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Major blow as CBC announces plans to shrink, cut staff by 20%

CBC has announced that it plans to cut 1,000 to 1,500 jobs over the next five years and shift its priorities to mobile and online services in an effort to be a “smaller, more agile broadcaster.”

CMG leaders were told that 500 jobs would be lost in the next 12 to 15 months.  Over the next three months, senior management will be reviewing its employee needs to match them to the Corporation’s new priorities and direction.

At this point, we don’t know how many or who will be affected in CMG, but we do know there will be cuts to in-house production with the exception of news and current affairs.

We are told this is part of a plan that will also see CBC’s overall real estate cut in half.

As part of the new plan, many evening local TV newscasts may be dropped from 90 minutes to 60 or even 30. There will be cuts to factual entertainment, children’s TV and documentaries.

“This is the end of an era when CBC was a leader in television production,” says CMG President Carmel Smyth. “It’s a sad, sad day.”

CBC managers told the union the goal of the plan will be to place the Corporation on solid financial and structural footing through the creation of an “internal line of credit.”

CMG leaders remain concerned about the CBC’s ability to deliver on its mandate and to remain relevant with Canadians while shrinking its service and reach.

“It’s terribly disheartening to see the public broadcaster continue to shrink in order to survive because of an obvious lack of funding,” says Marc-Philippe Laurin, CBC Branch President at CMG. “Even more so when we know there is wide support among Canadians for it.”

A major contributor to this crisis is a lack of adequate, long-term funding especially by the current government. This will be the focus of a CMG campaign leading up to the federal election of 2015.

We are aware of the pressure this announcement places on CBC employees, especially as it comes before we have even dealt fully with another round of cuts at CBC just two months ago.

As we find out more, we will keep you informed and continue our work to ensure members’ rights are protected.

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