CRTC should not be cowed by broadcasters' threats



    OTTAWA, Jan. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's federal regulator should demand
that broadcasters who are threatening to shut down service in small Canadian
communities return their licences now, and give others the chance to run them,
says Canada's largest media union.
    "Broadcasters obviously think that TV licensing is like one of their game
shows, and that they can bargain down their commitments to Canadians," says
Peter Murdoch, Vice-President, for the Media, Communications, Energy and
Paperworkers Union of Canada.
    "But Canadians own the airwaves," he says, "and if these broadcasters
want to give up in their smaller markets, there will be line ups of
prospective buyers."
    "We've been asking the CRTC for more competitive licensing, but the CRTC
has ignored the evidence that making Canada's mega media moguls bigger is
actually weakening our broadcasting system."
    "Instead of being cowed by these broadcasters and their 'we're too big to
be allowed to fail' threats, the CRTC should send a clear message to the
broadcasters that their licences can be offered to others. In fact, since
their licences are coming up for renewal this spring, this is the ideal time
to open up the system to fresh ideas and innovation."




For further information:

For further information: Peter Murdoch, (613) 230-5800, ext. 249, cell:
(905) 516-5720

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Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

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