TORONTO, Jan. 19 /CNW/ - The economic impact of the recession and reduced CRTC requirements are behind the program cuts and layoffs at Citytv in Toronto according to the Union representing workers.
Rogers Television handed out layoff notices to thirty-six full-time employees and seven part-time employees, Tuesday. The layoffs included seven "on air" reporters. Rogers' also announced program reductions of 14 1/2 hours per week. Additional program cuts have also taken place at Citytv stations in Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton.
"Citytv viewers will notice a big difference", says Bob Huget, Ontario Vice President, of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union. "The CRTC has permitted major market television stations to reduce local programming to a minimum of fourteen hours weekly and as a result there will be no weekend newscasts, noon news, or five o'clock news", says Huget.
Rogers Television promised the CRTC, in its July 2009 license renewal, that it would maintain twenty or more hours of local programming including ten hours of local news programming in each market it serves. At Citytv Toronto programming has been reduced to 27 1/2 hours per week with this announcement.
The Company cited a slow economic recovery and poor ratings for its decision.
The Union says that staff reductions mean there will be fewer resources to gather the news and provide content to viewers. "The impact of the layoffs is immediate", says David Lewington, National Representative, "the program and staff cuts have been implemented even through the bumping and layoff process will take longer to complete."
SOURCE Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada
For further information: For further information: Bob Huget, CEP Ontario Vice-President, (613) 299-9839; David Lewington, CEP National Representative, (905) 767-3649