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CBC to air Murdoch Mysteries instead of municipal election
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CBC to air Murdoch Mysteries instead of municipal election

Written by
Emily Mathieu
Published by
Toronto Star
October 17th, 2018

FRIENDS' Executive Directory says CBC's decision not to air the Ontario municipal election on television further reveals the public broadcaster's dependence on advertising dollars and demonstrates a failure by the federal government to properly support the public broadcaster.

Toronto fans of the television show Murdoch Mysteries can rest easy knowing that their regularly-scheduled programing will not be interrupted on election night.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has decided to not run live coverage of Toronto’s October 22 election on local television, but will be posting constant updates online and across a range of social media platforms and broadcasting results live on radio after the polls close.

Chuck Thompson, head of public affairs for the national public broadcaster, sent a short statement in response to a question about coverage.

“In planning our election night coverage, we considered a variety of options to best address competing priorities and we know through research that audiences want the results on mobile and digital,” said Thompson. “We’re confident that our coverage of the GTA municipal elections will provide extensive, up-to-date news across all of our platforms.”

Murdoch Mysteries starts at 8 p.m., the same time polls close, followed by Frankie Drake Mysteries at 9 p.m. and The National at 10 p.m. Special election coverage on local CBC television will start at 11 p.m.

Live election updates will be posted every 30 seconds on the city’s website, starting at 8 p.m.

Daniel Bernhard, executive director and spokesperson for Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, said the decision to not show results on television further reveals the CBC’s dependence on advertising dollars and demonstrates a failure by the federal government to properly support the public broadcaster.

“Canadians expect our public broadcaster to behave like a public broadcaster. Private companies put advertisers first. CBC should put citizens first,” said Bernhard, in a written statement.

“CBC shouldn’t be in the ad business at all, but because it is so poorly funded, it has become overly dependent on commercial revenue. We call on the Trudeau government to choose Canadian democracy over ad revenue (and) fund the CBC properly, so it can fulfill its duty to the Canadian public.”

Thompson said what will be on offer in Toronto on election night is “continuous coverage” on the CBC website, a live radio special starting when polls close at 8 p.m., and “a live social election night special” that will include election results and reaction and will be posted across Facebook, Twitter and the CBC’s Toronto specific webpage, he said.

Television news about who will be mayor and members of council and reaction will be broadcast during a special television report on CBC News Toronto, starting at 11 p.m., said Thompson.

More than a million viewers are expected to tune in to Murdoch Mysteries and about 670,000 for Frankie Drake Mysteries, based on viewing numbers for the new season, he said.

© Toronto Star

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