Literate Lunches

Saving the CBC: Balancing Profit and Public Service

Wade Rowland, former producer and senior executive at both CBC and CTV and current professor at York University, discusses his latest work.

Do we want a public broadcaster? Wade Rowland’s Saving the CBC: Balancing Profit and Public Service (Linda Leith Publishing) is a trenchant analysis of the threat to our national broadcaster and a solution for radical change.

After years of chronic underfunding, the Harper government leveled $115 million budget cut at the CBC in 2012. Now the CBC faces a new fiscal crisis—one that signals the end of public broadcasting as we know it in Canada. As “the mother corp” faces the potential loss of broadcast rights for Hockey Night in Canada, veteran broadcaster and media strategist Wade Rowland argues we have less than two years to find a way to save CBC/Radio-Canada: the cornerstone of Canadian culture and an institution many regard as the glue that holds the country together. It has become clear that if Canada is to retain a public broadcaster worthy of the name, the CBC will have to be radically reformed, and soon.

Rowland draws on over thirty years’ experience in television production, network news management and media studies to present a plan to satisfy the country’s private broadcasting lobby and at the same time rejuvenate the CBC. Not since the Great Depression, says Rowland, has there been such an opportunity for public service broadcasting in Canada to become all that it can be on all media platforms–and rival the best in the world.


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Wade Rowland is a former producer and senior executive at both CBC and CTV, and is now a professor at York University, teaching in the joint York-Ryerson graduate program in communication and culture and in the Atkinson School of Arts and Letters program in culture and expression. He is a former Maclean Hunter Chair of Ethics in Communication at Ryerson University and is author of a number of books, including Greed, Inc. (Thomas Allen, 2005), Galileo’s Mistake (Arcade Publishing, 2003), Spirit of the Web (Key Porter, 1999) and Ockham’s Razor (Key Porter, 1999). He is an unreconstructed CBC radio addict.


In partnership with:

  • Gardiner Museum