In an effort to mitigate serious funding shortfalls, the CBC will freeze executive pay, cut bonuses in half, and sell off company assets, according to media reports and the company's own internal blog, InsideTheCBC.com.
In a memo sent to staff Wednesday (March 18) night, the crown corporation's president, Hubert Lacroix, outlined the measures to be taken by the Mother Corp to combat a budget shortfall of up to $200 million caused by a combination of falling ad revenues, increased salary and infrastructure costs, and higher programming costs--a shortfall that's been compounded by the federal government's refusal so far to give the struggling public broadcaster a traditional annual top-up of $60 million, on top of its $1.1 billion annual budget.
According to InsideTheCBC.com, Hubert's memo stated the broadcaster's board of directors has approved a plan to sell “enough assets to finance our way through this without deeper cuts.”
In addition, the memo stated that executive salaries are to be frozen over the next year, with bonus payouts cut in half; there will be new voluntary retirement incentives; CBC Radio will remain advertising-free; and English TV will not have any new American programming.
But there are apparently doubts brewing over whether this will be enough to pull the public broadcaster out of the red. Employee Paul McGrath, writing for InsideTheCBC.com, asks: "What assets could the CBC sell to raise what’s expected to be around $200 million? Local stations don’t appear to be an option, there’s no appetite for that right now. Real Estate [sic] might have some assets, but I don’t know of any worth $200 million."