Broadcasting Commission Letter addressed to Former CBC employees and Talin Vartanian

Ottawa, 10 December 2020


Former CBC employees
Various locations across Canada


Talin Vartanian
Former producer, The Sunday Edition, CBC Radio

RE: CBC/SRC licence renewal – Application by former CBC employees regarding the Tandem initiative


This letter is in response to a letter filed on 13 November 2020 as an application under Part 1 of the CRTC Rules of Practice and Procedure.  The letter, signed by 25 former Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) employees (and later followed by subsequent correspondence on 23 November, 27 November and 28 November, 2020 – which appears to have added additional signatories), expressed concerns about CBC/SRC’s branded content initiative known as Tandem (Tandem).

The signatories to the various letters requested that the Commission act upon the letter as an application and commence an investigation on CBC’s past, current and planned use of branded content or add the matter of branded content to the process initiated by Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2019-379 (the 2019-379 process) and allow Canadians sufficient time to make their views known on the issue before the scheduled 11 January 2021 oral phase of the public hearing.

Commission’s analysis and determinations

The letter filed by former CBC employees will be added to the public record of the 2019-379 process, but the record will not be re-opened for further comment at this time. Parties to the 2019-379 proceeding that will appear at the oral phase of the public hearing will be able to make representations with respect to the Tandem initiative while all parties to the proceeding will be permitted to file comments as a part of their final written submissions. The CBC/SRC will be permitted the opportunity to reply. The Commission may choose to question the CBC/SRC further at the oral phase of the public hearing.


Claude Doucet
Secretary General

Former CBC employees:

Tony Burman, former Editor-in-Chief, CBC News
Jane Chalmers, former Vice President, CBC Radio
Adrienne Clarkson, former CBC Television Host (Take Thirty, The Fifth Estate, Adrienne Clarkson Presents) and former Governor General of Canada (1999 to 2005)
Kelly Crichton, former Executive Producer, The Fifth Estate and The National
Kelly Crowe, former Medical Sciences Correspondent, CBC News
Jeffrey Dvorkin, former Managing Editor and Chief Journalist, CBC Radio
Mellissa Fung, former National Correspondent, CBC News
Paul Gaffney, former Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs
Elizabeth Gray, former Host, As It Happens
Bernie Lucht, former Executive Producer, Ideas
Tony Manera, former President (1992 to 1995)
Peter Mansbridge, former Host, The National
Linden MacIntyre, former Host, The Fifth Estate
Tassie Notar, former Executive Producer, Marketplace
Robert O’Reilly, former Executive Director, Radio Canada International, and Director, International Relations
Robert Rabinovitch, former President (1999 to 2007)
Susan Reisler, former host, Newsworld Business News
Julian Sher, former Senior Producer, The Fifth Estate
Ruth-Ellen Soles, former Spokesperson and Head of Media Relations, English Services
Mark Starowicz, former Executive Director, Documentary Programming
Bruce Steele, former Host, What on Earth?
Brian Stewart, former Senior Correspondent, The National
David Studer, former Director, Journalistic Standards and Policy
Doug Ward, former Director of Radio, National Capital Region
Kealy Wilkinson, former Special Advisor, Planning


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