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Some commitment to local news!

Citytv, the station that’s synonymous with local news, is slashing its news operations across the country.

The reports vary but they all point to today’s announcement by Rogers Media, which owns the stations. One report says there will be no newscasts tonight on Citytv stations in Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton. Another from the Toronto Star says BT (Breakfast Television), CityNews at Six and CityNews at Night will continue to be produced in all five Citytv markets, but notes the Rogers statement makes no mention of the noon newscast.

About 60 jobs will be lost in Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton.

Ironically, the move comes a day after a group of three people announced they were heading a bid to buy three of the Canwest newspapers up for sale because they believe in … you guessed it…local news.

This layoff makes no sense. It comes at a time the economy is rebounding, when people are putting their money into local news, and when stations such as CHCH and CHEK are trying to make it on their own with a reliance on local news.

Once again, it proves two things: 1. Local news is always expendible when big media companies get bigger and people in all the affected cities should be complaining loudly. 2. That cable and satellite campaign over the summer and fall about their commitment to local news was just what we all thought — misleading words aimed at making sure someone else pays for it, if it has to exist at all.

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