CBC announces cuts to news, sports, radio, TV, and kids' programming

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      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:

      • 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:

      • CBC TV will develop six fewer series, resulting in 175 fewer hours of original programming and more repeats

      CBC Radio:

      • 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:

      • 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:

      • 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.



      The Maiden Aunt

      Apr 11, 2012 at 8:06am

      This is sad but not surprising. I've donated to "Friends of CBC" for years. Much longer ago than I care to admit, I used to listen to the CBC's late night program as it was the only place that played alternative music. There was such joy in discovering a new band from England or Germany. A couple of months ago, I caught a broadcast in which Sylvia Plath's poem "Mirror" was discussed. Their shows will sometimes challenge government policy. I don't want five minute news updates which consist mainly of sports.

      Public Radio Fan

      Apr 12, 2012 at 6:34am

      I've been listening to CBC radio since I was young and am outraged at the cuts being made to our public radio. I, for one, would donate directly to its mission just to save Dispatches, which I listen to every week. Such intelligent, poignant programming is rare and a good example of the content quality we as a public should be supporting. I contribute annually to This American Life and other public radio programs in the US so why not to the CBC?

      What CBC once was

      Apr 10, 2014 at 3:49pm

      If you're a resident of BC, you owe it to yourself to watch 'The Reckoning' ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFefTIp5s_k ).

      It is a documentary made by CBC in 1974 about the 1964 Columbia River Treaty that's now up for renegotiation. It was aired once and then buried because it made powerful people uncomfortable.

      If they were to air that kind of high-quality in-depth production, it might make their professional lives tougher regularly, but they would never be so singled out and subject to cuts as they are today.