Rogers Shuts Down CityNews Ottawa Radio Station, Lays Off Staff
Rogers is closing its CityNews Ottawa radio station and laying off a portion of its newsroom staff. The company cites declining audiences and regulatory challenges as the primary reasons for the closure.
“Due to low audiences, declining revenue, and restrictive regulatory policies for AM radio, it was a difficult decision,” said Charmaine Khan, Rogers Sports & Media spokeswoman to The Canadian Press.
The layoffs, effective as of last Thursday, will impact fewer than 10 employees. Rogers will maintain an online presence for CityNews Ottawa, supported by two digital reporters. This will allow audiences to access news, traffic, and weather updates via the CityNews Ottawa website and social media channels.
“The station had ongoing struggles to gain audience traction and profitability, and it wasn’t viable for us to continue to operate,” Khan added.
No other CityNews radio or television stations are affected by this decision.
This move follows a trend of challenges for local news outlets. In June, Bell announced plans to close or sell nine radio stations and cut six percent of Bell Media’s workforce, laying the blame on unfavourable policy and regulatory conditions.
In July, Rogers began offering voluntary departure packages to some employees as it worked to integrate with Shaw following a $26-billion acquisition. The company specified that most corporate and line of business employees up to the senior director level were eligible for these packages, while Rogers Sports & Media staff and customer-facing roles were not.