Reruns, BBC shows mark CBC stalemate

TORONTO — The labor dispute between 5,500 workers and management at Canuck pubcaster CBC nears the end of its first week with no sign of either side weakening and no new talks skedded.

CBC’s TV and radio content continues to be a mix of reruns, BBC World programming and national news updates read by management, as CBC staffers repped by the Canadian Media Guild picket CBC locations.

The pubcaster’s sports programming is now suffering. CBC has had to give up coverage of this weekend’s Rogers Cup tennis tourney and the Canada Summer Games. However, the Canadian Football League looks like it will be on air.

The CBC also is offering advertisers free ad space to keep them from jumping ship as audience numbers decline.

The lockout began in the early hours of Monday after talks about the number of temporary jobs vs. full-time staffers broke down.

Technicians and journalists at Blighty pubcaster BBC complained to management after learning from the CMG that BBC programming was being used to break the strike.

CMG officials also may complain to the broadcast regulator that the CBC is not respecting its conditions of license.

Meanwhile, Slawko Klymkiw, CBC executive director of network programming and a 25-year veteran of CBC, is ankling at the end of the month to take on a new role, with details to be announced “very soon.”

“Nine years is an extraordinarily long time for anyone to be the program director of a major network,” he said. “It’s been clear to me for some time that it was time to move on.”

Many industryites were surprised a year ago when the Klymkiw was passed up for the post of executive VP of CBC TV. Telefilm veteran Richard Stursberg was parachuted into the post. There are rumors of bitterness and personality conflicts between the two, though Stursberg called Klymkiw “a good friend,” in a statement.

“His individual program successes are too numerous to mention,” Stursberg added. “He truly was the architect of the schedules that embodied the transformation of the network over the past several years.”

Eva Czigler will be acting executive director of network programming while a replacement is sought.

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