With Postmedia ‘Doomed,’ the CBC Could Save News in Canada


An ad-free, better-funded CBC that shares its reporting could help keep local journalism alive.

By Peter Menzies, TheTyee.ca  Aug.29 2017

Peter Menzies is a former newspaper publisher who spent 10 years as a CRTC commissioner and vice-chairman. This column originally was published by Troy Media

Sometime in the not-too-distant future, the nation’s largest media chain is expected to fail, taking many of the nation’s once proud but now emaciated major daily newspapers to the grave with it.

Postmedia and others have already issued appeals to the federal government, just as television broadcasters have, with more success, lobbied the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for relief for close to a decade now.

The debate over whether their demise is suicide by incompetence or murder by technology no longer matters. And while some, such as columnist Andrew Coyne, still insist that journalists should never be compromised by the subtle fealty induced by government subsidy, principles are unlikely to survive the industry’s poverty.

There is a strong argument — one reinforced by the problematic nature of Postmedia’s structure — in favour of letting nature take its course. But governments don’t do that when you’re too big to fail. So if something is to be done, here’s the solution.


CBC news is produced with public dollars for public benefit and should therefore be available without copyright protection within Canada’s borders. It should be freely accessed and reproduced by its domestic competitors while maintaining its proprietary nature internationally: the news would be available to the Winnipeg Free Press but not to the Washington Post.

This would give all media in Canada arms-length access to a stream of international, national, regional and local news, allowing them to focus their resources on that which they feel makes them unique while transitioning from traditional platforms to the future.




  1. Why should the taxpayer be forced to pay for biased left wing media propaganda ?
    Journalists – please just tell us the truth !

  2. Why would Postmedia fail? Perhaps they could reinvent themselves and publish one “National” Paper, available online and via Smart TVs with local online inserts ….

    What would prevent them from succeeding, unfortunately, is their penchant for imitating the defunct tabloid “Midnight”.

    Their constant leftist attacks on Trump, their fawning praise for pretty-boy Trudeau, and their completely fake reports on “white supremacists” make the great unwashed public question the accuracy of any news in their publications and question why are we expected to pay for this dreck?

    All that’s missing from the current publications is the reports on UFO landings, and celebrity sightings at the laundromat. Although the court reports would be a big hit, I believe.

    Maybe they could lead off with sightings of pretty-boy Justin at the bath house?

  3. Believe me now, Oh Brother, or believe me later: Postmedia is a goner. The plug will be pulled sometime soon.

    Much like CanWest, whose print assets it acquired via usurious-junk-credit vulture funds, Postmedia has never escaped the overhang of significant debt with sky high interest payments. No amount of cost-cutting and staff layoffs can ever reduce that debt to manageable levels. Despite swooning advertising and reduced readership due to Internet alternatives, many of the individual papers are still profitable (barely) or close to break even. Under creditor protection (known as Chapter 11 in the US), Postmedia’s secured creditors will hopefully find local proprietors with deep pockets willing to continue titles such as The Vancouver Sun (likely merged with The Province), the Calgary Herald and the Edmonton Journal to name three.

    No need for the CBC to ride to the rescue.

  4. Yes, The Province will likely fold into the Vancouver Sun.

    It’s interesting that the Vancouver Sun has still not run anything local on the hiring of the new Uber CEO, a close relative of BC billionaire (Future Shop, Wesbild) Hassan Khosrowshahi. Given Vancouver’s status as a non-Uber city, you’d think there’d be some local reporting. The only thing the Sun has carried is a Washington Post piece.

  5. Given that the Tyee and the CBC both lean Left and pro-SJW in their news coverage, it’s no surprise that the Tyee has a pro-CBC bias – but how do they expect the CBC to “save” Canadian news when its ratings for The National have fallen to third place among the network newscasts (behind CTV and Global) and don’t even rate among the top 30 shows in Canada (plus, more and more people are now tuning out CBC because of its increasingly blatant liberal bias, with more people now calling for the CBC’s privatization to stop taxpayer money from being used to pay for that bias)?


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