Ottawa Reappoints Hubert Lacroix as Head of Embattled CBC/Radio Canada

3:15 PM PST 10/05/2012 by Etan Vlessing

A second five-year term for the pubcaster president and CEO comes despite continuing budget woes and key TV hockey ad revenue loss due to a delayed or cancelled NHL season.

TORONTO – As public funding cuts bite and the NHL lockout heralds lost TV hockey revenue, the Canadian government on Friday reappointed Hubert Lacroix as president and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada for a second five-year term.

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“Despite economic downturns and industry shake-ups, we are well on the way to achieving the goals set out in our strategy. Planning for the next five years starts today,” Lacroix said in a statement after his reappointment was confirmed.

The CBC/Radio Canada topper has stuck to a five year plan for the rejuvenation and digitization of the Canadian pubcaster begun in 2010 as the English- and French-language radio and TV networks face a $115 million budget reduction and ad revenue losses from a delayed or cancelled NHL season.

CBC/Radio Canada depends heavily on key taxpayer subsidies from Ottawa and revenue from Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts of NHL games on Saturday night and during the Stanley Cup playoff and championship rounds. 

The pubcaster is looking to protect its audience and sponsorship base for Hockey Night in Canada by airing repeats of classic NHL games during the work stoppage.

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“I see my reappointment as an endorsement of our strategic direction, which calls for the public broadcaster to become more distinctly Canadian in its national programming, more present in all regions of the country and to act as a catalyst for the digital transformation of the media landscape,” Lacroix added.

CBC/Radio Canada faces license renewal hearings before the CRTC, the country's TV regulator, in November.

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