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CBC’s licence renewal hearing to enter second phase with input from intervenors

A review of the CBC’s licence renewal applications enters its second phase today, with some organizations and individuals presenting their calls for greater accountability and transparency from the public broadcaster.

The virtual hearing run by Canada’s broadcast regulator began last week with the CBC asking for greater regulatory “flexibility” as it tries to meet audience needs and makes a bigger push into the digital world.

The virtual hearing began 10 a.m. ET and CBCNews.ca is streaming it live.

The CBC is asking that the corporation be free of detailed financial reporting obligations around resources put into online content, such as the CBC Gem streaming platform and CBC Listen app.

The watchdog group Friends of Canadian Broadcasting is among the intervenors set to present to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission today.

Daniel Bernhard, Friends’ executive director, says the CBC’s request for less scrutiny over its digital activities, and its performance at the commission thus far, signals “they don’t fully appreciate that public service media is about public service.” He says his group will express concerns about the CBC’s accountability, its declining news expenditures and its advertising and commercialization initiatives, including the paid-partnership division Tandem.


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