State-funded Canadian Broadcasting Corp to cut 600 jobs

Canada's national broadcaster received around $1.3 billion in government funding in the 2022-23 fiscal year.

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On Monday, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)/Radio-Canada announced a number of programming and jobs cuts in response to "budget pressures." Around 600 current positions will be done away with, and while some of the changes are expected to take effect immediately, others will phase in over the next year.

Canada's national broadcaster received around $1.3 billion in government funding in the 2022-23 fiscal year, making it the most heavily subsidized media company in the nation.

In a press release, it was revealed that CBC and Radio-Canada would each slash about 600 union and non-union positions. Additionally, 200 currently vacant positions will be eliminated.

The CBC explained that it forecasted $125 million in budget shortfalls for FY 2024-25 as a result of "rising production costs, declining television advertising revenue and fierce competition from the digital giants."

Along with cuts to staffing, the CBC will also be reducing both its English and French programming budgets by upwards of $40 million, which will result in fewer new TV series and episodes of existing shows, as well as a decrease in program acquisitions and independent production commissions.
  CBC/Radio-Canada is not immune to the upheaval facing the Canadian media industry," CBC President and CEO Catherine Tait said. "We've successfully managed serious structural declines in our business for many years, but we no longer have the flexibility to do so without reductions."

 

"We understand how concerning this is to the people affected and to the Canadians who depend on our programs and services," she continued. "We will have more details in the months ahead, but we are doing everything we can to minimize the impact of these measures."

In an interview with Adrienne Arsenault, Tait explained that for the most part, Canadians wouldn't notice that much of an impact as a result of the cuts outside of primetime programming, prompting the CBC News anchor to ask, "Did you need those positions?"

Tait admitted that over the years, certain jobs have become irrelevant as operations shift from traditional mediums to digital.

When asked whether employees would still be receiving Christmas bonuses, Tait refused to answer one way or the other, arguing it was "too early to say where we are for this year." 

In 2022, CBC/Radio-Canada handed out $16 million in holiday bonuses.

 

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