If you're a fan of CBC news, radio, sports, music, and children's programming, you may soon be noticing a difference in quality.
The CBC announced on Tuesday (April 10) a series of specific cost-cutting measures it will take in response to budget cuts. The federal government announced in last month's budget that the CBC would lose $115 million in funding over three years.
In response, the CBC had previously announced that 650 positions would be cut.
The list of measures announced by the CBC includes the following:
- CBC News will cut $10 million from its budget
- 88 news jobs will be eliminated
- South American and African bureaus will be closed
- the one-hour TV news program Connect With Mark Kelley, which airs on CBC News Network, will be cancelled in June
- 18 positions in the in-house CBC documentary unit will be eliminated
- CBC TV will develop six fewer series, resulting in 175 fewer hours of original programming and more repeats
- CBC Radio will have $3 million cut in funding and 18 jobs will be eliminated
- the radio show Dispatches will be cancelled in June
- drama programming on Radio One will be eliminated
- CBC Radio Two is cancelling live music recordings and closing regional recording studios in St. John’s, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, and Edmonton
- CBC Sports will face a $4-million funding cut
- Sports Weekend will become a seasonal program, with a focus on snow and ice sports in winter and signature programs in summer
- amateur sports programming will be reduced
- CBC Kids programming will be reduced by four hours
A total 215 jobs will be cut from English services by June 21.
“Before the cuts, CBC had the third-lowest level of public funding for a national public broadcaster among 18 major Western countries," Writers Guild of Canada executive director Maureen Parker stated in a news release. "As today’s news makes clear, the cuts will make it even harder for CBC to make quality Canadian shows and tell truly Canadian stories."
The WGC pointed out that with less original programming, the CBC may face challenges selling advertising. Consequently, the WGC is arguing that a new business model is needed for the CBC.
Previously, 800 jobs were cut from CBC's English and French services in 2009 when the budget was reduced by $171 million.
Other Canadian cultural institutions that are facing cuts are the National Film Board of Canada ($6.7 million), Telefilm Canada ($10.6 million), Library and Archives Canada ($9.6 million), and the National Arts Centre ($1.9 million).
In Quebec, Montrealers protested today by blocking traffic outside the National Film Board's CinéRobothèque film theatre and screening centre, which will be closed in September.
You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at twitter.com/cinecraig.