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Barry Kiefl

President, Canadian Media Research Inc.

Barry is the president of Canadian Media Research Inc. (CMRI), an independent research company, established in 2001. Barry was Research Director for the CBC from 1983-2001. While with the CBC he was responsible for all research services for CBC English and French radio and TV, including Sales, and helped established the successful strategies of CBC/Radio Canada in the 1980’s and 90’s.
Cutting Government Appointees Could Stall CBC's Downward

Cutting Government Appointees Could Stall CBC's Downward Spiral

The CBC's fateful decision to move the national news and the long series of ill-formed, unaccountable decisions since then, makes it clear that an inexperienced, government-appointed president and board of directors is a root problem. The government's review should address this problem.
09/19/2016 12:35 EDT
Nielsen Just Proved People Don't Watch TV On Their

Nielsen Just Proved People Don't Watch TV On Their Phones

Nielsen, the gold standard in TV ratings, has just made an important discovery about smartphones: All those people walking around staring at their phones are not watching video. At least, not very often or for very long. They aren't streaming much audio either. So if mobile streaming isn't killing TV -- what is?
08/15/2016 12:44 EDT
The CRTC's Rogue Surveys And Polls Ignore Real

The CRTC's Rogue Surveys And Polls Ignore Real Canadians

The affable chairman of the CRTC, Jean-Pierre Blais, delivered a "state of the industry" speech in Toronto on Feb. 17, 2016. But Mr. Blais has shown a tendency to rely on dubious information in speeches and policies.
02/23/2016 04:16 EST
CBC Must Abandon Ads And Find New Sources Of

CBC Must Abandon Ads And Find New Sources Of Funding

CBC has boasted that 50 per cent of the cost of its TV services is paid for by advertising revenue. No more. In the year ending August 2015, CBC English TV ad revenue fell off a cliff and was barely $100 million, well under 20 per cent of TV revenues. Funding from taxpayers is now four times greater than ad revenues.
02/10/2016 02:46 EST
Here's Why Harper

Here's Why Harper Lost

Stephen Harper lost the election not because Canadians rejected Conservative values, i.e., an aversion to big government, bureaucracy and regulation but because he came to be seen against democracy. Conservatives believe in smaller government, lower taxes and keeping the state out of the lives and businesses of citizens. But Mr. Harper sometime during his nine-plus years as prime minister began sacrificing our democratic institutions, especially the media, on the altar of his Conservative government.
10/22/2015 12:35 EDT
Why Is CBC TV So Consumed With Sports

Why Is CBC TV So Consumed With Sports Broadcasting?

Some would say, so what, it's the best the CBC can do in an era of shrinking budgets and audience fragmentation. Besides, that's what the audience wants. True, people love sports but has CBC ever asked the audience if all the sports programming could be found on other channels, would they prefer a CBC focused more on quality drama and entertainment?
09/16/2015 08:07 EDT
The BBC Is About to Repeat Canada's

The BBC Is About to Repeat Canada's Mistake

As the BBC approaches its 100th anniversary, the venerable broadcaster is in a pitched battle for its future. The Canadian experience provides a lesson on how not to fund the BBC. Canada abandoned the licence fee in the 1950s on the premise that TV was too expensive to be funded by individual households.
08/05/2015 12:38 EDT
CBC Radio: Q the

CBC Radio: Q the Decline?

CBC is like a crazy, old aunt, unwilling to accept the reality of her circumstances. In CBC's case it is the reality that its radio audience is comprised mostly of older Canadians. CBC senior managers have recently boasted about the record high audiences of CBC Radio. So the decline in CBC Radio and the real audience story have been covered up, along with the serious negative effects of disproportionate budget cuts. Meanwhile managers continue to ignore how people use radio, going after the younger, hip audience that long ago abandoned radio for other media choices.
03/27/2015 06:10 EDT
CBC Needs a

CBC Needs a Rethink

CBC recently appeared before a Senate Committee examining its future and demonstrated that it has no real strategy for the future.
02/24/2015 05:18 EST
Ghomeshi Is Only One of CBC's Many

Ghomeshi Is Only One of CBC's Many Woes

The Jian Ghomeshi scandal signals that CBC managers have lost control of CBC. The Corporation has resorted to hiring an outside labour lawyer to investigate what went wrong with management processes, an admission of failure. But the signs of trouble have been there for some time. The finger-pointing for CBC's problems has become a national pastime but its roots are fairly obvious.
01/13/2015 05:07 EST
Has the CBC Violated the Broadcasting

Has the CBC Violated the Broadcasting Act?

We only learned post facto that CBC planned on achieving its objectives for TV by stripping more than a quarter of the funding from its radio services. How? Fortuitously, another law came into effect in 2008 that required CBC and other broadcasters to provide financial data to the CRTC on their major radio and TV operations.
11/22/2014 03:23 EST
Will Netflix and YouTube Kill

Will Netflix and YouTube Kill TV?

The real question people are starting to ask: why pay for a lot of channels with so many commercials? CBC, which is now mostly funded by taxpayers, and any other network with a business model that can eliminate or at least reduce ads, can flourish in this new environment. That is, by giving viewers what they really want, programs, not commercials.
10/28/2014 01:13 EDT
Why Do We Become Devoted Fans of One NHL

Why Do We Become Devoted Fans of One NHL Team?

Most hockey fans cheer for the home town team. Yet some become lifetime followers of a team from another city. Home or away, the team you support 'represents' the traits you admire, including 'being from here'. I have been a devotee of the Chicago Blackhawks for over 50 years but have only been in the windy city a handful of days.
06/11/2014 05:20 EDT
Has Canada Lost Faith in the

Has Canada Lost Faith in the CBC?

The president of CBC published an article in Huffington Post recently asking Canadians for help in deciding CBC's future. Good idea but the plea received modest reader feedback. Is it a sign that CBC has lost the public, that Canadians have stopped believing in and what CBC and its managers say?
05/28/2014 12:46 EDT
The CBC Wants to Cancel Your Favourite

The CBC Wants to Cancel Your Favourite Shows

The truth is that traditional radio and TV have not been replaced by the internet or other new technologies but instead have maintained their central role in our lives. Traditional TV viewing levels have, if anything, increased slightly in recent years. This is partly the result of improvements in picture quality (HDTV) and the inherent quality of programming.
05/13/2014 05:35 EDT
Here's How We Can Pay For the

Here's How We Can Pay For the CBC

CBC is reeling from a $115 million annual reduction in funding from the federal government. A cable tax seems an easy target for the cable and satellite companies to attack and the media would pile on, since no one likes a new (or old) tax. The cable companies and the media might hate the idea but what do average Canadians think about paying a little bit more for better quality Canadian TV programming?
05/06/2014 12:27 EDT
Would You Pay More Tax For Your Cable

Would You Pay More Tax For Your Cable TV?

One of the great ironies in Canadian TV is that a large majority of Canadians think that a high percentage of their monthly cable bill already goes to CBC. In our most recent survey, about 1 in 4 thought that 25 per cent or more went to local stations. In other words, Canadians already think there is a cable tax!
05/05/2014 01:00 EDT
Don't Believe Everything You Read About CBC

Don't Believe Everything You Read About CBC Cuts

The <em>National Post</em> ran a commentary saying CBC seemed incapable of reinventing itself, which may be true, and concluded that it didn't matter since TV viewing was in decline and the television industry, that is, networks, cable, etc. wouldn't exist in its present form in "maybe two years." This blissfully ignores the fact that TV viewing and cable/satellite subscriptions have shown no decline.
04/16/2014 12:36 EDT