430 CBC Regina recently aired an outstanding emotional documentary about child prostitution in Saskatchewan that was singled out by the Canadian Association of Journalists as the best regional documentary last year in a field, which I might add, only featured CBC regional productions.
11431 CBC Manitoba, CBC Edmonton, CBC Calgary were the only stations in their markets to pre-empt prime time programming for coverage of municipal election night, ongoing coverage of that.
11432 The staff at CBC Manitoba, CBC Ottawa and CBC Montreal also have to be singled out for their public service programming during the Manitoba floods and the ice storm. Those people were living that story, and yet, they were able to provide an essential service to their audiences.
11433 Those events, when I mentioned earlier the storms and the flooding, led to awards for those programs, but more importantly, what they did was they led to some community fundraising efforts, a couple of videos that raised thousands of dollars for victims, and a concert, the Red River Relief Concert, which raised $2 million. So there are also many awards that help us to measure our success.
11434 CBC Vancouver was just recently named best local newscast in that city. Our maritime stations won several RTNDA awards a couple of weeks ago. There is a whole list of them. I would probably be here all day if I went through them all. So I will stop at that.
11435 Let me finish by saying that our supper hours are the top-rated CBC shows in St. John's, Charlottetown, Sydney, and Windsor, and that means local shows that are more popular than anything else we do at the CBC, including hockey and "Air Farce". They are close seconds in markets like Winnipeg and Halifax.
11436 So clearly, we have lots to be proud of but we also have a lot of work to do, especially in stabilizing those programs. But I am excited about the future.
11437 Harold will continue with an outline of that future.
11438 MR. REDEKOPP: Commissioners, CBC Television remains committed to regional presence, regional service, regional programming, and regional reflection.
11439 I would like to clarify the blue bar graph we were discussing with Commissioner Cram yesterday. It shows that 38 per cent of English Television's budget is spent in or for the regions; 65 per cent of our total production hours are produced in the regions in all locations. On the schedule, in any one location, 41 per cent of what you see is produced in the regions for either regional or network broadcast.
11440 Much of that programming is highly reflective of the place where it is produced. Some is less so. But when you look at all the programming we produced, whether in Toronto or in the regions, 51 per cent of it consists of true regional reflection. I believe we have now tabled with you back-up sheets that give you the details of those calculations and examples of the shows that fall into each category.
11441 During the coming licence term, we will invest more resources in our regional stations and we will distribute those resources more appropriately across the country.
11442 Our regional programming commitments fall into two categories: news and other programming.
11443 First, news: We will maintain our present levels of regional news production. We will continue to develop and strengthen those programs to ensure that they offer a distinctive alternative and a real and valued service in each of the markets.
11444 We will use new standards to measure our success at doing this, including both audience impact and content analyses like the one Gino was sharing with you just now.
11445 Thirteen of our stations are each committed to providing at least 7 1/2 hours a week of regional news programming. That includes weekday supper hour programs and late night newscasts. Four smaller centres each produce five hours a week. That is a cumulative total of almost 6,000 hours of regional news and production a year across the system.
11446 We are also in the process of carefully examining whether or not we can reinstitute regional newscasts on weekends. That study is not yet complete and I undertake that as soon as it is we will share the results and our decision with the Commission and the public, and that will happen before the end of this calendar year.
11447 Let me now turn to programming other than news. While it is of prime importance, news alone does not make a television station. We intend to connect CBC Television more closely with its communities, their issues and concerns, their creative and performing artists, and their independent producers.
11448 To accomplish that, we are making a brand new commitment of more than 1,000 hours of prime air time and approximately $25 million over the coming seven-year licence term for new regional programs in the areas of non-news information, variety programming and comedy and drama programming. Those programs will be produced in nine separate locations: Newfoundland, the Maritimes, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, B.C. and the North.
11449 That process begins this year with the investment of development seed money. Next fall, the first series of 26 half-hour programs will hit the airwaves in each of those regions and continue each year thereafter. By the fall of 2003, a second 26-week series will be added.
11450 We also intend to showcase the best of this new regional programming on the full national network. We are committed to broadcasting one 13-week prime time network series from the regions each season beginning next fall and two such series starting in 2003.
11451 Commissioners, we make these commitments with confidence and commitment: commitment to the communities and regions of Canada, to their people and to their CBC Television stations. We are determined to do everything we can to serve and reflect those communities, both to themselves and to Canadians.
11452 That concludes our presentation. My regional colleagues and I are happy to answer your questions. Thank you.
11453 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. I would ask Vice-Chair Colville to address the questions of the Commission.
11454 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Thank you very much.
11455 So about sports --
--- Laughter / Rires
11456 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: No, I am just kidding. I think we have had enough of that.
11457 I just want to pick up perhaps by way of starting this comment in your comments that you have just made now at page 10. There is a statement that Mr. Apponi made. It is at the bottom of page 10. Two things sort of struck me.
11458 I am a little surprised at what surprised you on two issues over the CBC's licence renewal. One was the surprise about when the CBC dropped American programming, how the Canadian programming that replaced it was able to sustain audiences. In this particular one, you talk about when we put all our shows under a microscope and what we found surprised even us. We had to admit that in the mid-90s we were losing sight of our mandate. Our shows looked too much like their competition.
11459 I guess, to start this discussion perhaps at a more philosophical level, when you talked about this in terms of losing your mandate and your shows looking too much like the competition, when you put the shows under a microscope, what did that mean to you and what was it that really surprised you, and why did you really find that surprising?
11460 MR. REDEKOPP: Perhaps I could actually start with Bob Culbert who is really the Head of News and Current Affairs and in fact has really driven this project.
11461 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: You thought you were going to get away for the afternoon.
11462 MR. CULBERT: This actually is a labour of love for me. So I don't mind.
11463 I think what surprised us was that some of us, myself included, spent a lot of time in the supper hour system, the regional system. I was personally in Winnipeg and Halifax. I think we almost had fooled ourselves into believing that our shows, because we were the CBC and CBC journalists, that our shows were different and differentiated from the privates.
11464 When we put them under the microscope, as Gino said, in the mid-90s, we were surprised to find that that wasn't as much the case as we would have liked to think. Our analysis was that after what happened in the 1990 cuts when a number of shows were cut and cancelled, I think a number of the people involved in the shows had convinced themselves that the way to survive in the future was to be like whatever program is deemed to be the most popular program in its market, and by definition, that meant "become like them", and that that trend had set in.
11465 What we discovered was that we had moved in that direction too much and what we asked our programs to do, and it was a huge kind of cultural change for some of the units that had become like news hours, which was to start producing the programs against the values of CBC journalism, which Gino has laid out and which no doubt we will discuss further today.
11466 That was what the surprise was, that I think we had kind of fooled ourselves a bit up until then that we were different. Yes, we were, but in some cases, not different enough. It was also not the case in every market. We discovered that some shows had kept their mandate more than others and you could see a trend of sort of patterns where people were sort of trying to compete by being like whatever the most popular show was, and we decided that was a mistake.
11467 We had once and for all, I think, to decide what kind of programs we wanted from our regional programs and I think we made the right decision because they are different and they are CBC programs relecting CBC values.
11468 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Your comments just now, I take it, are relating -- and I guess here, because it was Mr. Apponi who made this statement -- are largely relevant to the news programming. Does this statement apply to the non-news too?
11469 MR. CULBERT: The study I sort of headed up, the study of the regional supper hour shows, was strictly based on those programs. We spent months looking at those in great detail. So I really can only claim expertise to those.
11470 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: I guess what I am getting at is the comment that in the mid-90s we were losing sight of our mandate.
11471 MR. APPONI: That was very specific to those news programs, as Bob said. It was looking at each show individually, market-by-market, and doing content analysis similar to the ones we are doing now.
11472 At the time, it was specific to the selections made for the stories we covered, how we covered them, how we lined them up in the show, the reliance on American feeds. It was very specific to that hour. It did not include -- at the time, I think there were in most markets half-hour programs in each market as well. It was not related to those programs.
11473 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: I take the point that this particular study was looking at that. I guess I am asking the more general question: Do you think -- maybe Mr. Redekopp is the more appropriate one to answer this or any of the regional people -- whether you felt that you were losing sight of your mandate in the non-news programming?
11474 MR. REDEKOPP: I will let my regional colleagues speak to that. I think the fact that they disappeared did not speak to the content nor their connectedness to the community. In fact, it was a huge loss when we had to take those cuts.
11475 If you will recall, Commissioner Colville, in 1990, we did a similar thing. We closed a number of stations or at least reduced a number of stations and we reduced our programming to news programming and late night news programming, after which we built back -- and we built back because we felt it was absolutely essential to have that contact with the community in the non-news area. With this last budget reduction, this enormous reduction, we had no choice but to cut back in that area again.
11476 So I don't think that is a comment on the kinds of programming we were doing but rather on the financial imperative. But I would invite my regional colleagues to speak to those non-news activities.
11477 MR. MATTOCKS: If you go back to the early part of the licence period, we had just actually reinstated a number of non-news programs in the regions -- in our region, "Up On The Roof", which was a music program for developing artists, and "Land and Sea", the rural documentary program. Those were very much centred in the public broadcasting mandate.
11478 I think the problem for the supper hours was, at that time, they were under some very unusual pressures. Not only had they been cut quite dramatically but there were shifts in philosophy about the kinds of service they should be providing and the kinds of material they should be doing. There wasn't a clear strategy at that moment, at least in the area I was working in, about how to deal with those pressures.
11479 So we, I think, naturally ended up looking at the kinds of strategies that programmers generally apply, which is: How do you make your show popular?
11480 MR. REDEKOPP: Ms Chalmers, do you want to comment?
11481 MS CHALMERS: Well largely, I agree with what Fred said. We were producing a program, sort of a -- if I can liken it to "On The Road Again", except it was just in Manitoba. It was extremely popular and the ratings were just about as good as the supper hour. I think it did a lot to explore the rural life in Manitoba, which we felt was a very important role that we had within our station.
11482 We also did a series of music shows that Phyllis was referring to earlier, which really served to help these people in the early part of their careers. We obviously are -- the doorways into our buildings is the place for people to begin their careers. We nurture them and we work with them, with the idea that they are going to move up, many of them, hopefully to the network.
11483 So we felt at the time, for some very hard financial realities, that we lost something that was valuable.
11484 MR. REDEKOPP: Ms Hull.
11485 MS HULL: I think in fact when it comes to non-news programming the regional directors have done quite the opposite of losing sight of their mandate. I think, in the face of cuts and really not many opportunities in program interns, they have determinedly maintained a connection with the community, and when possible, saw pre-emptions from the network in order to create local specials.
11486 This year, we broadcast two hours of the West Coast Music Awards and went to the network in order to get a pre-emption for that. There are examples across the country. Again, in B.C., we produced a series, booked on Saturday nights, which airs after the hockey game on Saturday nights.
11487 So I think that we have maintained a connection. We have maintained a connection with the arts communities, with the independent communities, and I think what we are really looking to now with this opening of extra regional time is the chance to make good on that determination to continue that connection during a period when, in programming terms, it was difficult to see those results on air.
11488 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Okay. I want to just explore two issues really. They are the two issues that were the focus of the presentation, that being news and then the non-news programming, which I guess you could say: Well, that's everything.
11489 But I want to focus on the regional for the regions. We have already explored earlier today, with Commissioner Cram, regional programming for the network and I think it has been acknowledged that the CBC is doing a great job in various parts of the country and getting more regional programming, and certainly from the region that I come from in Halifax, I think it has done a great job, and as you heard me express yesterday, I guess it was, if I have a concern at all, it is that some of the activities may jeopardize some of that. Witness what is happening with Newsworld and so on.
11490 But I don't want to talk about that this afternoon. I just want to talk about the regional news and the non-news regional programming for the region, some of which may get on the network.
11491 So starting with the news, and I leave it to whoever is most appropriate to speak -- I guess Mr. Apponi may want to speak to some of this or each of the individuals, as you feel is appropriate.
11492 As you noted in the statements in the renewal application, you have not, for budget reasons, been able to maintain the commitments for news over the last licence period. At page 17 of your application, you talk about:
"The Corporation makes a commitment to maintain at a minimum the level of local news and information programming that is set out in each of the promised performance of the regional stations."
11493 (As read)
11494 This minimum commitment is seven hours, 30 minutes, for local regional news, Monday to Friday in most of the stations; then it is five hours in a couple of others.
11495 I guess what I would like to do is get a sense of what do we mean by minimum here? Again, we have talked about these minimums in other programming issues, but I would like to get a sense of what this means in particular here.
11496 MR. REDEKOPP: I think what we are committing to is, first of all, examining the whole issue of weekend news from which we had to retreat regrettably. We are examining our ability to reinstate those and we will get back to the Commission, as I said, before the end of the calendar year, with our decision and the reasons for it. But that is what we are doing at the moment.
11497 So at a minimum, at this hearing, we are saying, in the news area, seven hours and 30 minutes in the stations you have mentioned, and five hours in the others.
11498 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Okay. I have a few questions on that weekend proposal. We will get to that in a minute.
11499 You also refer to -- and this is at page 16 of your application -- to "building back audiences and underperformance". I guess I am thinking of this question as much in the context of the discussion that we just had a few minutes ago about we had to admit in the mid-90s that we were losing sight of our mandate. Our shows looked too much like the competition and I guess that speaks to the point that Mr. Culbert was raising a few minutes ago.
11500 My first question would be: What markets do you consider to be underperforming? What do you mean by underperforming?
11501 MR. REDEKOPP: I think when we look at markets, I would say, in Toronto, Ottawa, and a number of our western markets, I think we are underperforming in terms of the intended audience we think we should attract. If you are going to ask me to put a number on that, I don't think that I can. But as you have heard us say elsewhere in this application, we want to optimize the audiences for the programming we offer.
11502 Since we are differentiating ourselves in our supper hour programs, it doesn't mean that we have to be the market leader but we ought to have, I would say, respectable, decent numbers, and there should be impact. Those are the two indicators.
11503 I will let Gino speak a little more about it, but we are concerned that with the awards that we are winning with a number of our programs, including "Broadcast One", there ought to be more people tuning in as well. I think, obviously, impact is terrific and we would like to increase the number of people who actually come into that. But perhaps...
11504 MR. APPONI: I think it goes back to -- and there are reasons, I think Harold mentioned the places, and clearly we are doing much better in the east than we are in the west. There are reasons for that. They are obviously historical reasons.
11505 What Fred was saying earlier, in the early 1990s I think there was sort of a loss of focus after the cuts. There were some decisions made in the west that I think we all regret right now in terms of losing our station in Calgary and how the audience reacted there. There was a change in focus also in terms of whether these shows should be provincial or local, and I think we have sort of stabilized that now. That is what the last three years have been about.
11506 In markets like Vancouver where we started this whole process -- I was just there recently in fact for a program review which we will be doing across the country that is among our better shows -- and the word isn't getting out. I think that there is now a next step to this where we have to clearly communicate that we are doing these kinds of shows and we are doing them across the country and we build that way.
11507 Calgary is another place we are, like I said earlier, relaunching a program and we need to make it clear to Canadians that we are in the new game in Calgary, which is all part of our plan over the next three years. So the west is the priority.
11508 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: So when you look at one of these markets that is perhaps "under performing", be it Toronto, Ottawa or a number of the western stations, what will you look for to satisfy yourself that you have achieved your objective and that it is in fact now performing.
11509 Perhaps put another way, do you report to Mr. Redekopp?
11510 MR. APPOINI: I report to Mr. Culbert.
11511 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Oh. So when the end of the year rolls around and Mr. Culbert is doing your personnel performance review and he is going to measure whether you have achieved the objectives, what are you going to say to him that you have done in terms of achieving the performance with those stations?
11512 MR. APPONI: Clearly, as Howard mentioned, numbers are important. It is not going to be our only criteria.
11513 We have now designed these programs so that we are not only going after numbers. We have designed them against some really core CBC values that we are measuring, like I said earlier, across the country -- we started in Vancouver -- that Bobby has been involved in. In fact Bobby is the one who started this whole process. So we will be measuring the shows against those.
11514 We will be measuring them also in terms of how they have impacted in their audience in terms of kind of audience reaction they have gotten outside of ratings.
11515 We will also be measuring them in terms of how they service the rest of the network. It is important that those stories be seen by other Canadians, and it is important that we be able, through those stations, to develop talent that moves on in the network as well.
11516 MS HULL: If I could just add to that, Commissioner?
11517 I think that with local evening news one of the things that counts most is consistency, and when you make a dramatic change, as I think the supper hours shows have done, it does require time for the audience to become acclimatized. I know in my own market that Global television, it has taken them 15 years to make the kinds of gains that they had set out to make. So I don't think that it happens in one year.
11518 What I think we have done is achieve the recognition of our peers. I was very interested just a few days ago to attend an industry conference and they had a media panel and it was to help them discuss how better to get their story out. On the media panel were reporters from the private stations, and they quite openly admitted that if you want a story done with any kind of analysis, with background, with context, then the only place that that can happen is the CBC locally. They would like to be doing it but they are not.
11519 I think that we are achieving the recognition. We are certainly achieving the awards.
11520 Certainly in a grass roots effort -- now the number of times that community groups phone us for a copy of our cover story. I know there were a group of girls on Denman Island, part of the Gulf Islands, who called because we had done in-depth stories on girls and violence and bullying. We sent them a copy of the show. They were inspired and they created their own video that went on to win an award. So I think it's a grass roots thing.
11521 I think we are getting there, but I think that we really just -- Broadcast One just marked its two year anniversary and I think it is a process that is going to take some time to exact the kind of ratings increase that we would like to see.
11522 MS CHALMERS: I think it is important to note, I guess, to speak globally about what these shows are.
11523 It is about a depth and analysis and an intimacy with the subject matter that you won't find in any other shows. These shows devote enormous amount of time to answering the question "Why". That is why we are into long form and investigative journalism in a way that I think other programs are not.
11524 We have broken huge stories using this method which is absolutely going back to the heart and soul of what CBC journalism is all about. We have, I guess, gotten married again, gotten married to our values again and, you know, put on our true colours and "This is who we are" in recent years, and it is starting to really produce journalistic results.
11525 We also, from the point of view it has become really, I guess, feeding ground for our network shows because more and more you are seeing the stories, the breaking stories and current affairs that we do appear on the network.
11526 Recently, with the troubles plaguing the farmers we did extensive coverage in Saskatchewan on that. "The National" didn't send anybody out. That whole story was done by our Saskatchewan newsroom, and we are very proud of that. That meant that those stories were told from the perspective of the people living in that community.
11527 CBC Manitoba broke the vote-rigging inquiry, scandal, story that led to the Monin Inquiry. We also did an investigative piece that was on "The National" about a scientist up north who in fact had been convicted of sexually assaulting a minor and was allowed, instead of going to jail, to go and finish his research? That raised a lot of, obviously, legal kinds of questions.
11528 We do not go to the press conferences or every fire or every car crash. We do have fewer resources and it is imposed on us, quite appropriately, a discipline to absolutely focus our energies on the kinds of journalism that we think is important to our communities.
11529 In that light too, you will notice when you watch our shows -- and I hope you do, or will -- across from coast-to-coast, we do a lot more time and effort on political coverage, questions about public policy, political debate.
11530 The other intriguing thing to me about our programming, it's not black and white: He says yes, she says no. There, I have balanced the story. We try to explore the grey. We try to pose the questions and take time in our program for the debates to allow people to actually think about it as they are formulating the decisions that they make in their own communities.
11531 These are the kinds of things that we are trying to do. These are public service things and totally appropriate to a public broadcaster.
11532 There are many people who will say it is not the most popular kind of programming, but I want to also flag to you that well over 600,000 people watch our shows every night. We will do a piece in Manitoba two or three times a week and we will get calls from people, over 200 calls -- this is just on our phone line, that is not even e-mail -- who want to debate the issue that they have seen that night.
11533 Because we invest the time and the research and provide the context into those specific issues and questions within our community, I think that we provide a distinctive service.
11534 Is that going to make us No. 1? Well, in Winnipeg we are No. 2, but we are climbing.
11535 I also think that we are a positive influence, as other broadcasters and media look for in the community. We are presenting -- trying to take the high road in terms of the journalism we are trying to do.
11536 The same can be held true for Regina who has just launched their show. We are going exactly the same track. So that is who we are now.
11537 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Mr. Mattocks, did you want to add anything?
11538 MR. MATTOCKS: That is a hard act to follow.
11539 Only that the supper project wasn't just about shows that were having audience problems. Our show in Charlottetown has -- I think it is the highest rating or highest share of any CBC supper hour show, a 78 share, and yet when we went to the principles of the supper hour project and looked at the show and looked at those principles, we found there was room for adjustment and that show is now a changed show and a better show for it. That is true of all of our programs, supper programs.
11540 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Ms Hull, your comment about this seminar, or whatever it was that you went to, and this discussion about an approach to dealing with news and how some of the private broadcast people were indicating about if you want that kind of depth of analysis it is going to be done by the CBC.
11541 I guess it raises an interesting challenge for you and Mr. Apponi in terms of how to deal with this thing, because -- I don't want to sound like a criticism -- it seems to me it has been a fact traditionally that the CBC is not -- with a few exceptions, not led in terms of audience in the markets that you serve. In fact, I guess probably what drove you as a part of this review was the lag in some of these numbers.
11542 So you have again this trade-off, this balancing act to try to make between what is a performing audience, if you will, in terms of numbers, and this ability to do the in-depth political reporting, the kind of journalistic research that perhaps the others don't do, and it doesn't seem to result in the numbers. Yet there is a certain amount of integrity that the CBC feels that it is your role to do that job.
11543 How do you make this trade-off, then, between how much of that you do versus the numbers. It goes back to this first question again about re-looking at your mandate.
11544 MS HULL: It's always a question of balance if not recalibration.
11545 I think that it's essential that we provide a newscast that is different from what our private colleagues already in many markets competitively do.
11546 BC TV has a huge market in Vancouver and they do what they do well. I think that there is a market for a more thoughtful kind of journalism, but in dramatically altering our newscast -- we are only two years old and I think that people are beginning to find us.
11547 I think that there is a larger context in the media universe these days where people are really hungry for something that does provide more thoughtful analysis, but again it is taking some time for them to find us.
11548 I think that while we would always want the most number of people to watch, the kind of flexibility with a public broadcaster -- in Ottawa, for example, I know that the local evening news here, when there was a controversial appointment of the CEO at the Ottawa hospital, the coverage of the local news here made a decision that they were live -- there was no other private stations there -- and they decided to extend their coverage by 20 minutes. That is the kind of commitment that a public broadcaster can make when we are not most consumed with the bottom line.
11549 I think in the long run, if we are consistent, if we are devoted, if we are loyal to that mandate, then I think that the audiences will grow to be loyal to us.
11550 But you are right, it is always a challenge, and it is one that we have to continue to examine and find new ways of making sure that we are being as entertaining as well as enlightening as possible.
11551 I know Broadcast One does a nightly state of the arts feature. That has increased our connection in the local arts community in ways that I think come back to reward us in ways that aren't just ratings.
11552 Finally, I think it is important to re-emphasize what has been said about these shows being the backbone of a new service that goes across the country. Over 1,000 items go from Broadcast One on a yearly basis to Newsworld. We take part in about 50 co-productions with "Venture", "Undercurrents", the "Magazine", "Mid Day". These are stories that are fuelled in the local market. The spark occurs when people are driving to work. Those stories wouldn't happen and they wouldn't get the larger audience if we weren't doing what we are supposed to be doing.
11553 MR. APPONI: I would like to underscore what Rae said, both in terms of there is a market out there for this kind of programming and also in terms of the fact that I think stability will find that market if we continue to do these programs.
11554 Also, I don't want to harp -- I know that there are some markets where we do have some serious challenges ahead of us. As Jane said, in some markets we are second. Every night, though, there are over 600,000 Canadians; every week 3.5 million Canadians watch these shows. As we have gone through these changes, and as fragmentation has changed the landscape in broadcasting, these programs have maintained their share since 1992 of about 10 per cent of the audience at that time.
11555 So the news is not all bad. The fact that we haven't lost an audience is actually goods news as well. The fact that we are going to keep stable and we are committed to being stable with this new format, as we have been over the last two years, will only help us to increase that audience and for people to find the programs.
11556 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Recognizing that you might always want to have more numbers -- and, Ms Hull, maybe I can put this question to you -- how would you look at your supper hour program next year, the year after, and say: In spite of the fact that we are not No. 1 in the market I think we have made it. We are doing a good job and I think we have achieved what we set out to do.
11557 You have pointed out a couple of times already that it has only been two years. What would be the factors that you would look at to say: I think we have reached a reasonable level here.
11558 MS HULL: I think I would look to community recognition not just awards, although I hasten to add that I think probably Broadcast One is one of the most decorated newscasts in the country, winning international awards as well as national awards, and certainly the most coveted to local awards that can be won in the local market. That is one way.
11559 I think community recognition is another. I am enormously heartened when people knock on CBC's door and say "I would really like a copy of that 8 to 10 minute report that you did the other night because it has some real meaning in my life, it has some real meaning to a community issue that is going on on our doorstep." So I think that that is another marker.
11560 Certainly I would hope that we will continue to increase our ratings, and certainly prior to the strike that was the trend.
11561 I also think that we have to examine our success internally in that we need to be looking at the shows and comparing them with our peers across the country and saying: Are they are bright as they can be? Are they as innovative as they can be? If Newswatch in Montreal is getting out into the community once every six weeks, well, why aren't we doing that in Vancouver.
11562 So I think that we need to have constant internal yardsticks of success that will keep us pushing for a level of excellence and examining what our peers do across the country.
11563 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: If the numbers don't come, what do you do?
11564 MS HULL: I think that there has to be a place where people who want a different kind of newscast can find it. I think there has to be a place where if people want informed debate about municipal politics, about the arts community, about what is happening with the academics in the universities, that it is a disservice if we can't offer that to them.
11565 So I am confident that we will continue to grow, but I think that we have to stand firm and say for the people of Canada in order to grow informed citizens that this is a service that is a bench mark, that it has to be there. It further has to be there because without it the entire rich fabric and tapestry of the network news service begins to unravel.
11566 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: So you have discovered your soul and you don't want to compromise that no matter what happens with the numbers? I'm not trying to sound critical here, I guess it's just to kind of test how far do we go with this. Because I think you are correct in the statement that you made in your opening comments here today.
11567 Ms Chalmers, did you want to make a comment?
11568 MS CHALMERS: Thank you.
11569 I would like to. I think that if our brand stands for anything in this country it is about integrity and trust, and there is a huge responsibility, having been a journalist myself. The impact sometimes of your stories and the way you might even structure a piece and being accountable for that in terms of people's lives. It is an enormous one, one that I have laid awake at night and I know our journalists struggle with all the time.
11570 Our culture is such that our people truly discuss what they do and critique hard and take the phone calls and take the heat in the press, and we talk about it. We have our ombudsman process.
11571 We take our jobs very, very seriously. Especially in most regions what we are trying to do is the hardest kind of journalism possible, it is the type of journalism that isn't handed to you in a press release. It is the type that takes enormous amounts of research, I would call it investigative, and it questions -- it raises questions that many powerful people generally don't want to have answered.
11572 We have to be so careful at the end of that to make sure that we are right, and that constantly questioning: Don't let your thirst for the story get in the way of your search for truth. This is a constant discipline that we are always -- we live with every day.
11573 That is who we are. That is what we try to do. I think, as Gino was saying, if we stray off the way and try to copy some of our competition, we are wearing the wrong clothes. This is where we have immense amounts of training and immense amounts of effort.
11574 In Winnipeg we are not the number one newscast, but we have broken the stories of the biggest consequence that have led to judicial inquiries and other kinds of events in our society. Those are the things that we put our efforts into. That makes us valuable in that community in the fact that we are always there doing those things. In fact, in turn, enriches the network because we are constantly the incubator of the stories that go up to the national stage.
11575 MR. APPONI: I would like to add -- and I don't want to leave the impression that we have done this and now we are just going to wait for the numbers.
11576 This is part of an ongoing process. These shows are evolving. As I said earlier, we are looking at them all again this year to see if they have met those original criteria and probably establish some more criteria for them for the future.
11577 We are also checking with our audiences to make sure that we are on the right track with that, not just terms of numbers but in terms of what they want to see on these programs and whether we are connecting with them.
11578 So I think it is a long road and at some point we will have to regroup under Harold and decide whether we have gotten there, but I think that is still far in the future.
11579 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Let me switch to the weekend issue.
11580 You have noted that you are studying this question and you hope to conclude that, I think it is later this year, and you have offered to submit your report to the Commission when you have concluded with this. I guess my question really is: What are the factors that you are considering that are going to influence your decision as to whether or not you reintroduce news on the weekend and how you go about it?
11581 MR. REDEKOPP: I think the issue is very simply sustainability, Commissioner Colville. We didn't lightly get out of weekend news. We considered the kind of cut that we had to sustain. We looked at where we would be best to place our resources. We considered that the weekend had a lower available audience and therefore we should invest weekdays.
11582 Recognizing if we are going to be relevant we ought to be there seven days a week we are looking at it again. But the issue very clearly is sustainability, and that is over the next seven years.
11583 I think that you have heard all of my colleagues talk about stability consistency is what is most important now to rebuild these programs. So I think that we want to be absolutely clear, if we are going to build them back we are going to stay there for at least the licence period.
11584 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: I'm not sure I understand what that means though, "sustainability".
11585 MR. REDEKOPP: It means enough resources. You know, with everything else that we are hoping to do to transform, to recalibrate, to transform the English television service, looking at available revenue and looking at all of it, I think what we are saying is: Let's take the time, let's do the analysis, let's look at where we can find more efficiencies and have greater partnership with Newsworld, if that is possible, with the main channel news service.
11586 But before we commit to weekend news let's do that full analysis. Let's make sure that we have costed everything else that we are going to promise to the Commission that we in fact can deliver so that when we come back in whatever licence period you give us we have delivered at at least the minimum expectation.
11587 So that is really the issue. The issue is about when I say "sustainability" can we afford it for the licence period.
11588 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: But I guess in this case you would be into the licence period before you even make that decision, so I guess it wouldn't necessarily be an expectation coming out of this licence process in any event.
11589 MR. REDEKOPP: No, but I think we are conscious of the fact that we have not always delivered on expectations, and I don't -- quite frankly, not one of us who has ever worked in the regions want to be in that situation again. So that is the issue.
11590 Believe me, when these people on the front line have to go and tell the communities they are backing off again, that is the hardest thing. It really is. I don't think anybody at this table or at my adjoining table have an appetite to ever do that again.
11591 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: On that issue, you did refer, I think it was on page 18 of the submission that you talk about:
"We will continue to seek means to enhance the supper hour show budget ..." (As read)
11592 And I presume this might apply to the weekend one:
"... through sponsorships."
11593 I was wondering what the nature of those sponsorships were. I presume it's not the same sort of thing we talked about in radio.
11594 MR. REDEKOPP: No. I will let Gino speak to that.
11595 MR. APPONI: Yes. As it stands now some of our programs are managing to enhance their budgets with sponsorships of non-news parts of their programs. Things like the weather cast is sponsored, the closed captioning is sponsored.
11596 We have some strict guidelines about how we do that, that obviously we can't sponsor any parts of the newscast itself, that there can't be any perceived conflict with the newscast and with a sponsor, and we receive the right not to accept any sponsorship as well. It is that kind of thing I think that we have done a bit in the supper hour newscasts already.
11597 I know that we have set limits on how many we can do in one show and it is very seasonal. So some we will get for 13 weeks and then some we won't have at all. So they are doing that at different rates across the country right now.
11598 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: So what is your view in terms of that to try and sort of maximize that within those limits, that it wouldn't be associated with news, it would be weather cast, sports, public service features, that sort of thing? Is that what you are --
11599 MR. REDEKOPP: Closed captioning. Exactly.
11600 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Yes, that sort of thing. Okay.
11601 MR. MATTOCKS: I have a slightly different take on this, too, which is that sponsorships enable you to do a kind of community contact you can't do otherwise, particularly with the business community. We found in our region that sponsorships are in high demand, even given the limitations of what we can put into the sponsorship market, and you end up in relationships with commercial operations that you wouldn't otherwise because they wouldn't consider normally a CBC supper hour as being an in player in the market. So it just leads to other things, both in terms of direct programming and in terms of the sponsorship itself, but also in terms of relationships down the road.
11602 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: I'm not sure I understand. Could you explain that a little more?
11603 MR. MATTOCKS: It has long been a conundrum for me in terms of thinking about how the public broadcaster relates to the business world.
11604 Our programs and, in particular, our journalistic programs, the supper hour program in this case, has existed in a world where the only contact between it and the business world, other than being covered in stories, was in terms of commercial airtime, which is very finite and delineated.
11605 Sponsorships gives you an opportunity to go out and talk in the business world about your program, about what its values are, about why you do what you do, about how a business can participate if they share values, if it is appropriate. It is just another line of communication. It is another way of opening the doors. It's a very small door, but it is another one and it is an important one.
11606 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Okay.
11607 Just finishing up on the news aspect of this, then.
11608 Mr. Redekopp, given the comment you just made about expectations and so on, is the CBC then prepared for the regional stations to take as a conditional licence the seven and a half hours in the stations listed and the five hours for Charlottetown, Fredericton and Windsor?
11609 MR. REDEKOPP: Yes.
11610 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Okay. Let's switch to non-news.
11611 I guess this is one of the areas that really comes under the heading of roots, being in the regions that people certainly identify with, although certainly along with the news and -- again, I want to focus on the non-news regional programming largely for the region, not the network stuff. I guess I would note, just by way of introduction, that I think it was actually the TV policy hearings when Commissioner Pennefather and I were in Halifax and were doing the regional town halls or consultations for the broad TV policy. I think it was Anne-Marie Verner from the Film Development Corporation who was expressing the view of the corporation and through the corporation the independent producers there about how important this sort of regional programming was, particularly in their terms for being able to work with independent producers and how in many cases this was an opportunity for people to get their start in the business.
11612 So not only are the regional stations important for your employees, in many cases, to get their start as journalists or camera people or whatever, or other artists/entertainers who may get on a CBC-produced show, but also independent producers to get involved and get a start in the business. Largely, this starts at the roots and I guess this case is a place where the roots, for the last while at least, have been pretty shallow and perhaps hasn't gotten as much nourishment. Maybe there has not been enough rain or whatever to try and help those roots to get as firm a foothold in the ground as even the regional programming for the network has gotten, which I think the corporation has done a fairly good job over the last while.
11613 So let's focus on this new initiative that you are proposing. Just to be clear, I just want to clarify one element. If I look at the chart on page 20, and just to be clear that I understand how this is working here, I think there is a mistake on the chart and perhaps you can just help correct that for me.
11614 In 1999-2000, the chart shows $400,000, which is the $50,000 for eight regions. You today have mentioned nine. Everywhere in the application it talks about eight and you added in the north --
11615 MR. REDEKOPP: That's right.
11616 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: -- which wasn't in the original proposal.
11617 MR. REDEKOPP: Correct.
11618 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: If we just stick to the eight and then we will come to that.
11619 MR. REDEKOPP: Excuse me. I'm just not sure I'm working off the same sheet you are.
11620 MS FANTHAM: Perhaps it might be more helpful if you refer to your media kits that you received today that has the updated information.
11621 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: It's always hard for us to refer to stuff we just get today --
11622 MS FANTHAM: I know.
11623 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: -- when we are preparing our --
11624 MR. REDEKOPP: We tried to make it a little easier. That is why we prepared this new sheet. I hope it helps.
11625 MS FANTHAM: I would draw your attention to two. Yes, that's the chart that you have that has the projected regional broadcast hours. That would be helpful. And the main difference is, yes, we have added in CBC North. It is not part of this licensing process, but we felt obviously it is very important to us as a region.
11626 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Okay.
11627 Can I go back to the chart on page 20, though, in spite of the proposal, just to clarify?
11628 In the first year the chart shows $2,400,000, but I don't believe that is correct. The $2 million which represents $250,000 times eight doesn't appear until the second year, I don't believe.
11629 MS FANTHAM: No. Absolutely right. In fact, we did correct this in deficiencies, so that is a typo in the original submission.
11630 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: So absent the north, the money we are talking about isn't $25 million, it is actually $22,400,000, right?
11631 MS FANTHAM: I'm going to turn this over to the money man.
11632 MR. ATKINSON: It's $22.4 million is the commitment.
11633 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Right. So now you have added in the north. Does that add more money to this proposal, then, or are we spreading the existing money across?
11634 MR. ATKINSON: No. The $2.8 million is added to that amount to bring it to a total of $25.2 million now.
11635 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: So the north gets the same amount of money that the other eight do. Is it just one more?
11636 MS FANTHAM: No. Absolutely the same amount as the other regions. Yes.
11637 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: It's, yes, absolutely the same.
11638 MS FANTHAM: Yes, absolutely.
11639 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Okay.
11640 I appreciate this proposal was probably written by a number of different people or at least the individual station applications were, but I was struck by the difference in language through this and I guess it lead me -- and let me just pick snippets out of the quotes.
11641 From Montreal, the reference to this proposal was:
"... intends to create two new regional series." (As read)
11642 For Halifax it was:
"... is keen to provide overtime and seed monies to Halifax ..." (As read)
11643 For St. John's:
"... it is the hope of ETV through the creation of ..." (As read)
11644 For Ottawa:
"... is determined to expand the quantity if budgetary levels remain stable." (As read)
11645 For Toronto:
"... two series could be developed." (As read)
11646 For Winnipeg:
"ETV looks forward to providing ..." (As read)
11647 For Regina:
"ETV is determined to enhance ..." (As read)
11648 For Calgary and Edmonton it was:
"ETV wishes to expand ..." (As read)
11649 And for Vancouver:
"ETV plans to seed the creation ..." (As read)
11650 What is the commitment here?
11651 MS FANTHAM: Could I just say that those were all written by me, but I chose different phrases for every region, I had so many to deal with, but the intention is the same.
11652 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: So what is that intention?
11653 MR. REDEKOPP: The intention is in each of these nine regions to have two half hours over the licence period for a total of an hour, and looking at it in prime time over the licence period. Each of those series, when they come to air, the first I think in the year 2000, the second in the year 2003, each of those series would be 26 weeks.
11654 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: So each of the eight, now nine, regions will in the second year produce a half hour of air -- produce and broadcast one half hour show for --
11655 MR. REDEKOPP: It will be 13 originals and 13 repeats for a 26-week season, that's correct, 2000, 2001.
11656 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Yes. I guess you are putting up $250,000 for the program. Where do you expect the rest of the money to come from?
11657 MR. REDEKOPP: Actually, this is really --
11658 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Part of the reason for my asking this about the commitment is I guess I read this and I thought the heart and soul is in the right place, but how can we be sure that the rest of the money comes to allow this to actually happen. So that is what is at the root of my question here. It is not a lack of will on your part to be able to do it, it is how can you be sure that the rest of the pieces fall into place so that it actually happens. That is what I'm asking about, where the rest of the money comes from.
11659 MR. REDEKOPP: I think the best way to answer that is to actually have my regional colleagues -- because we are committing to our amount and we have talked about precisely how this money can be triggered and leveraged. So why don't I invite my colleagues here at the table to speak to it. I will start with Rae to my left.
11660 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Sure.
11661 MS HULL: I think there are a number of models that we can use and I think that it begins with the nature of the program so that depending on the genesis of the idea, we may decide that it is an in-house program. That said, you know, the $20,000 per episode -- I think that is roughly what it amounts to -- could be augmented by the kinds of facilities that we could put into that, so you would end up with a program whose bottom line was clearly greater than $20,000 per episode.
11662 That said, even though it is in house we would be again going to the independent community to hire freelance writers, talent, et cetera, so we would be developing that talent base. We may go to a co-production model, getting the help of, in British Columbia, BC Film or any one of the provincial funding agencies. You know, there may be corporate sponsorship.
11663 All of that said, I think that that money, with the level of resources that the regions can put into the programs, really gives us a legitimate base to produce a program -- you can produce sketch comedy for that amount of money, and I know it because we have just done it. I think depending on what you want to do the cards change slightly, but I think that provides all that we need to provide interesting, innovative programming even if more dollars don't come from sponsorship or from other industry partnerships.
11664 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: What would be the best one could hope for in terms of other funds to partner with this $250,000 in, say, Vancouver?
11665 MS HULL: I think that you could expect to get the tax credit. I think that, depending on BC Film's financing situation, you could expect to get in the neighbourhood of $20,000 up from, say, another $5,000, $10,000 per episode on that. You may get the independent producer making a certain number of deferrals, expecting that they will be able to sell a second window to another broadcaster or to sell internationally or to sell to libraries, et cetera.
11666 Now, I hesitate to go any further because I haven't done the maximum math that could be achieved.
11667 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Again, what is at the root of my question is: What do you think is the range of the types of programs that we could be considering for this time slot, this half hour program?
11668 You talked about sketch comedy, that you could probably do that in house for this amount of money. What is the other end of the spectrum?
11669 MS HULL: I think sketch comedy is actually somewhere in the middle, and I will let my other colleagues jump in here.
11670 I mean, I think that in Vancouver, for example, what I might be most interested in doing is looking at a way to better serve the Asian community. It is certainly an ongoing concern of mine. So I might be looking at a kind of series that embraces -- a series on popular culture that embraces as its founding principle that Vancouver is in fact a city with two very significant vibrant communities and experiment with languages, et cetera. That kind of program could be done with those kinds of funds.
11671 Sketch comedy, variety -- I'm going to hop across the country and let Fred or Jane jump in.
11672 MS CHALMERS: Part of it for me, because I will be looking over both Manitoba and Saskatchewan, is I have been going out already and talking to a lot of independent producers about this and I have to wait and see what comes back.
11673 I have a feeling you are going to be seeing -- there is a comedy proposal from Saskatoon. There is also in Saskatchewan one of the finest documentary production communities I have seen anywhere. You may see a documentary stream come out of there. I have to see what the proposals are like.
11674 On the Prairies and in Manitoba it might be a comedy or more of a music kind of program. I'm not too sure yet, but we are going to be talking.
11675 These shows have to have very indigenous qualities. They have to speak to the community and have that sensibility. They are very, very innovative and we have had to be.
11676 Through all the years that we really weren't supposed to be doing much production and interaction, we managed to pry loose resources and put together very unconventional deals just to get these good programs on the air. We were encouraged to do so. It's just that during the cuts there was no money to do it. By putting in our Avid Suite it's $1,000 a day, so that is maybe thrown into it and so that is something they don't have to pay for.
11677 So beyond the cash, I mean, by using our in-house services and having them work in our plants, we can take a lot of the overheads down so that the most bang for the buck is going to the actual production and we can help on the editing and stuff.
11678 It could be documentaries, it could be music, it may be comedy. I'm meeting with people. I tell them to look at our schedule, "What do you guys think?" People, they say to me, "Well, what do you want?" I say, "Watch our show. Watch our schedules. What do you think needs to be there? That's what you should pitch, understanding we are looking at this kind of budget."
11679 They also know, too, that some of our best shows have come through the door in this way, through small budgets, and they have shown all that -- I think "Codco" is one, which I should pass that onto you -- and grown from there.
11680 MR. MATTOCKS: Yes. I'm reminded that the Halifax Comedy Fest I referred to earlier which was the third most popular Canadian television show this year was produced for a budget level that is exactly equivalent to this.
11681 Low budget doesn't mean low quality. We have done a couple of half hour dramas over the last year, over the last two years. We don't have, in theory, the money to do half hour dramas, but we find ways to produce them at small amounts of cash, small amounts of resources and innovative, young, first-time producers who are hungry and who are willing to put deals together.
11682 In the Maritimes we actually don't know what the outcome of this initiative is going to be. All we know is that it is going to be something that is going to reflect our region and probably our performance culture. But we do know, when we look at this amount of money and this commitment, that we have a baseline from which we work. We know that we can produce a series we will be proud of, that will meet our programming objectives, for this amount of money.
11683 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Will the regional directors -- this will be money in your budget for you to manage for this purpose?
11684 MS HULL: That's my understanding, yes.
11685 MR. REDEKOPP: The answer is yes.
11686 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: So the regional directors will be making the decisions in terms of the funding and the projects?
11687 MR. REDEKOPP: Yes. I think all of this is in a collaborative spirit. But absolutely. I mean, this is money that is directly within the responsibility of the regional directors.
11688 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: And there is not a shred of doubt in any of your minds that you will have the resources and be able to put together 13 original half hour programs in each of your regions and I guess collectively in each of these nine regions?
11689 MS CHALMERS: No, there is no doubt.
11690 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Mr. Redekopp, I guess I should put it to you: So you are prepared to commit to this?
11691 MR. REDEKOPP: Yes, I'm prepared to commit to it.
11692 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: How will the decision be made in terms of the extra half hour, the sharing within the regions? How will that decision be made?
11693 MR. REDEKOPP: I'm sorry. I don't understand the question.
11694 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Well, there are 13 original half hours here, right?
11695 MR. REDEKOPP: Yes, and then they are repeated for a series of 26.
11696 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Oh, those are repeated.
11697 But I understood from the proposal here that some of these will be shared across the regions. Is that not correct?
11698 MR. MATTOCKS: It was a normal process when we had our own airtime before and it will be a normal process when we have it again. We regularly collaborate. You might remember that "All of a Saturday Night" from Newfoundland, from Ron Crocker's shop, ran in the Maritimes; Rae's "In the Company of Women" ran in the Maritimes as well; so did "Coleman and Company" from Manitoba. So we would do that as well.
11699 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: But what I don't understand, when we talk about the 13 hours and then we will repeat those 13 for the 26 half hours, then we are going to possibly share some of this programming across the regions, so you might send your comedy show out to Ms Hull out in Vancouver I presume?
11700 MR. MATTOCKS: Or I might send my repeats out to Ms Hull and take hers in the Maritimes.
11701 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Okay. So is that what we are really talking about here, then, that the repeat gets done out of the region? I mean, I'm trying to get a sense of how are you going to sit down and make this decision about what you see where.
11702 MS HULL: I think that there is ongoing collaboration and discussion among the regional directors. I think what the network has committed to is a 26-half hour season of regional reflection for the regions, then, in addition to that the plan is for a network repurposing of it. So there may, depending on the programming time and the schedule, be opportunities locally for us to take some of the projects from our regional partners and air them regionally.
11703 But in addition to that there is a network commitment to repurpose these local projects in a way that is for distribution across the entire network. Is that clear?
11704 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: I think so.
11705 I guess if we are talking about regional programs for the region that reflect the region back to the region, to the extent you use your repeat time slot for another region's programs, I guess it is not necessarily that region reflecting itself back to that region?
11706 MR. MATTOCKS: I guess all I'm saying is that we will do what makes the most sense in terms of our own -- at least I will do what makes the most sense in terms of my own region, and that may be very well playing my own repeats, but I admit the possibility it may be something else as well.
11707 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: I appreciate the schedule that you have distributed to us today, this fall schedule, and this program won't be until 2000-2001, but is this going to be a time slot -- the half hour, 26 weeks out of the year -- that is assigned to the regions for them to program?
11708 MR. REDEKOPP: Yes. I will let the program director, Slawko, speak to where I think he thinks he is going to put it.
11709 MR. KLYMKIW: We will probably run them either at 7:00 or 7:30. I can't give you a day today, but it will be between 7:00 and 8:00, in prime time.
11710 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: And you will pick a time and it will be the same time across the country that the -- in the region? That time will be assigned to the regions for those regional directors to program?
11711 MR. KLYMKIW: Yes, absolutely. We will create a consistency in that time block. Obviously, we need to do it to plan everything else.
11712 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: So it is going to be either 7:00 or 7:30?
11713 MR. KLYMKIW: That's correct.
11714 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: And you will be making a decision then.
11715 So then when the second program gets added in 2003-2004, does that mean we have an hour now, it will be 7:00 until 8:00?
11716 MR. KLYMKIW: Or it could be two half hours on different nights.
11717 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Right. Okay. Yes.
11718 All right. I think I understand all of that.
11719 I just wanted to pursue one other area.
11720 I was looking at the financial figures that are shown here for each of the regions. What you did I guess is you took each region which may have several stations and have shown the revenues and the program expense for that region, so in Ontario, for example, you included Toronto, Ottawa, Windsor.
11721 I don't want to go through all of the, but if you could just help me to understand what is happening here over the seven-year period. Just pick one. I mean, we could pick Vancouver, but if another one is better -- I don't mean to pick on you, Ms Hull.
--- Laugher / Rires
11722 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: If you would rather I pick somebody else's, we can do it. I mean, in a relative sense, they are all the same. The numbers are different.
11723 If we look at revenue for example, and what I have done is I went through the charts and rather than taking the absolute numbers I took the difference each year. So what I'm looking at are the numbers that got added in for each year. So if we take your base figure, which is the base year 1998-99, your revenue was $33,625,000, right?
11724 MR. REDEKOPP: Yes.
11725 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: So then the next year it grows and you add -- now, here is where I started just dealing with differences, so if you bear with me for a second.
11726 The next year we add in $120,000, right?
11727 MR. REDEKOPP: Yes.
11728 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Now, the next year we lose $20,000. We actually have a decline in revenues. The next year is an increase of $45,000, the next year $52,000, the next year only $28,000. The next year, 2004-2005, we lose $10,000. The year after that we gain $87,000.
11729 What is happening? I noticed in all of the stations that happens -- or all of the regions that happens. So we have a moderately big increase, 1999-2000; then a fairly significant decrease; then a modest increase; about the same increase; a somewhat less increase; a decrease; a fairly significant increase again.
11730 MR. REDEKOPP: Perhaps I could ask Bill Atkinson to speak to this.
11731 MR. ATKINSON: I would have to go back to the individual details, but basically the revenues, they don't swing that much in totals, but I would like to say that the revenues reflect advertising revenue and other miscellaneous revenues that take place in those locations, for example, tower rentals, facilities revenues and so forth. That is very hard to project into the future and as we get into more and more of these arrangements in the regions, that revenue can fluctuate to a degree.
11732 But it would be -- I don't have a --
11733 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: There seems to be a pattern here, because it is the same -- I don't know whether you have just taken the same rule of thumb and just applied it right across.
11734 MR. ATKINSON: It's applied right across.
11735 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: So the regional people don't do a budget that gets worked up to -- I mean, Mr. Mattocks doesn't do a budget of what he expects the regional revenues to be?
11736 MR. ATKINSON: The responsibilities for the revenues are in two parts. The advertising revenues are the responsibility of network sales and they, you know, generate the revenues for right across the country and then the sales are at the network level.
11737 Other pieces relating to tower rentals and so forth are through our engineering group, which again is a centralized group.
11738 Where the regional directors get more involved is in their actual facilities deals that they are able to leverage programming by renting facilities. Rae does this to a large extent out in Vancouver and she could talk to you more about that.
11739 But I could supply additional information afterwards as to why those fluctuations are there but, basically, if you look at them, they are pretty constant over the years and they are flat projections. I will have to look at why these little fluctuations are there, sir.
11740 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: So what happens with local ad sales, then?
11741 MR. ATKINSON: Local ad sales are the responsibility of the marketing sales department in Toronto. We do have a sales group in each of the locations, but they don't report through the regional directors, that is through the network.
11742 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: So when you actually put together these revenue figures for the regions, how did you do that?
11743 MR. ATKINSON: Those revenue figures were put together in consultation with marketing and sales, with engineering and with the Regional Controllers that have responsibility that are in each location.
11744 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Okay. Let's switch to program expense. And again, we will just take Vancouver as an example, if you would rather take another one that's fine, I have got them all here.
11745 In the first year the total program expense in the base we are starting from is $5,967,000, right?
11746 So in the next year we add $50,000 which is the $50,000 we are spending to get these projects underway, right? And then the next year we add $250,000 and that's the actual seed money itself that is going to fund the program. And I note there that you increase your broadcast hours by 13. So that's where the 13 hours shows up.
11747 Now, the next year we add $207,000 again and then the following year we add $240,000, but $50,000 is the next $50,000 that we are putting in which leaves $190,000. So what are those figures for, those program expenditure increases that we have $207,000 and $190,000 in 2001/2002 and 2002/2003?
11748 MR. ATKINSON: You are referring to the increase above and beyond the amount of the --
11749 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Yes.
11750 MR. ATKINSON: This relates to inflationary increases that are built into the total numbers in all our projections, both on the regional side and on the network side.
11751 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: So these are inflationary increases to cover program expense?
11752 MR. ATKINSON: That's right.
11753 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: So what's that funding? What is the inflation? What is it funding that this is inflation for, specifically?
11754 MR. ATKINSON: Well, just the costs of -- all our costs are going up over the period of time. A lot of that, I would imagine in this case would be salary increases and so forth.
11755 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Okay. So those two years we are about $200,000. The next year, the increase is $343,000 of which $250,000 is again the seed money for the next half-hour program which leaves $93,000. So we only have half the increase that we had the previous two years. So what is that for?
11756 If the first two were inflation, is inflation going down?
11757 MR. ATKINSON: No, the inflation is not going down. It is a balance between the revenue and the expense and the requirement to balance the books.
11758 I would have to do a separate schedule and give it to you separately.
11759 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: I am just trying to get a sense of it. Is this money that is going in to -- is this new money that is funding the news operation?
11760 We have accounted for the money that is funding this new initiative, correct? So this is something else. I just want to get a sense of what this is funding. Is it funding Mr. Mattocks' and Ms Hull's and Ms Chalmers' news operations as an increase in their budgets to help support these new initiatives in news?
11761 MR. ATKINSON: Anything above the $250,000 amount would be to help the station in total to cover their costs.
11762 MS HULL: So in Vancouver it would be the supper hour shows. It would also be 22 half-hours of arts programming that we do outside this new initiative. It would fund various specials, et cetera.
11763 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Now, if I look -- just a couple of anomolies I picked up when looking at this chart.
11764 If I look at Toronto -- the Ontario Region, I'm sorry, and the hours that we are dealing with here, the base here for hours, which is 1998/1999 was 1,610. I guess that is across three stations?
11765 MR. ATKINSON: That's right. That is Ottawa, Windsor, Toronto.
11766 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: From the base year to the first year of the licence term, we dropped 65 hours of local broadcast hours, why is that?
11767 MR. ATKINSON: I am not sure. I don't know the answer to that.
11768 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Could you --
11769 MR. ATKINSON: I could get that for you.
11770 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Then, I notice in the next year when I would have expected to see an increase of 13 hours where everybody is, there is a couple there were only shown as 11 and I figured that was probably just a clerical error there.
11771 Toronto only shows three hours -- or the Ontario Region only shows three hours.
11772 MR. ATKINSON: I will have to get the answer for you.
11773 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Okay.
11774 MR. ATKINSON: But I just want to know where the commitment stands, we will get the right numbers to you, Commissioner.
11775 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Now, if I look across all the stations, I found it somewhat intriguing to me, at least, and I am sure my colleagues would be a little dismayed if I didn't raise this, especially the ones from some of the other regions.
11776 I was struck by the fact that as you would expect, the Ontario Region has the biggest revenue and the biggest program expense and it also has the biggest increases. But the region that has the second biggest increases over the next while is the Maritime Region. And I might have thought, just looking at, say, Vancouver as compared to Halifax, St. John, Fredericton, that if I was looking at revenue, for example, that Vancouver being as much larger, what is third largest city in the country now -- second, I don't know, that it just struck me as being odd that the Maritime Region would be second only to Toronto in terms of revenues.
11777 Why would that be?
11778 MR. ATKINSON: Well, in Toronto we do have a lot of revenues, miscellaneous revenues, from a lot of transmitters in -- shared transmitters in the Ontario Region.
11779 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Yes, as I said I would expect Ontario to be the biggest. What surprised me was that the Maritime one was the second largest. I would have thought that -- I am surprised that, for example, it is bigger than Vancouver.
11780 MR. ATKINSON: I think part of that explanation is that in the Maritimes there are a lot of facilities rentals because of the number of co-productions and so forth that are taking place there. And that is the case also in Vancouver where there are a lot of facilities rentals in that location also. Maybe it is not as large as the Maritimes.
11781 MR. REDEKOPP: I may be out of my element here, but that may be a function of local sales, the fact that the Maritime shows as you have heard Fred say, are doing extremely well. But could I get back to you?
11782 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Sure. I guess I am just curious if indeed local sales in the Maritime Region are greater than -- well, greater than all the other save Ontario.
11783 So those were, as I say, there was a couple of others, but as you have indicated that we are committed to --
11784 So the dollars and the hours the CBC commits to $50,000 for a region to start, the $250,000 the next year, the subsequent $50,000, the subsequent $250,000 and the 13, 13 hours in the respective years the CBC is prepared to commit to as a condition of licence.
11785 MR. REDEKOPP: Yes.
11786 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Okay. The only other area, just a quick thing.
11787 In terms of facilities in the regions, what is your expectation in terms of maintenance or upgrade of the facilities in the regions in order to be able to sustain this increased emphasis on news and this additional regional programming. Are Ms Hull, Ms Chalmers, Mr. Mattocks going to have the resources to be able to maintain and upkeep the facilities that they need in order to be able to respond to this challenge?
11788 MR. ATKINSON: Well, certainly the capital plan that we have put together has to follow the operating and programming plan. Given that this is a commitment there will have to be the appropriate capital in place. But I think what you have heard them say is this is going to be a mix of programming. Some of it independent and some of it in-house. And so, we will make sure that they have the wherewithall to achieve the programming plans that they put in place.
11789 Right now, I don't think any of them can say with certainty how much of this is going to have to be in-house, how much is going to be used in-house facilities and how much is going to be straight facilities, but I can ask them to speak to the range here if you would like.
11790 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Do you have specific capital plans by region for the facilities in the regions?
11791 MR. REDEKOPP: We do.
11792 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: Do we have that?
11793 MR. REDEKOPP: We have a capital plan and I will undertake to make sure that you --
11794 COMMISSIONER COLVILLE: By region, could you file that with us?
11795 Okay. Thank you very much, those are all of my questions.
11796 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.
11797 Commissioner Cram has a few questions.
11798 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I was reading your application on this and about the first of second page it talked about, I believe it was 472 regional employees. And that's not the question, Mr. Redekopp. I mean, what it does is it begs the question how many non-regional employees are there?
11799 MR. REDEKOPP: That, you mean, how many network employees? At 3,400 people working for English television, and so I don't misspeak I will get you the exact number.
11800 At the network we have 2,054 and at the regions we have -- my number here, I don't know where your number is -- is 1,083 people working in the regions, and 258 in "Newsworld" which gives you just under 3,400.
11801 COMMISSIONER CRAM: No, my memory may be faulty, all I remember is that it said regional employees and of course then it wasn't the rest of the sentence about non-regional employees.
11802 Secondly, I understand that a lot of the regional budgets, the regional expenses are really transmission expenses?
11803 MR. REDEKOPP: Well, actually there are two parts. There is the direct responsibility that is under the control of the regional directors and cumulatively that is about $62 million. What we have broken out for you is what we spend in the regions beyond that and that figure is around, I think, $191 million. I think we have given you that in a bar graph.
11804 And that additional spending includes, first of all, the programming and program resources for the network that are located in regions. So that could be a national reporter, it could be the programming spent in Vancouver "DaVinci's Inquest", "Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy", that allocation. The sports crews we have, both in Edmonton and Winnipeg and infrastructure.
11805 I mean, what we try to do and we did this for our board some time ago was to give an actual accounting of where we spend money. So that would include buildings, facilities, transmitters and so on that you have to have in place in order to have that kind of regional programming.
11806 And those are the two envelopes, the $62 million is directly under the responsibility of the regional directors and the remainder is spent there, it is a benefit to the region, but the responsibility is elsewhere.
11807 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I am looking at what appears to be your page C-1-21 and you've got "Regional Ops" there. Initially 1996 starting at $52 million and then going to $30 million in 1997 and then going to $19 million in 1998.
11808 MS HULL: Could you repeat that page again?
11809 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Page C-1-21.
11810 MR. REDEKOPP: Just give me a minute, I have a book that has C-1-21 that doesn't have that. Just a minute.
11811 COMMISSIONER CRAM: It is out of my factum, so it is -- no, C-1-21. It is a graph showing out costs. No?
11812 MR. REDEKOPP: Is it marked Appendix ii, English Language Network Television Service?
11813 COMMISSIONER CRAM: No. Well, it is a -- habitually what would regional ops be though? Like, would that be -- when there's that definition?
11814 MR. REDEKOPP: Just a minute, I will try to find a comparable page here.
11815 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
--- Short pause / Courte pause
11816 MR. REDEKOPP: I have page C-1-13, I don't know if we can find the same page.
11817 But what it speaks to there is the total $62 million that is under the Regional Director's control. The programming part of it is about $42.5 million and the remainder of the -- that makes up the $62 million, there is about $16 million in regional operations TV services and another $3.4, $3.5 million regional operations administration.
11818 And I should really ask Bill if he can tell me exactly what those categories are.
11819 MR. ATKINSON: Yes.
11820 COMMISSIONER CRAM: I think what my point really was was the cost of transmission and taking it out of the regional expenses.
11821 MR. ATKINSON: No, that's not included there.
11822 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay.
11823 MR. REDEKOPP: The transmission and distribution is an entirely separate category, that's taken away.
11824 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Okay. That was really my question. Now my other final question is, you talked about articles, Ms Hull, going to "Newsworld". Do they pay you for that?
11825 MS HULL: No, in fact, they have the right to take items from shows which they do on a regular basis.
11826 COMMISSIONER CRAM: Thank you. Thank you.
11827 MR. ATKINSON: Can I just make a point there, is that if there are any incremental costs as a result of that, "Newsworld" would pay for that.
11828 THE CHAIRPERSON: Merci.
11829 Commissioner Langford?
11830 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: I don't -- I have been told we have very little time and I will try to brief. And I don't in any way want to end on a negative note. I'm credibily encouraged by what I have heard here today. I am incredibly impressed by the amount of energy and committment you have got under difficult situations. And so I am in no way being critical.
11831 I am simply asking you to blue sky a little based again on some of the things we heard from the consultations, Joe Novak was at the one in Edmonton and I am referring more now to the ones we heard in Sydney and Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown.
11832 Where the cry there -- and again I don't want to sound like I am asking for more, I am simply reflecting some of what we heard and asking you to just think about it. I am not looking for any commitments whatsoever.
11833 But the cry from the heart there was that though there were still regional and hope for more regional, regional wasn't always local. I think I have characterized it correctly and that they felt they really, you know, that "We live in Sydney, we don't live in Halifax. You are giving us a regional show from Halifax it is better than a show from Toronto perhaps, or Vancouver, but it is not Sydney".
11834 Is there hope for this? Will the day ever come, do you think, when the march you are starting on now, the long march back to the regions might actually lead to that sort of very localized community reflection again?
11835 MR. REDEKOPP: I doubt it. Not in my lifetime, but maybe my colleagues around here may have a different view of it. But I just don't think so.
11836 MR. MATTOCKS: I think what we heard in Sydney in particular was a reflection of a particular circumstance. Sydney had its own supper hour show until 1990 and until those cuts. And it ceased to have and people there felt that loss quite acutely.
11837 Having said that, the comments I made in Sydney in response to that were that, in fact, about 25 per cent of our news material in our Nova Scotia supper hour comes from Sydney. We have been able to maintain an active bureau there and an active journalistic and program presence, the "Celtic Colours Festival" I have talked about is a Cape Breton festival that the Halifax supper hour, the Halifax-based supper hour actually moves down and spends a week in Cape Breton doing that.
11838 At the end of the day our ratings in Sydney and Cape Breton are quite strong. So I acknowledge the loss but the realities are what they are and we try, on a daily basis, to make sure that we are reflecting that community to the rest of the province, as appropriate.
11839 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Another point that was made again in the Maritimes -- this one, I think, was perhaps made most eloquently by Premier Binns when he appeared. It was that he would like to get to bed a little earlier and the late night local show doesn't come on until about -- I think it is about 11:30.
11840 One understands the reasons. There is always a very good reason for this. So again, I am not being critical and I don't think he was either. Yet, he still would like to get to bed a little earlier. Is there any hope that some adjustments can be made to that sort of scheduling?
11841 MR. REDEKOPP: I think you should ask Slawko to speak to this. I think we have had real success by putting "The National" at a repeat period at 11:00. I think that is the difficulty. I think that is probably where they would like to hear it.
11843 MR. KLYMKIW: Well, we did it to extend the value of "The National" news for a whole bunch of reasons, partly because it is an incredibly valuable part of our organization and we want to give people another chance to see it, partly because of the hockey discussion we had, partly because of the way people are watching television. I can't imagine in the next little while we are going to change that.
11844 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Well, I bring you this message from P.E.I. They are turning off and turning in a little earlier and that seems to be a fact.
11845 MR. APPONI: I was just going to actually be a little flippant and actually maybe also add a positive note that I don't want to deny anything that Harold or Slawko said, but maybe Premier Binns will be able to get to bed earlier in the future with the newscast from Sydney that is refashioned on the Internet or something from Charlottetown that he can see any time he wants on the Internet, at some point.
11846 MR. REDEKOPP: Commissioner Langford, I don't mean to make light of aspirations to restore service in the communities where we have had to reduce service. I really don't mean to make light of it but I guess there is one little bit of good that comes out of it.
11847 There is so much anti-Toronto sentiment that on just those occasions the anger is deflected to Halifax. So just on that occasion, there is some good that comes out of all of that.
11848 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: I think the other silver lining is people really want to watch and listen to your stuff. So there must be a sense of joy for you there.
11849 One last question and this comes out, again, of actually the initial line of questioning that Commissioner Colville entered into when he was referring to your word. I think "underperforming" was the word you used, that some of the areas were underperforming. We heard quite eloquently from Ms Hull and Fred Mattocks and others about the efforts you are making to deliver what you think is relevant and informative and necessary information, and I salute you for that.
11850 At the same time, is it conceivable that the kind of national planning, the national mindset -- and I don't mean that as national versus regional, but call it cross-country presence of the CBC -- may work against it?
11851 Could there be a time, for example, where some areas of the country wouldn't have local news shows and others would have enhanced local news shows simply because, take for example, Toronto -- perhaps there are so many other options they don't need it, but in the Maritimes, they really want it. So you would take those resources and target them. Is that something that could ever happen or will it always be a kind of uniform approach across the country?
11852 MS HULL: I think that my own personal preference would be to continue to have a local news presence in Vancouver, a city that has several other options. I think that if we are going to be good neighbours to our constituents, then I think that we have to be there and we have to be there every day.
11853 I think that the local news gives us a grassroots understanding of what that community is, that without it, I think that we would be less effective in exploring what would be the best performing arts to suggest to the network. I think that we would be impoverished in terms of the kinds of young journalists that we would be able to send on to the network.
11854 I think those 1,000 items that come from the local news that go to Newsworld would disappear. I think that it is the backbone and in a way that -- in the Ice Storm coverage, when "Newswatch" -- they were there and they were there every day and people counted on them, and that flourished into the video that was then purchased by several thousands of people. That has been used -- they just made a donation of $14,000 to a drop-in centre that would have closed.
11855 I think that you can't begin to count the numbers of ways that if you take out those local news shows that you take out a really intricate tapestry of programming that informs us about our community but also extends our outreach to them.
11856 MS CHALMERS: Can I just add? There is another interesting element to this. I have been a journalist that has worked my whole career on the Prairies. That is my sensibilities. It's my home. It's a place I understand the history and the context.
11857 These shows, in terms of the CBC, I guess the people sitting on this side of the desk reflect you. You are all from different parts of the country. You see the world through your own experiences in your own communities.
11858 Right now, what exists within the CBC is something very healthy. Our desk calls the Toronto desk on stories that we think belong on "The National", that we have the history and we have been covering for days and we believe that this story should be seen from the country.
11859 We are leading on the editorial direction and advising them about why this is an important story from the perspective of the community, and it has created -- to remove those programs from across the country changes the dynamic in terms of the perspective that you look at those stories at.
11860 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: But on the other hand -- and I promise I will not beat this to death with a stick. This will be my last comment.
11861 But on the other hand, if for example -- and just hypothetically -- Toronto, by its numbers, simply had no appetite for that show, wouldn't the resources be wisely redirected towards your area where the appetite is huge, in your area where the appetite is huge?
11862 MR. APPONI: I would like to step in here. I think that if we take that argument to the nth degree, it would mean that in some of our bigger cities, we would be saying to Canadians, where most Canadians live, that they don't deserve a CBC program that is trying to do a supper hour newscast that is completely different from the competition, all the things we said at the very beginning of this.
11863 Even if you go with the argument of maybe not an appetite in Toronto, even a smaller share in Toronto, the total number of people who watch the show is a higher share in a smaller location in terms of total number of people watching the show. So we would like to treat Canadians across the country fairly equally.
11864 MR. REDEKOPP: But I would say, Commissioner Langford, I wouldn't penalize the citizens of Toronto. I would say: We had better do a better job in Toronto and make sure that we do have greater impact. There are 5 million people living in that catchment area. That is a city-state.
11865 The thing about regional broadcasting is we seem to identify it as far away from Toronto as possible, but in the Province of Ontario, we have huge, huge black holes near the Manitoba border, Southern Ontario. There are people that really don't ever see us. London, Ontario doesn't even know about us.
11866 So we are conscious of all of the areas that we have to serve. We are trying to make some sense of the resources we have and we want to allocate them appropriately.
11867 But moving out of the big centres should never be an option and I would say the challenge to our programmers will be: Get it right. Get it right in terms of impact. Get it right in terms of optimizing the audience.
11868 COMMISSIONER LANGFORD: Thanks very much.
11869 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
11870 Ms Pinsky.
11871 MS PINSKY: Thank you, Madam Chairman.
11872 I just have two short questions. First, I would like to just clarify that the time, as part of the commitments with respect to regional programming that the network will return up to one hour of broadcast time, in network prime time, to the regional programming, that that will be for half a year and not the whole year, that the other half a year, that time slot would go back to the network?
11873 MR. REDEKOPP: That's correct.
11874 MS PINSKY: Have you contemplated yet what half of the year that you would expect to allocate to the regions, would that be perhaps during the fall/winter schedule?
11875 MR. REDEKOPP: Slawko.
11876 MR. KLYMKIW: We haven't determined that yet but that would be my sense.
11877 MS PINSKY: Would you be willing to commit to that?
11878 MR. KLYMKIW: Yes, if Harold will let me, I will commit to it right now.
11879 MR. REDEKOPP: Yes, we will commit to it.
11880 MS PINSKY: Then just in terms of commitments because I don't see it in the deficiencies, would each of the regional stations agree to adhere to the CAB, the broadcasting codes for advertising to children, the industry code on gender portrayal, and the CAB code on violence, as a condition of licence?
11881 MR. REDEKOPP: Yes, absolutely.
11882 MS PINSKY: Thank you. Those are all my questions.
11883 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. I want to kind of raise --
11884 MR. REDEKOPP: I'm sorry. Madam Chair, I neglected to in fact make a couple of corrections for the record. Just before we break, could we just have a minute to do that?
11885 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
11886 MR. REDEKOPP: Michael, I think you were going to make a few corrections.
11887 MR. HARRIS: You understood that it was a commitment that 13 regional programs would run on the network, 13 half-hours and rising to 26.
11888 MS PINSKY: That is what I understood.
11889 MR. HARRIS: The other one was that the sports documentary program is more rightly in the information and analysis, category 2 as opposed to the sports category.
11890 MS PINSKY: If I could just then follow up on that. If it is in the informational category, I just wanted to be certain that that is something other than the regional programming in terms of light information that would be developed?
11891 MR. HARRIS: Yes.
11892 MS PINSKY: Thank you. Those are all my questions.
11893 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
11894 Well, I wanted to say that there are many preoccupations that were raised during the regional consultations, and if some of the intervenors have heard you this afternoon, they certainly feel that there is a strong commitment on your part to serve well the interest of the regions and the people in those regions.
11895 There is still a question, though, that we will bring back because you are definitely committed and we can feel it, and I am sure that everybody who has watched this afternoon can feel it. It is on the non-news type of commitment, the money. It is hardly over seven years, the amount that you are prepared, as a Corporation and as a whole family, to put on new media for a year. It raises questions and preoccupations.
11896 I am just leaving you on that, not to not praise the work you are doing and the commitment we can feel, but to say, if we kind of create the correlation, is it that significant, that kind of investment in the new media in comparison to what the Canadian citizens need in all the regions and that you are definitely capable of providing? You have demonstrated it and you are still very committed to demonstrate it even more.
11897 So those are questions certainly that have been on our dialogue since the beginning and will certainly come back with this, but there is definitely a concern there, a question and a preoccupation.
11898 MR. REDEKOPP: Noted and we will certainly take it up with our colleagues.
11899 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Thank you.
11900 MR. REDEKOPP: Thank you.
11901 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will be back tomorrow at 9:00. Tomorrow, we will pursue the work of the Commission until 7:30, which means that we will see more intervenors certainly than the ones that we have scheduled to try to make sure that we really kind of keep with our agenda and are capable of ending our proceeding on the Wednesday night.
11902 Thank you all.
--- Whereupon the hearing concluded at 1745, to resume
on Wednesday, June 2, 1999 at 0900 / L'audience
se termine à 1745, pour reprendre le mercredi
2 juin 1999 à 0900