CBC Radio Drama: Mothballed

I still get e-mails everyday asking about the future of Canadia: 2056, and with the CBC’s recent cutbacks, the questions have turned more to the future of radio drama in general.

The official announcement is that radio drama will be “reduced”.

Sadly, this doesn’t look to be the case.

The project that is in the pipeline will be seen through, and after that, Radio A&E has decided the best thing to do is to cut their losses, redeploy the staff into other positions and put drama on ice until funding is reinstated.

So, it looks like there’ll be no new radio drama for a while.

It’s a very sad time for me, and for my colleagues and friends in the drama department.

But, it’s a sign of the times, and instead of being bitter and angry, I think the best thing to do is to be understanding, and to try and hope for the best. This is genuinely one of those “greater good” times.

For me, it means that I have to move on, and start looking for other mediums and formats to write in.

I will say, that writing for radio has been one of the great joys in my life. I could honestly write radio drama for the rest of my life, and be more than fulfilled and satisfied. I love it. Writing Steve, The First was an experience not unlike being thrown into a pool and discovering that you already know how to swim.

I’m one of the lucky few who found something they were good at, enjoyed it to the fullest and had a good run with it. I never felt like I had to compromise, and I always believed in the work I was doing – I will remember the last few years as profoundly life changing. I wrote 28 half hours, and co-wrote 6. The experience made me a better, and stronger writer. I can proudly boast that I’ve written more half-hour comedy in a few years than most Canadian writers will in a lifetime.

The sad truth, and reality, is that it doesn’t get that many listeners, and it doesn’t justify the cost. And these things have to be taken into account – these are the times we live in.

I’m not writing this post to urge people to write in to “save drama”, I don’t think that’s necessary. It’s time to move on, and hopefully, when the time is right, drama will live again on the airwaves of the CBC.

Now, don’t take this is as “official” CBC statement – and I am fully aware that I could get my hand slapped for writing this, but I urge anyone who thinks that I’m writing this as a protest to read this post carefully. I thank everyone who gave me the opportunity to tell my stories on the tax-payers dime. I also thank the CBC who took tremendous leaps of faith with me and my shows. Sci-Fi/Comedy is not an easy sell, but I never got that impression when I dealt with the higher-ups. They showed nothing but encouragement and enthusiasm for my ideas.

I never took any of that for granted, and I hope we can, despite the sadness of these times, celebrate the great work that has been done over the years.

Finally, to the fans, I’d like to thank you all for your continued support and overwhelming love for the shows I’ve written. I hope you continue to follow my work, wherever it takes me. Ultimately, I write for myself, but I’m nothing without an audience. Any writer who says any different is a bold faced liar.

Cheers,

Matt.

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