MONTREAL, July 8 /CNW Telbec/ - CORUS, the owner of 940 News, the
Montreal English radio station which recently abandoned its news operations
has breached its licence commitment, says a complaint filed yesterday by the
Communications, Energy and Paperworkers (CEP-FTQ). The CEP represents the
employees laid off at the station as a result of the 180 degree turn in
"It's a clear violation of its license commitments," says John Caluori, a
CEP National representative. "To go from all-news to oldies deprives
Montrealers of diversity of information and a clear abandonment of obligations
to audiences through the CRTC. It is yet one more case of the erosion of news
and information. The CRTC has to act."
On June 6th, CORUS, the owner announced unilaterally and with
approximately one week's notice that the Montreal station which was
exclusively broadcasting news on a non-stop basis would, as of June 14th, be
broadcasting essentially 60s, 70s and 80s music. The 940 News station is one
of the oldest English-speaking radio stations in Québec.
CEP objects to the fact that CORUS is not respecting its broadcasting
license for this radio station. According to the terms of the license issued
in 1999 (when Métromedia owned the station) and renewed in 2003 (for the
period ending in 2010) by CORUS, the programming format of this station must
be non-stop news. "That is what makes us claim that CORUS is breaching its
obligations since it has unilaterally changed the programming", explained Mr.
Caluori. CEP is therefore asking the CRTC to carry out an investigation in
order to make sure that CORUS's license is respected. The Union is also asking
that the public be consulted.
According to the new CORUS plans, news will now only be broadcasted in
the form of short news bulletins as they are by other similar stations. The
newsroom, which employed twenty one (21) CEP members, will now only include
two (2) journalists and five (5) technicians.
CEP has been denouncing the decision since CORUS made the announcement
and it intends to use all the means at its disposal to protect the jobs of the
workers and preserve the diversity of information sources in the Montreal
CEP is the largest union in the Canadian media sector and it represents
over 25,000 persons working for newspapers and radio and television stations.
For further information:
For further information: Marie-Andrée L'Heureux, National
Representative, (514) 916-7373