CBC, Radio-Canada to Cut Jobs Amid $125 Million Budget Shortfall

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CBC/Radio-Canada has revealed significant job and program cuts in the upcoming year are on the way.

This move comes as a response to an anticipated $125 million budget shortfall for the 2024–2025 fiscal period, according to the public broadcaster on Monday. The organization it is facing challenges in the Canadian media landscape, including escalating production costs, dwindling television advertising revenues, and intense competition from global streaming services.

Additionally, CBC/Radio-Canada is bracing for a decrease in parliamentary funding, which includes the termination of a $21 million annual program integrity fund that has been in place since 2021 due to COVID-19.

The Corporation is set to axe roughly 600 positions, spanning both unionized and non-union staff. This figure includes around 200 currently vacant roles that will be permanently dissolved. The job cuts are expected to be evenly distributed between CBC and Radio-Canada, accounting for about 250 positions each. The remainder will be from the Technology & Infrastructure division and other corporate sectors. The implementation of these reductions will be staggered with some happening right away and others spread over 12 months.

Additionally, there will be a scaling down of both the English and French programming budgets for the ensuing fiscal year. This reduction, amounting to roughly $40 million, will primarily affect independent production commissions and program acquisitions. The consequence of these cuts will be evident in fewer television series renewals, a reduction in new series and episodes, and a decrease in digital original series.

Currently, the CBC offers streaming services such as CBC Gem and CBC News Network, with a premium subscription offering available.

Earlier this year, CBC/Radio-Canada saw over $25 million in discretionary cost savings, which included cutting travel expenses, sponsorships, marketing activities, and delaying certain tech projects. The Corporation also restrained from filling vacant positions.

“CBC/Radio-Canada is not immune to the upheaval facing the Canadian media industry. We’ve successfully managed serious structural declines in our business for many years, but we no longer have the flexibility to do so without reductions. We understand how concerning this is to the people affected and to the Canadians who depend on our programs and services. We will have more details in the months ahead, but we are doing everything we can to minimize the impact of these measures,” said Catherine Tait, President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada, in a statement.

The CBC has received $1.27 billion in government funding in its fiscal 2023, up from $1.24 billion in 2022.

Earlier this year, the CBC protested and left Twitter (prior to being renamed X), due to the latter labelling the organization as “government-funded media.” But after a month, the CBC came back to Twitter, resuming its sharing activity (not before it was mocked by X owner Elon Musk).

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