CBC to cut 60 newsroom jobs, internal memo says

The CBC logo is projected onto a screen in Toronto on May 29, 2019. The CBC says it's accelerating efforts to meet diverse hiring, retention and promotion goals after its Yukon Morning radio show host lambasted the broadcaster for its failings live on-air. The public broadcaster says that by 2021–22, it wants half of all new hires for executive and senior management positions to be Indigenous people, visible minorities, or people with disabilities. It also plans to double retention and promotion rates for people from these three groups. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin.

CBC says it is cutting more than 60 jobs from locations across Canada by the end of the year.

Barb Williams, CBC’s executive vice-president of English services, says in a note to staff provided to The Canadian Press that the changes to resize the business were necessary due to higher costs and lower revenue.

She says that the CBC created a “COVID-19 contingency budget” to deal with the pandemic, but that didn’t change its ongoing financial situation, noting it entered the current fiscal year with a $21-million deficit due to lower advertising and subscription revenues.

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CBC spokesman Chuck Thompson says that 58 positions in the news division, current affairs and local news were affected but most of those cuts were dealt with by retirement and attrition. Nineteen people in the division who were members of the Canadian Media Guild were laid off.

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He says 21 other CMG members were let go from across other CBC divisions. Meanwhile, 11 people affiliated with the Association of Professionals and Supervisors union were also let go, along with about 10 non-unionized managerial positions.

While five CBC locations across the country are affected, most of the cuts are to positions based in Toronto.

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“As a result of some necessary changes with respect to resizing our business, a number of positions from within the organization will no longer be a part of our workforce come the end of the calendar year,” said Williams in the note to staff.

“Every year, our costs go up as revenue generation in traditional media goes in the other direction and, not surprisingly, we have seen that even more acutely this fiscal with the global pandemic.”

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CBC and Radio-Canada have about 7,500 employees.

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