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News, TV programming take biggest hits in CBC’s English services

TV programming and news are taking the biggest hits as CBC’s English services deals with the cuts announced in the federal budget. There will be $21.3 million cut from non-news TV, and $12 million cut from news on all platforms. The cuts will entail the loss of 18 jobs in the documentary unit and at least 88 news jobs at the network and local levels. In all, English services will eliminate 215 positions this year; that number will rise to 256 positions by 2015.

The news cuts involve changes to the way national reporters are assigned to the network and to CBCNN as well as increased cross-platform integration. Of the job cuts in news, 34 are at local stations while 44 are at the network level, including the closure of two “pocket bureaus” in Africa and Latin America. There will also be 10 jobs cut from news administration.

Among the shows to be cancelled at the end of this season are Connect on CBCNN and Dispatches on CBC radio. In addition, the TV network will commission 175 fewer hours of original programming, or approximately one-quarter less. Sports Weekend will lose 14 jobs and narrow its focus to snow and ice sports in the winter and “signature programs” only in the summer; over time, we expect less coverage of amateur sports. Radio 2 will reduce the number of live concert recordings by as much as two-thirds and close regional recording facilities in St. John’s, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary and Edmonton.

In addition, CBC management is targeting $12 million in administrative and technical “efficiencies,” although little detail on those cuts is available. The Guild will seek more information on this plan.

We expect that the CBC will start issuing formal redundancy notices at the end of April to permanent employees affected by the cuts. Remember: a redundancy notice is *not* a layoff notice; it signals the beginning of a joint process to ensure that all the rights of affected employees are respected, including the right to a reassignment or to displacement. You can find more information on the “workforce adjustment” process here.

Employees who receive a redundancy notice should ensure that the seniority date on file at the CBC is correct and prepare a resume for their local joint committee. The Guild and management are beginning to meet in the locations affected by the cuts to begin the process. If you have any concerns, speak to a member of your local Guild executive or get in touch with the national office (info@cmg.ca) at 416-591-5333 or 1-800-465-4149.

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