Last week it was Michael Harris and 15 bodies cashiered at Bell Media's radio cluster.
Yesterday it was the announcement that a pile of folks, 35, from their number one TV station, the former CJOH, now CTV Ottawa, will be blown out and blown out soon.
Here is the problem as I see it. When you watch American TV you have a sense of place. If you are in Bismarck, North Dakota and are watching any of the network stations serving the ND capital you know you are watching a ND TV. Ditto the bigger markets too. Not so much here. Everything has to be streamlined, integrated, cost efficient, bland. It is getting bad in Ottawa, Montreal etc; it is absolutely terrible in smaller markets, markets that are many times the size of Bismarck such as Kitchener [the home of one local TV station]; London [the home of one local TV station]; Niagara [the home of no local TV]; Hamilton [the home of one local TV station] and; Pembroke [the home of no local TV]. I could go on for a thousand words on this.
Canadians like to deride Americans and their pride but their pride comes from being proud of who they are and where they are from and that pride is manifested in the local stories, remember all politics is local, local adverts and local pride.
When you are in Bismarck, North Dakota or Seattle, Washington or New Orleans, Louisiana and you are watching the TV news you are seeing stories about that town, those people. When you are in Brandon, Manitoba or Windsor, Ontario or Oshawa, Ontario not so much.
That is what has been lost yet again. A sense of place.
They, Bell Media, may be saving money in the short run but when I was driving home tonight their overnight radio show on their news talker, CFRA, was syndicated American programming talking about America. The overnight programming on their sports station, The Team, was Rob Dibble and FOX Sports talking about college basketball, American college ball. For twenty dollars an hour Bell Media could do local programming but that would cost them twenty dollars more an hour than these brokered shows cost them.
This is both shortsighted and some serious bullsh*t.