Just catching up with some CBC news items I didn't blog last week because, well, because.
They cancelled Street Cents! They cancelled Street Cents! They cancelled Street Cents!
Yes, that's me screaming. Why? Because in TVland, which is all about selling as much crap as possible to as many eyeballs as possible, and which is also about suckering your kids into becoming consumeristic greed heads, Street Cents was, for 17 years, a boob tube oasis for teaching kids about what not to buy and why. The award-winning media literacy show -- seven Geminis plus an International Emmy -- had its roots as a regional production in Halifax and from there it grew and grew. Reports Inside the CBC, where Tod Maffin agrees with the cancellation:
CBC spokesperson Jeff Keay told InsideTheCBC.com: “Street Cents has been an exceptional success over the past 17 years and CBC is proud of the show’s award-winning reputation and focus on innovative stories, news and entertainment for its youth audience.
”However, research has demonstrated pretty clearly that its demographic (pre-teen and teen) is increasingly and quickly moving to interactive digital platforms for news, info and entertainment. We’re in the process of refocusing our youth strategy to specifically address this trend.”
But I don't buy that. For one thing, a public broadcaster is a public broadcaster, not a webcaster, and it has an obligation to broadcast programs that are non-commercial and even anti-commercial. For another, not every kid has a computer, or easy access to one -- but just about every kid watches TV and too damn much of it.
This anonymous CBC employee guest-blogging on The Teamakers sees things more my way.
A quiet death Friday for one of the remaining slivers of CBC-mandate programming. Street Cents, the cheeky consumer affairs show aimed at teenagers, was finally snuffed out. It wasn't much of a surprise as no commitment had been made to launch a new season. After 17 years of edgy and fearless programs, the Halifax-based production was killed because - according to the information passed on to staff from (CBC-TV executive vice-president Richard) Stursberg via Atlantic Regional Director Ron Crocker - it's not attracting a big enough audience.
For those who watch these things, the program has been bounced around the schedule for years before being dumped to die on Sunday afternoons. It's amazing that it managed to attract even the 100 thousand viewers that it did.
A hundred thousand? Cripes. That's more than some of the shows that Stursberg has launched.
Benoît, a bilingual native of Ottawa and Mont-Tremblant, was dubbed “Gzowski’s hip replacement” when she co-hosted (with Michael Enright) CBC Radio One’s now defunct This Morning. Before that she was a top open-line host at CJAD in Montreal and a political commentator for other media outlets. She worked at CBC-TV in Montreal for five years, as a current affairs writer-broadcaster as well as host of the network’s award winning sports and recreation program, Busy Bodies.
Benoit bounced around CBC a lot after This Morning was cancelled. She ended up hosting the local 4-6, Here and Now until she took a Southam fellowship. Last year, she did some radio documentaries in Africa, and told me that she was very much interested in what was going on there. But she didn't get to keep traveling and, in May, landed as host of Ontario Morning. I guess she wasn't happy there and bailed.