The lack of transparency over salaries for CBC’s high profile hosts, such as Peter Mansbridge and Rick Mercer, has long been a sore point with Corpse critics. They argue that taxpayers are entitled to know how much they are paying the public broadcaster’s marquee players. The Corpse counters by saying it would be at a disadvantage if that information fell into the hands of its private sector competitors. So the CBC hides behind the Privacy Act and refuses to cough up the numbers.
In the absence of the damn documents, and based on informed sources and insider information, Frank offers this calculated guess at Mansbingo’s annual take: $900,000, plus bonuses and perks.
That whopping figure is based on:
-Mansbingo’s length of service with the CBC (43 years);
-The accumulation of many sweetheart contracts negotiated over the years by his longtime lawyer/agent Michael Levine;
-CBC’s out-of-control salary system, which puts pressure on giving Mansbingo big bucks;
-His demand to be paid more than Don Cherry, who clocks in at $850K/year.
But Mansbingo is just the tip of the iceberg.
The CBC salary tab is close to a billion dollars. That means that nearly two-thirds of the entire budget is devoted to payroll. The big winners are in the middle to upper management group. There are some 620 of them and each pulls in a minimum of $200,000 a year. In addition, the Corpse sets aside $10 million in bonuses and perks (car leases, club membership) for that group.
Only 12 years ago, those positions went for an average $125,000 a year.
Prevailing wisdom at the Corpse is that staff will leave if they don’t get regular increases and special perks.
Thus, it turns into a self-justification exercise and that creates pressure on the whole system to pay Mansbridge his stratospheric salary.
Small wonder the CBC does little or no drama or new programming. Their dough is tied up in salaries.