Rogers rejigs OMNI news programming

The media co has also replaced existing evening and breakfast shows with a new Dinner Television program in Edmonton.
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Rogers Media has reworked news programming on its OMNI Television stations, replacing newscasts with two hour-long current affairs programs.

As a result of the changes, 110 people in total have been laid off from OMNI Television and City across Canada.

New programs on OMNI include South Asian Today, OMNI: Cantonese and OMNI: Mandarin in Ontario and OMNI: Punjabi, OMNI: Cantonese and OMNI: Mandarin in B.C. The new programs launch on Monday May 11.

“People are not turning to linear TV anymore for news in ethnic languages,” said Colette Watson, VP of television and operations, Rogers, in a statement. “We are investing in programming that has relevance to our audience and the changing demographic of Canada. We are going where our audiences are.”

Rogers Media president Keith Pelley has been vocal about the issues facing linear TV stations, saying changes were necessary in order to keep the channels on the air. At that point OMNI’s revenues had dropped by $40 million since 2011.

“Let me be clear, OMNI is not a viable business unless something can be done to reverse its financial situation,” Pelley told the CRTC.

Rogers is changing its news strategy in Edmonton as well, introducing a new show called Dinner Television, which will be hosted by former NHL player Jason Strudwick, with Breakfast Television Edmonton hosts Bridget Ryan and Courtney Theriult, along with newcomer Claire Hanna.

The show will air weeknights from 5 to 7 p.m. MT, and also replace Breakfast Television Edmonton, repeating with updated news, traffic and weather on weekday mornings from 5:30 to 9 a.m. Breakfast Television Edmonton‘s last day on the air was today, according to a Rogers spokesperson.

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