Canada's public broadcaster announced Monday it will cut 600 jobs, or 10 percent of its workforce, as it faces financial challenges caused by a decline in television advertising revenue and competition from digital news channels.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) said the first job cuts would happen soon, but most job losses would be implemented over the next 12 months.
“CBC/Radio-Canada is not immune to the turmoil facing Canada's media industry,” president and CEO Catherine Tait said in a statement.
“We have successfully managed serious structural downturns in our business for years, but we no longer have the flexibility to do this without cuts.”
A total of 250 jobs will be cut at CBC, the group's English-language network, and another 250 at French-language Radio-Canada, with technicians and other support staff making up the final 100 jobs to be cut.
Another 200 vacant positions will be eliminated, a statement said.
The public broadcaster “will also reduce its English and French programming budgets for the next fiscal year,” the report said.
“This will result in fewer renewals and acquisitions, fewer new television series and episodes of existing shows, but also fewer digital original series.”
This will allow the company to make up for a budget deficit of CAN$125 million (US$92.3 million).
The Radio-Canada union called it a “dark day” for the broadcaster and for access to information.
– Difficult media climate –
CBC has been particularly hard hit by the decline in television advertising revenue.
In early October, CBC announced that job creation had been frozen until further notice and that those who left the company would not be replaced.
“We understand how concerning this is for the people affected and for the Canadians who rely on our programs and services,” Tait said.
“We will have more details in the coming months, but we are doing everything we can to minimize the impact of these measures.”
Many media outlets in Canada – as in other parts of the world – are currently in serious financial trouble, and the public broadcaster is not the first to announce a layoff plan.
After months of negotiations, Canada and Google struck a deal last week in which the tech giant would pay compensation to Canadian media companies in exchange for distributing their content.
Google will provide financial support of $100 million per year, indexed to inflation.
CBC has not seen similar cuts since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took office in 2015.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)