silentbrad writes: From the Globe and Mail: "Canada’s largest private radio broadcaster has come out swinging against the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s move to start selling advertising on its CBC Radio 2 and Espace Musique stations. Astral Media, which is in the process of being sold to telecom giant BCE Inc., said it will oppose the CBC’s application to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to change its licensing conditions to allow the two secondary CBC stations to begin airing commercials.
... 'Astral is fiercely opposed to seeing the public broadcaster start selling advertising,' the company said in an e-mailed statement late Wednesday, hours after CBC president Hubert Lacroix told staff in a memo of the CBC’s proposed move to sell advertising, part of an effort to find $50-million in new revenues to offset the impact of federal budget cuts. ... But industry representatives warned the move could distort Canada’s thriving commercial radio business, which has enjoyed years of steady profitability and is soon to be dominated by three of Canada’s largest telecommunications and cable firms. 'They can’t have it both ways,' said Carmela Laurignano, vice-president of Toronto-based Evanov Communications, which owns 14 radio stations, including Toronto’s Z103.5 FM. 'They’re either a private or a public broadcaster. If they can get advertising revenues and receive taxpayer funds to do their programming, the competitive balance is not the same.'