Latest round of cuts at CBC represents massive upheaval in newsgathering capacity across the country: CMG

TORONTO, April 16, 2015 /CNW/ - CMG leaders are meeting with affected members across the country as CBC management implements its latest round of programming and job cuts and delivers redundancy notices.

In total, 241 CMG positions are eliminated this time around in addition to the 1,300 jobs that have been cut at CBC/Radio-Canada just this year. From what we know so far, no part of the country is spared in the new cuts, but newsgathering capacity is most severely impacted with the elimination of a great number of videographer jobs in regional stations.

"Videographers are an essential part of newsgathering," said Marc-Philippe Laurin, CBC Branch President at CMG. "The images they shoot bring stories alive on video, whether for television, digital, or online programming, and recently, their work has also been used on radio reports to make up for previous cuts. We don't know what CBC's plan is, and we are very worried about workload impacts for all who will survive this round. In the last year, CBC has cut 17% of its total workforce."

CMG National President Carmel Smyth questions the rush with which CBC is making the cuts given growing support for the public broadcaster from Canadians and commitments by federal opposition parties to reverse the cuts and invest in CBC. "They are dismantling CBC/Radio-Canada without any regard for Canadians who have said clearly that the cuts to their public broadcaster in news, local programming, and culture must stop. These cuts will have a devastating impact on local news coverage in communities across the country, a service the CBC is mandated to provide, and has been doing for 75 years. The continued cuts are doing irreparable damage to the public broadcaster."

With the upcoming federal budget, CMG continues to press the federal government to reverse its destructive cuts of $115-million and use the $7-billion in proceeds generated from recent frequency spectrum auctions to invest in the CBC. "Some of these proceeds from the auction of public airwaves could be appropriately used to support public assets, such as CBC/Radio-Canada," Smyth said.

SOURCE Canadian Media Guild

For further information: Jeanne d'Arc Umurungi (Jeannedarc@cmg.ca), Communications Director, Canadian Media Guild, (416) 708-4628

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