Apocalypse now

The CBC and National Post? Andrew Coyne tries to figure out the implications of this bizarre marriage.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the National Post today announced an agreement which will allow both organizations to share content across their respective media platforms. The agreement is effective immediately. will run daily financial stories and podcasts from the Financial Post in CBC’s online Money section, and The National Post will run daily sports stories in the sports section of and periodically in the sports section of the newspaper. Financial terms were not disclosed.

No, this is not April Fool’s. I don’t quite know what to make of this, it’s so bizarre. I don’t mean it’s a bad idea. It’s just … bizarre. And I have a feeling this is just the beginning.

There are two ways of looking at this. One, the National Post, a private newspaper, is now partially funded by the taxpayer.

Two, the CBC has just been partially privatized.

Either way, the implications are profound. Will the Post have to troop off to CRTC hearings to explain why it is not featuring more aboriginal women in its sports coverage? Should the CBC’s public subsidy be reduced proportionately in line with the amount of privately-funded content it runs?

Plus the CBC is a union shop, while the Post is not. Isn’t this a way to do an end run around union contracts? What if the corp goes on strike? Does this put the CBC in the position of running scab copy?

A little while ago I warned of the consequences of broadcasters and newspapers getting into bed together. But I’d no idea it would come to this

UPDATE: But of course, this is the real news.

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