CBC announces it’s cutting about 130 jobs across Canada over next 3 months

The CBC is cutting about 130 jobs across the country over the next three months, the Crown corporation said Wednesday.

“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,” Barbara Williams, CBC’s executive vice-president of English services, said in a note to staff.

In a separate note to staff, an official said that 58 positions across news, current affairs and local will be cut.

Subsequent to that announcement, CBC spokesperson Chuck Thompson said in an interview that there will be job reductions beyond the divisions outlined in the note to staff, and in total, about 130 positions across the CBC’s English-language services will be cut by the end of the year, mostly through attrition, retirements or collapsed vacancies.

The CBC’s biggest union, the Canadian Media Guild, said about 40 unionized workers have already had their positions eliminated as a result of the cuts.

According to Thompson, eleven people affiliated with another union have been made redundant, along with approximately 10 management positions. 

Most of the losses will affect positions based in Toronto, although the cuts will be spread among five centres across Canada.

CBC/Radio-Canada currently employs roughly 7,500 people across the country.

The company cited higher costs, coupled with lower revenues, to explain the decision.

Williams said the CBC began the fiscal year with a roughly $21 million budget deficit “due to declines in advertising and subscription revenues linked to our traditional television business and to inflation on a portion of our parliamentary allocation.”

Those financial pressures predated the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has exacerbated the situation for the CBC and other media organizations.

“This reset would have happened irrespective of COVID,” Thompson said.

The move comes as private-sector broadcasters are also cutting costs and staff.

In July, Global News laid off several dozen staff in a restructuring that saw the company significantly curtail its coverage of entertainment and lifestyle journalism and scale back its social media team.

“Like every media company, CBC operates in a challenging media landscape, a media landscape which is in constant disruption,” Williams said.

“The next few weeks will be challenging as we go through the workforce adjustment process.”

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