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Susan Marjetti - Managing Director, CBC Toronto

Finding the universal



Within a year, Susan Marjetti turned CBC Toronto into the leading radio programme in Canada. Today "The Metro Morning" is a business model of diversity.
 
Susan Marjetti had a vision. Toronto was and still is the most diverse city in Canada. She wanted CBC to be more relevant to more people.
 
She also had the strategy: recruit, hire, and reach out to the people in the city. Listen to them, include their ideas, and tell their stories.
 
Marjetti finally had the courage. People don't like change. During the first months, Marjetti lost large parts of CBC's core audience. But an even larger share of new listeners appeared, and within a year, the core returned.
 
Over the last decade CBC Toronto has tripled its audience share. "If you build it, they will come, we are living proof of that. Challenge yourself to new ways," Marjetti says.
 
To her, this meant to recruit and hire people of all backgrounds to expand the range of perspectives in the programming department. If you want to be diverse, this needs to reflect in your team.
 
On the other hand, "you need to find the universal to make diversity work." When Marjetti played a short soundbite of a Chinese mother desperately calling out to her kidnapped daughter in Mandarin, she only provided translation afterwards. But the audience had already understood.
 
Susan Marjetti provided an impressive example of how diversity works as a tool of success in public radio.