Wednesday, March 18, 2009

CBC approves budget; cuts expected

The CBC's board of directors, faced with a possible $200-million shortfall, approved on Tuesday a budget for the coming year that includes deep cuts.

No further details were available about the size of the cutbacks, although the public broadcaster said it would make an announcement to staff by the end of the month.

In a speech to the Empire Club of Canada last month, CBC/Radio-Canada president Hubert Lacroix said a decline in advertising revenues, increased salary and infrastructure costs and higher programming costs contributed to a budgetary shortfall of between $115 million and $145 million.

The federal government, which for the past seven years has given the CBC a non-recurring $60 million in special funding on top of its $1.1-billion base allocation, did not announce in this year's budget that the special funds would be renewed. If the money isn't given, the broadcaster's shortfall could go to over $200 million.

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