April 26, 2017 1:51 pm
Updated: April 26, 2017 2:07 pm

Corus and Shaw redirect funds to bolster local reporting in Western Canada

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Global News in Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton will be getting a $10 million boost of support for local reporting.

Corus Entertainment Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc. announced Wednesday the reorganization of operations to redirect funds to the Global News stations; as a result Shaw TV community channels in the three cities will be closed effective Tuesday, Aug. 15.

Global News will use the additional resources to support the organization’s capacity for relevant and locally-focused newsgathering.

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“Global News has deep roots in the community, covering stories and issues that touch Canadians where they live,” said Troy Reeb, Senior Vice President, Global News, Corus Radio and Station Operations.

“We’re grateful to Shaw for providing this critical lifeline to protect and support local news,” said Reeb.

“This additional funding will ensure viewers in B.C.’s Lower Mainland, the Calgary Region and the Edmonton Capital Region continue to receive top-notch local news coverage.”

Shaw is redirecting its support of local programming to better meet the needs of local audiences and their viewing habits.

While the closure of the three Shaw TV stations will affect approximately 70 positions, duplication of coverage will be reduced while allowing Global News to better focus on grassroots, community-focused stories.

Among the expanded programming initiatives planned for Global News:

  • Establishing Municipal Affairs Specialists and City Hall Bureaus that will cover municipal elections, expand civic election coverage on Globalnews.ca and offer continued coverage of pertinent local news,
  • Assigning reporters to support and work directly with local groups and stakeholders on community events and initiatives,
  • Expanding Global News Live, a growing online platform, to provide greater focus on grassroots digital content,
  • Covering and supporting university, college and community sports in Western Canada,
  • Taking newscasts out of the studio and into the community to better showcase stories and news of local neighbourhoods and suburban communities.

The shifting media landscape and consumer habits prompted the CRTC last year to give television providers like Shaw the flexibility to redistribute funds to over-the-air television stations to support production of local news.

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“Shaw has a long-standing reputation in recognizing the importance of local news and we hope that today’s move signals our continued dedication to preserving community coverage,” said Katherine Emberly, Senior Vice President, Shaw Communications.

“We are grateful that our Shaw TV teams have for years been telling the stories that make our communities special,” said Emberly.

“Today’s announcement recognizes the evolving habits of viewers and the strength and reach of Global News in these markets, providing local news and stories where it is accessible to the most people.”

Meanwhile, Shaw TV will continue to develop and air local content in Victoria, Nanaimo, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie and in over 180 small and medium-sized markets across Western Canada.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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