The Tower of Babble by Richard Stursberg
Sins, Secrets and Successes Inside the CBC

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Stursberg’s tough and eloquent memoir is as much an elegy as a chronicle of his stormy half-decade at the helm of CBC’s English television.
-Globe and Mail

Synopsis

The ultimate CBC insider exposes the controversies, successes and dead ends of his time at the top.

In 2004, CBC television had sunk to its lowest audience share in its history. That same year, Richard Stursberg, an avowed popularizer with a reputation for radical action, was hired to run English services. With incisive wit, Stursberg tells the story of the struggle that resulted -- a struggle that lasted for six turbulent and controversial years.

Shortly after Stursberg arrived, the corporation locked out its employees for two months. Four years later, he signed the most harmonious labour contract to date. He lost the television rights for the 2010 and 2012 Olympic Games. He won the biggest NHL contract in history. He had unprecedented ratings successes. He had terrible flops. He enjoyed the best radio, television and online ratings in CBC's history. He fought endless wars with the CBC president and board about the direction of the corporation and ultimately was dismissed.

This is the story of our most loved and reviled cultural institution during its most convulsive and far-reaching period of change.
 

About Richard Stursberg

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Richard Stursberg is the former head of CBC's English services: television, online and radio. Before that, he was executive director of Telefilm Canada and achieved the largest share for Canadian movies at the domestic box office in history. He was also chair of the Canadian Television Fund (now the Canadian Media Fund), CEO of the satellite television company Star Choice, president of the Canadian Cable Television Association and Assistant Deputy Minister for Culture and Broadcasting. He lives in Toronto.
 
Published July 24, 2012 by Douglas & McIntyre. 288 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences.
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Reviewed by PETER C. NEWMAN on Sep 06 2012

Stursberg’s tough and eloquent memoir is as much an elegy as a chronicle of his stormy half-decade at the helm of CBC’s English television.

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