In a surprising move, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has announced that they will be temporarily rebranding themselves as the Catholic Broadcasting Corporation.
CBC spokesperson Rebecca Khadr told reporters “this move is to bring the most relevant, up-to-date news on the world’s most exciting event at the moment. As world events change we will be there to report to specific audiences. ”
Asked how this will affect non-Catholic Canadians, she responded that the CBC will continue to provide general news content 5 minutes out of every hour – which is consistent with their current news coverage.
When asked if this was not simply a crass-ploy to attempt to cash in on the attention generated by the Vatican’s selection of a new Pope, Ms. Khadr indicated that over 40% of Canadians are Roman Catholic, and the election of a new Pope transcends religious affiliations in the current news cycle. She added “Besides, what do you want us to do, become PBS and do telethons every week? Who even watches those things?”
The shocking decision has united traditional opponents. The Tax Payers Federation of the United Canadian Provinces and Territories published news release stating “We are shocked by the CBC’s decision to rebrand in order to align closely with one religious group. This is another example of how the CBC is a colossal waste of taxpayers’ money.”
The public broadcasting advocacy group You Have a Friend Canadian Broadcasting, equally expressed shock. A note on their website reads, “We are shocked by the CBC’s decision to rebrand itself the Catholic Broadcasting Corporation. This is another example how the Harper government’s underfunding of a national treasure has forced the CBC to pimp itself out.”
Market Trend Analyst Bobby Gillespie of Market Trend Analytics says that the move is not surprising, and fits within a larger trend.
“In the age of social media, traditional media continues to innovate and branch out in an attempt to gain advertising dollars. Traditional media has been on a downward spiral for a decade as they continue to provide objective and credible content, while consumers are flocking to Twitter and Facebook seeking subjective content. It is a battle they cannot win.”
In recent months, other news agencies have changed their names to better reflect their editorial content. Torstar rebranded the Toronto Star as the Trudeau Star, and has replaced the title of its flagship newspaper with a picture of Justin Trudeau wearing a crown. The paper has seen its circulation numbers rise among the key demographic of 15 to 40 year-old females, as well as finding a new audience in the Maritime provinces.
In a similar move, the National Post has renamed its Saturday edition the Flaherty Post, and now provides 50 additional pages of coverage of the Conservative Party. Their circulation numbers have skyrocketed, owing much to Tim Horton’s customers now actually bothering to take a free Flaherty Post when ordering a double-double.
This trend of news organizations associating themselves with popular figures or events appears to have bypassed one national figure – Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Mr. Gillespie say that Mr. Harper’s public persona continues to defy all accept media constructs.
“Over the last few decades, we have noticed a trend, whether it is in the politics, the boardroom, or in entertainment, consumers want strong leaders. Consumers don’t want the nice guy. They want the leader that says “To Hell with you, this is what I am doing”. This is what brought Toronto Mayor Rob Ford to office. Torontonians were bored with sound fiscal management era of David Miller, and wanted someone more exciting.
Prime Minister Harper defies logic. He is so dull he makes beige look exciting. Canadians only seem to notice him when he has a new sweater. He exhibits some traits of a strong leader like muzzling everyone around him, and only doing what he wants, and yet his public personality is so boring that Canadians don’t even have a public opinion of him. He must be the only leader has been elected by attempting to be non-offensive. I just don’t see any news organization being able to cash in on Mr. Harper’s popularity. You just won’t see the Harper and Mail on any newsstand.”