Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Radio-Canada announced Monday that it plans to cut about 10 per cent of its workforce and eliminate some programming to address a potential $125 million budget shortfall.
The public broadcaster said in a news release that it plans to cut 600 union and non-union positions across the organization. In addition, about 200 vacancies will be eliminated, the company said.
The CBC and its French-language division, Radio-Canada, will each cut 250 jobs, while the remaining cuts will be in technology and infrastructure and other corporate divisions, the company said.
CBC spokesman Leon Ma said some of the cuts would begin immediately, but most would take effect within the next year.
CBC/Radio-Canada, which received about $1.3 billion in public funding in the 2022-2023 fiscal year, also on Monday cut its English and French programming budgets for next year and cut about $40 million from independent production commissions and programming. announced that it would be reduced. Acquisition.
Mahr said this means fewer new TV series and fewer episodes of existing shows.
The company announced earlier this year that it had begun cutting $25 million through measures including travel, sponsorship and marketing restrictions and deferral of technology initiatives.
The public broadcaster blamed its budget problems on “soaring production costs, declining TV advertising revenues and intense competition from digital giants.”
CBC/Radio-Canada said it is also working on “projected cuts” to the parliamentary budget for next year. It said a fund meant to cover the public broadcaster’s revenue losses due to the pandemic would also end. This fund provided the CBC with $21 million a year for two years.
“We understand how concerning this is for those affected, and for the Canadians who rely on our programs and services. We look forward to more details in the coming months.” “However, we are doing everything we can to minimize the impact of these measures.” CBC/Radio-Canada President Catherine Tate said in a prepared statement.
It’s time to rethink the CBC’s mission: journalism professor
Chris Waddell, professor emeritus at Carleton University’s School of Journalism, said the layoffs were not surprising at a time when news organizations around the world are struggling.
author of the book The end of CBC? He said the time has come for the federal government to seriously consider the role of public broadcasters.
“I would argue that we should withdraw from everything but news and current affairs. We should withdraw from entertainment programming, we should withdraw from children’s programming, we should withdraw from sports programming as well. There are some,” he said.
“They try to be all things to all people, and with ad revenue and competition down, they can’t afford to do that anymore. You need to choose areas that you think are the best,” and focus on those. ”
Waddell said he would like the CBC to stop taking private advertising dollars and make its content available to other organizations.
“I think what we need to see is a completely different CBC, with no advertising, with a narrower focus, and with content available for free to anyone who wants to use it. “It’s a big help for larger news organizations,” he said, “and for local news organizations that have lost their own reporters.”
“Also because most news organizations in Canada have retreated from reporting international news. I would argue that the CBC still does international news reporting and should do more international news reporting. Please make it available on any Canadian station or website.” Good. “
The layoffs at CBC/Radio-Canada are just the latest disruption to Canadian journalism in recent months.
Earlier this fall, Nordstar, which owns newspapers such as the Toronto Star, filed for bankruptcy protection for its division, which owns more than 70 local newspapers, leaving about 60% of its total workforce (approximately 600 announced that it would reduce the number of employees.
In June, Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) announced it would lay off 1,300 positions and close or sell nine radio stations.
At the time, Bell, the parent company of CTV National News, BNN and CP24, said the layoffs were in response to unfavorable public policy and regulatory conditions and could not wait any longer.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has ordered Culture and Heritage Minister Pascal St-Onge to renew the mandate of CBC/Radio-Canada. St. Onge told reporters on Monday that he wanted to start that process “as soon as possible.”
Conservative leader Pierre Poièvre makes frequent pitches. Stop funding the CBC.
At a recent policy convention, the party’s Quebec caucus He saved Radio Canada.