The Gazette: Tributes to RCI pour in from around the world

A sampling of messages to The Gazette in response to the cuts to Radio Canada International (RCI):

(Source: MontrealGazette.com)

“This is absolutely dreadful. RCI has been one of the best shortwave radio stations and a much-needed voice of solid, objective reporting. I’ve been a loyal listener from the mid-1990s and I am really saddened by this news. I understand that the times are difficult and that cuts need to be made, but this is an incredibly short-sighted decision. The staff and RCI’s international listeners deserve better. Surely a plan can be devised that would keep RCI going.”

Nenad Knezevic, Belgrade, Serbia

“I’m at a loss for words. I’ve been listening to RCI on shortwave since the glory days of the 1970s. This is the loss of a great friend to me. I’ve enjoyed countless English broadcasts of RCI. I feel a huge emptiness upon losing Radio Canada International on shortwave!”

Charles Ermatinger, St. Louis

“What upsetting news! I listen to the Link at night — so insightful and enlightening! Why couldn’t the CBC have made cuts to the television instead? The Internet has usurped the role of the television, but radio is radio!!! I love the immediacy of radio! I will miss your voice most of all, Marc!”

elise db, Ottawa

“Shocking news, I didn’t really expect that the only reliable source of information about this beautiful country is going to be shut down. … Hope you’ll change your decision and continue to broadcast, even only in English.”

Georgi Bancov, Troyan, Bulgaria

“There are places on Earth that just do not have Internet access yet. Many remote locations, in poorer countries. SW radio is their only means to get by. I guess we’re just abandoning them, to stay current with costs and technology. Very sad. BTW, the broadcast from (the Sackville) towers can be heard everywhere on Earth.”

DM, New Brunswick.

“It seems very short-sighted to cease Canadian broadcasting to the world. The astronomical expense of the Olympics are always sold to host countries’ citizens as providing many intangible benefits … well surely the international broadcasts which promote and explain Canada, its systems, policies, culture, innovations and Canadian analysis of international events etc. is valuable to the government and the country. From what I’ve seen on radio discussions boards there will be no more broadcasts and most people laid off for the sake of $10 million … peanuts, methinks.”

BigC-Canuck

Read the full page of comments at The Gazette. We are actively posting news about the RCI cuts here on the SLWing Post and we also welcome your comments.

You will find the latest news by following our tag: RCI Cuts

The Link talks about the cuts at RCI

In this interview with Levon Sevunts, producer for RCI’s The Link, we get a little more insight into the impact of these cuts at Radio Canada International.

One notable quote from the audio interview: Sevunts states rather bluntly, “RCI is getting out of radio altogether.”

RCI’s last day of broadcasting will be June 26th, 2012.

(Source: The Link)

RCI will bear the brunt of the 10 per cent funding cut to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation announced in the last federal budget. RCI is going off the air. The international service will no longer be heard on shortwave or satellite broadcasts. A budget cut of more than 80% at RCI will mean only limited service will be offered on the Internet in five languages: English, French, Spanish, Mandarin and Arabic. Russian and Portuguese services will be dropped. A total of 650 jobs will be lost at the CBC over the next three years and there will be changes in programming. To generate additional revenue, CBC plans to introduce advertising on its CBC Radio 2 and Espace Musique channels. CBC TV will also shut down 620 analog transmitters and cut its in-house documentary unit. Marc Montgomery discusses the changes with The Link’s producer, Levon Sevunts.

Helene Parent: “two out of three RCI employees will lose their jobs by the end of July”

It appears that the cuts at Radio Canada International will be deep and swift (see below).

(Source: RCInet.ca)

Spending cuts announced last week in Canada’s latest federal budget have reached Radio Canada International. Speaking to employees at RCI’s headquarters in Montreal on Wednesday, RCI director Helene Parent declared that two out of three RCI employees—about 40 people—will lose their jobs by the end of July. RCI’s Russian and Portugueuse sections will be closed along with the English and French-language newsrooms. All shortwave broadcasts will cease as well. RCI will continue to exist solely on the Internet in five languages—English, French, Arabic, Spanish and Mandarin.

As with the cuts at the BBC World Service, and Radio Netherlands Worldwide, I am thinking about the friends I made there over the years and hoping they are able to keep their jobs or move to another meaningful post. Unfortunately, since these cuts are also affecting their domestic arm (the CBC and Radio Canada), there may be no easy refuge.

We will keep you posted as we learn more.

Oh, Canada: Radio Canada International to end shortwave broadcasts, Sackville to be closed

This is another sad day for international broadcasting.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has announced sweeping cuts that will eliminate 650 jobs over the course of 3 years. In a strategic plan called, Same Strategy, Different Path, they specifically outline their cuts of shortwave and satellite transmissions which will also mean the closure of their noted Sackville, New Brunswick transmitter site:

(Source: CBC-Transforming Radio Canada International)

In line with plans to modernize the public broadcaster, as outlined in Strategy 2015Radio Canada International (RCI) will undergo a transformation that amounts to phasing out its shortwave and satellite services so it can focus on webcasting. This will account for almost $10 million in annual savings for CBC/Radio-Canada by 2013-14. RCI’s transformation is consistent with currently shifting media consumption behaviours, as well as strategies adopted by other public broadcasters.

“From now on RCI will provide multilingual service broadcasting in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin that strives to help audiences discover and especially understand democratic and cultural life and values in Canada,” says Hubert T. Lacroix, President and CEO.

As well, RCI will provide national and international audiences with online content in five languages (French, English, Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin) instead of seven. The Russian and Brazilian sections of RCI will be shut down. This allows us to concentrate our efforts on what are among Canada’s largest communities of diverse origins. Following this decision, CBC/Radio-Canada will be closing its shortwave transmission site in Sackville, New Brunswick.

What this will mean

  • End of satellite and shortwave transmission
  • End of the production of RCI news broadcasts
  • Shutdown of Brazilian and Russian sections of RCI
  • Almost $10 million in annual savings for CBC/Radio-Canada by 2013-14

What it won’t mean

  • Shutdown of RCI