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CBC Sees Salvation, Continued Operation in Digital, Mobile

Jun 26, 2014

Source: Mediacaster Magazine

Investments in mobility will outpace the investment in television at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, as it shifts away from traditional TV and radio and towards digital and mobile services.

The country’s public broadcaster faces continued budget cutbacks, declining advertising revenues and an ever-changing media landscape, and it announced today a number of steps it will take to deal with both a continued cash crunch and continuing expectations for top Canadian content.

“We used to lead with television and radio. Web came and then mobility came. We are reversing, we are inverting the priorities that we have,” CBC president and CEO Hubert T. Lacroix, in describing the Corporation’s 2020 strategy. “We’re going to lead now with mobility, we’re going to lead with whatever widget you use."

Lacroix said there will be job cuts over the coming years, and cutbacks will also affect supper-hour news broadcasts and programs produced in-house.

“The goal is that to be able to meet a financially stable and sustainable CBC/Radio-Canada, we have to reduce the infrastructures ... but we also have to reduce the number of people who are working at CBC/Radio-Canada,” Lacroix said.

In April, Lacroix announced funding shortfalls and revenue losses would force the broadcaster to cut $130 million from its budget this year, a move that the CBC said will eliminate 657 jobs over the next two years and take the network out of competing for the rights to broadcast professional sports, the CBC noted on its website and in reports about Lacroix's announcements.

Now, it appears that by 2020, CBC will have 1,000 to 1,500 fewer employees all told.

No stations will close as a result of the new strategy, but 90-minute evening television newscasts will be reduced to either 30 minutes or 60 minutes. News delivery will, however, be augmented by mobile and web services, Lacroix said.

The CBC's move to “significantly reduce” in-house production across the organization will exclude news current affairs and radio, and likely result in fewer documentaries directly produced by the broadcaster.

A number of CBC personalities and lobby groups have gone public with their opposition to the cuts.

© Mediacaster Magazine