CBC cuts budget, issues redundancy notices

According to the Canadian Media Guild, fewer than 10 redundancy notices have been issued thus far.

A number of employees at CBC News were given notice of redundancy late last week.

In a memo to staffCBC News editor-in-chief Jennifer McGuire addressed the notices. “This is part of a difficult but necessary exercise to manage a decrease to the CBC News operating budget this fiscal year.” The cuts are mainly within CBC Toronto’s English services in the News department.

In the pubcaster’s annual report, revenue was down 14.5%, with the advertising and licensing business impacted by the 2018 broadcast of the PyeongChang Olympic Games. However, excluding the Games, revenue was still down by 1.9%, driven by lower royalties received and a decline in subscribers on discretionary TV services. Radio-Canada, however, did see sustained growth in its TV ad revenue.

Still, in its memo to staff, CBC cited disruption within the digital and traditional news markets impacting its decisions.

Although reports have stated that approximately 35 positions will be affected, The Canadian Media Guild, which represents the workers cut, noted that as of Friday, fewer than 10 notices have been served and “it is currently understood that these may not result in any layoffs as members are redeployed.”

A CBC news spokesperson clarified to MiC that among the 35 positions to be cut, most but not all are CMG employees; some are management and unaffiliated employees.

The guild said it was informed several weeks ago of the intention to reduce the workforce. Since that time the Guild has worked with CBC/Radio-Canada to “minimize the disruption to members” and reduce the number of involuntary layoffs.

“The vast majority of this workforce reduction will take place through cost savings associated with retirements, through attrition and through an agreement to not fill some positions which currently are vacant and not staffed,” according to the guild.

Additionally, according to the Guild, three part-time positions in the CBC’s French Services media library and archives, as well as one full-time position in radio archives were cut this month as the result of a reorganization, while an additional position will be created in Toronto.