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norman spector

After yesterday's announcement that Dawna Friesen will anchor Global News, it will be even less difficult to distinguish CBC's The National from both its network rivals. And I'm not just referring to hair. Or to the fact that Peter Mansbridge does it standing up. Nor, at a moment like this, will I go into great detail on the sensitive issue of ratings - where CBC is getting clobbered.

How embarrassing it must be for the Corporation - centre of all that is "progressive" and a paragon of diversity - that both Ms. Friesen and CTV's Lisa LaFlamme have broken through the glass ceiling, while it's still stuck in a single-X-chromosome world in the anchor chair, er, floor. Not to speak of the morally inferior Americans, who've done likewise with Katie Couric and Diane Sawyer.

It must be especially galling to CBC employees: with its stable of outstanding women, the public broadcaster has long had the option of closing the gender gap.

This is not to say that the CBC is not capable of great things - or at least of programming that the private sector cannot or will not provide. Thanks to its bureaucratic structure and cloistered management, however, it opted last October for a gimmick - a gimmick that has been widely ridiculed, has fallen flat and, for those still into comparative shopping, will look about as appealing as Kraft cheese on white sliced bread.