By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator, Monday April 9, 2012
CBC cuts 650 jobs, wants ads on radio
The austerity axe chopped deep into the CBC’s budget Wednesday, and will result in “a very different public broadcaster,” CBC president Hubert Lacroix said.
Viewers can expect less original programming, more reruns and – for the first time – ads on CBC radio as the broad-caster copes with a $115-mil-lion cut in federal funding. The agency will also sell some buildings, tinker with employee pensions and cut jobs in the coming three years as it adjusts to a smaller budget.
“It’s not a fun day,” Lacroix said.
Across Canada, 650 full-time CBC jobs will be eliminated. This includes 475 this fiscal year, a further 150 jobs in the 2013-2014 fiscal year and the remaining in 2014-2015. Those 650 jobs – split equally between French and English services – amounts to about nine per cent of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.’s work-force. That includes 150 management jobs.
Budget cuts will start this year with a $27.8-million reduction in government spending on the CBC’s operations, and increase to $69.6 million in 2013-14 and finally reaches the $115-million savings mark by 2014-15. The CBC will also no longer receive its $60-million top-up from the federal government for programming. Taking into account budget trimming already done this year and severance pack-ages, Lacroix said, the CBC is staring into a budgetary hole of $225 million.
“We are talking about financial pressures totalling $200 million today,” he said. “Plus an additional 25 million for severance of about 650 [jobs].” CBC television’s senior correspondent in Ottawa, Terry Milewski, was stoic in his response to the deep cuts.
“We’ve been through this a few times before, and we’ve survived,” he said. (Source: Globe & Mail)