CBC to introduce new local service to Kitchener-Waterloo

TORONTO, Sept. 26, 2011 /CNW/ - Continuing the promise of its five-year strategic plan Everyone, Every Way, CBC announced today it will introduce new radio and internet services for the Kitchener-Waterloo area commencing in fall of 2012.

"Kitchener-Waterloo and the surrounding area, is home to over a half million Ontarians. As the public broadcaster, we're delighted to be able to introduce new on the ground-coverage to the area," says Susan Marjetti, CBC Managing Director of Toronto and Ontario Regions. "The intent is to connect and reflect the cities' in all their richness and diversity. Kitchener-Waterloo is a vibrant urban centre, with much to offer by the way of technology, business, arts and culture, and great quality of life. We're looking forward to sharing all of the details, as we get closer to our launch in 2012."

"I'm delighted CBC is coming to our vibrant community" says Carl Zehr, mayor of Kitchener. "Waterloo Region is one of the fastest growing and economically diverse communities in Ontario. We look forward to a CBC local presence here and the comprehensive voice it will lend to our region."

"I am delighted that the CBC has chosen to expand and have a local presence in our vibrant community," says Brenda Halloran, mayor of Waterloo. "The addition of this news medium allows the residents of the City of Waterloo to access more news and become more engaged in local initiatives. We welcome the CBC to our great City."

"We're very excited about forging a new relationship with the Kitchener-Waterloo community with these latest additions to our service," says Kirstine Stewart, executive vice-president of CBC English Services.  "People across the country tell us that local service is what they want. So as a public broadcaster, it's our job to meet that expectation, evolving the ways in which we deliver our services as well as creating new ones.  We'll be expanding the kinds of programs we offer. Canada's communities are changing and growing; we know there are millions of Canadians who now live in areas which we aren't serving locally, or aren't serving enough. Our objective is to address that over the next four years."

"I'm very happy to see the momentum continuing for our Everyone, Every way strategy," says Hubert T. Lacroix, president and chief executive officer of CBC/Radio-Canada. "Announcing new local services confirms that we are committed to delivering on our promise of a stronger relationship with Canadians. With new delivery models, CBC/Radio-Canada continues to evolve into a modern and agile public broadcaster."

Details about the new Kitchener-Waterloo service will be announced in coming months, Marjetti says.

More than 7 million Canadians live in large population centres that are either unserved or underserved by CBC; the public broadcaster's strategic plan is aimed at reaching approximately 6 million Canadians with new or expanded local services over the next four years.  In May, CBC made announcements for weekend news in Toronto and Calgary and unveiled plans for new services in Kelowna, Kamloops and Victoria. Other recent announcements have included Edmonton, Halifax, St. John's, London and Ottawa.

About CBC/Radio-Canada

CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. The Corporation is a leader in reaching Canadians on new platforms and delivers a comprehensive range of radio, television, Internet and satellite-based services. Deeply rooted in the regions, CBC/Radio-Canada is the only domestic broadcaster to offer diverse regional and cultural perspectives in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages, plus seven languages for international audiences. In 2011, CBC/Radio-Canada is celebrating 75 years of serving Canadians and being at the centre of the democratic, social and cultural life of Canada.

For further information:

Jeff Keay, CBC Media Relations, 416 205 3987, jeff.keay@cbc.ca