Shaw Communications reports 25 percent of staff are departing; Global News cuts nearly 70 jobs

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      One of Canada's major wireless companies has taken steps to sharply downsize its workforce and a Canadian news network has slashed nearly 70 positions.

      Today, Shaw Communications announced that a "voluntary departure program" has resulted in 3,000 employees electing to leave. That's 25 percent of the company's workforce.

      It took place as part of what Shaw is calling its "Total Business Transformation" initiative to create a more agile and streamlined company.

      Shaw Communications has 3.2 million customers, according to its website.

      It also owns Shaw Broadcast Services, Shaw Direct, Shaw Business, Shaw Tracking, and Freedom Mobile.

      A separate company, Corus Entertainment, was created by the Shaw family in 1999 from media assets previously owned by Shaw Communications.

      Corus took over Shaw's TV brands, including Global, in 2016, adding them to its stable of radio stations, which includes CKNW, Rock 101, CFOX, and AM730.

      The executive chair of Corus is Heather Shaw and the vice chair is her sister, Julie Shaw. Their father, cablevision tycoon JR Shaw, founded the company.

      According to Unifor, which represents broadcast-media workers, Global News cut nearly 70 jobs across Canada.

      “Fewer journalists will be out gathering news from every region from Vancouver to Halifax,” Unifor national president Jerry Dias said in a news release. “If the Maritime newscasts now come from Toronto—how can you still call that local news?”

      In the past couple of years, Corus-owned CKNW Radio has become more integrated with the Global B.C. News both online and over the public airwaves.

      Corus has even begun calling CKNW "Global News Radio" on its website.

      “The CRTC paved the way for the cuts announced today by watering down the obligations for big media companies like Corus to protect local news," Dias said, "and it’s proving disastrous.”

      It's unclear how many of the Global News job losses occurred in Vancouver.

      The Straight reached out to Global B.C. station manager and news director Jill Krop over Twitter but hadn't received a reply as of this writing.

      As a result of the consolidation of radio and television assets under the Corus umbrella, Krop is also the CKNW news director, according to her Twitter account.

      In addition to broadcasting various newscasts from its Burnaby studio, Global also operates the 24-hour BC 1 network.

      Also in the world of television news, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has announced that it has hired former Global News Ottawa bureau chief Vassy Kapelos to host the Power & Politics show.

      Kapelos had also been hosting The West Block. She becomes the permanent replacement for Rosemary Barton, who is one of four anchors of The National on CBC.