Thursday, February 21, 2008

CBC Makes Changes to Combine TV, Online, & Radio

The CBC is reportedly set to make some internal changes that would result in one, unified division that covers television, online, and radio. According to the National Post, all three divisions will now be in close communication with one another, and work together on assignments rather than different divisions covering different stories or news items.

This decision just goes to show how new methods of content distribution are affecting business. When a company is distributing content through several means, does it make sense to separate the divisions, or throw them all under one umbrella? If a cool item appears on TV, should the web guy snag that content and post it online? If the web guy gets a great interview with a celeb, should the radio guy air the same audio? Or should TV content remain on TV, web content on the web, and radio content on the airwaves? The lines are constantly being blurred, and many are in disarray trying to figure out the proper strategy.

In CBC's case, the company feels that putting one person in charge of all three divisions makes sense. Richard Stursberg, who previously head up the TV division, will now be responsible for all English-language radio and online properties as well.

On the one hand, this move could help to create a more synergistic voice for the company across all platforms. On the other, it could lead to duplication of content. If so, is that such a bad thing? After all, does the same person who gets his news on the radio also get it online and through cable or satellite TV? Or are there distinct groups of people, each with a preference to how they consume content?

Personally, I could be defined as an "online gal": 90% of my news and information comes from the Web. But when it comes to entertainment, TV is king in my world. As for radio, I'm a faithful satellite radio listener, so news and entertainment programming via radio isn't for me: I just want tunes. My point is that many people are probably like me, and pick and choose what type of content they want from what type of medium. This means that if CBC runs the same sort of content through each medium, there's a good chance that many people won't even notice a difference in product.

You can't please everyone, all the time, as they say. And because there are so many new ways to distribute content, it's a crap-shoot, at this point, for anyone involved.

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