CBC announces huge job cuts

The CBC will cut more than 650 jobs across all programs and will no longer compete for sports coverage. Both English and French divisions will be affected, the national broadcaster announced Apr. 3.

The announcement was made in a Town Hall meeting and through national conferences for employees across the country.

The most heavily hit department will be CBC Sports, but all levels of employees including management positions will be affected. The corporation said it will announce the affected positions at the end of April.

The CBC will only broadcast sporting events that would produce enough revenue to at least cover costs, The Globe and Mail reports.

The cuts are an attempt to mitigate a $130-million budget shortfall for the 2014-2015 broadcast year.

The shortfall is in part due to the loss of Hockey Night in Canada earlier this year as well as lower than expected ratings for the current television season.

Last November, Rogers Media secured the rights to NHL games for the next 12 seasons thereby reducing CBC revenue substantially.

While the fees for sports coverage have escalated over the past decade, hockey programing regularly contributed more than $100 million to the broadcaster in annual advertising revenue.

CBC will continue to air Saturday night hockey on its main network for the next four years. Although the broadcaster will not pay for the rights, it will need to foot the bill for production costs without receiving revenue from advertisers.

Cuts in government subsidies have also affected the CBC’s deficit. In 2012 the Canadian government cut funding by $115 million rolling out over the course of three years.

During 2012-2013, the federal government provided $1.03 billion toward operating expenses, which will fall to $913 million in the 2014-2015 broadcast year.

CBC currently has just under 7,000 permanent staff, as well as 859 contract employees and 329 temporary employees.

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