When industry watchdog Friends of Canadian Broadcasting (FCB) issued a press release stating that CBC has a “closely guarded secret plan” to move The National to 11 p.m. from 10 p.m., CBC executives were forced to deny the existence of any such plan.
Kirstine Layfield, executive director of English network programming, told The Toronto Star (through a spokesperson) that the FCB statement was “absolutely false” and called it “a baseless rumour.”
Ian Morrison, an FCB spokesperson, did not back down. He said:
“Very reliable, trustworthy sources at the highest levels in the CBC tell us The National move will definitely be happening sometime in the fall, maybe as early as September. The CBC board of directors hasn’t been told of the plan.”
According to the release, the FCB “believes CBC may fill the 10 pm weeknight spot which would be vacated by The National with entertainment programming, possibly of non-Canadian origin.”
The lobby group wrote a letter to CBC president Hubert Lacroix and other members of the CBC board of directors.
On the official CBC blog, insidethecbc.com, Chris
Ball a spokesperson for the CBC said:
“The rumours are not true, Mr. Morrison has it completely wrong. The National will remain
at its current timeslot.”