Heather Conway Departs the CBC with a Vigorous Defense


We were alerted to it by today’s Broadcast Dialogue weekly briefing

CBC English Services EVP Heather Conway (pictured above), in her last week on the job, has responded to a column by the National Post’s Tristin Hopper entitled “Really want to help print journalism, Ottawa? Stop CBC from undercutting us.” 

The article took aim at CBC’s aggressive online expansion, decrying that privately-held media companies can’t compete with the public broadcaster’s free model and “bottomless resources.”

In her response, Conway writes “This claim is made by private media in every country where there is a public broadcaster. It pretends that if there were no public broadcaster, then people would be forced to pay for their news, and all would be well, for private media companies, who presumably would also get all the digital ad revenue. This has never been true. Anywhere. In the case of newspapers, the revenue from classifieds, flyers and ads disappeared to the Internet decades ago.”

“Today, Google and Facebook alone take 75% of all Internet advertising revenue in Canada. Two global companies. It is not Canada’s public broadcaster that is ‘viciously undercutting print media.’ During this digital transformation, while these digital companies have grown and Canadian newspapers have consolidated, closed or cut to pay debt from acquisitions, we continue to serve Canadians and have moderated the worst effects of the upheaval on their news and their culture.”

Read Conway’s full reply here.


  1. Years ago the CBC rightfully justified their government subsidy to operate with the understanding that providing service to all Canadians including those in remote areas required expensive transmitter builds/maintenance and other expenses private broadcasters could not afford.
    Today, anyone can create an internet news site without incurring these extra costs to reach remote areas.
    If the CBC is shifting money to their online platforms – then the government subsidy should be cut accordingly. Their cost of providing service is now no different than anyone else under the online model and therefore they can compete like everyone else.

  2. CBC, ICBC, you pick the acronym and if its a government run organization operating in the private sector you can count on:
    Top heavy management with NO NEED to operate at a profit
    Top heavy pension and benefit plans.
    Huge tax payer subsidies to prop up a money loser
    Support from all public sector unions
    Support from all left wing nutbars


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