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A slice of their pie

The cash-strapped CBC, struggling with layoffs and cuts to regional programming, wants a slice of any government funding meant to rescue local newscasts of strugg­ling private broadcasters.

The cash-strapped CBC, struggling with layoffs and cuts to regional programming, wants a slice of any government funding meant to rescue local newscasts of strugg­ling private broadcasters.

The public broadcaster, facing a $171-million shortfall, pledged to invest any new government cash into local coverage — the very kind of programming Conservatives are looking to save with a proposed $150-million fund.

“It’s an extremely difficult situation for us ... we would welcome any immediate financial support from government if it were to strengthen our regional presence,” said Marco Dubé, director of media relations and issues management for CBC/Radio-Canada.

The Canadian Press revealed on Tuesday that the federal government is considering a $150-million fund to support news and current affairs programming, and would favour smaller urban centres.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper Wednesday acknowledged the troubles facing broadcasters, but said no specific aid package had been decided.

The CBC announced last month it would lay off 800 employees to make up for a funding shortfall.

 
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