The news comes after CBC president and CEO Hubert T. Lacroix said in June that the broadcaster would be shifting its priorities from television and radio to digital and mobile services. He also said the 2020 strategy would shorten supper-hour news broadcasts, but he did not provide full specifics.
Most of the existing supper-hour newscasts run 90 minutes. But on Thursday, the CBC said in a statement that some newscasts would be reduced to one hour, and others to 30 minutes.
The 60-minute newscasts will be in:
- St. John's.
- The North.
The North newscast will include 30 minutes in English and 30 minutes in Inuktitut.
These cities' newscasts will be reduced to half an hour:
CBC said the reduced newscasts would be "supplemented by regular local television newsbreaks" during the day and during prime time.
As well, the broadcaster will "create newsgathering capacity in Fort McMurray, Alta., and increase our newsgathering presence in Quebec’s Eastern Townships,” in both cases filing to internet, radio and TV.
Local Radio One morning shows will appear on TV from 6 to 7 a.m. in all existing TV markets except the North.
Spending on local investigative journalism will be maintained or increased, and local radio programs will be untouched, the release said.
CBC/Radio-Canada said it will also introduce new services specifically for mobile users, while "strengthening" existing desktop and web.
It was revealed earlier this year that funding shortfalls and revenue losses led CBC/Radio-Canada to cut $130 million from this year’s budget, forcing 657 job cuts (to be implemented over two years) and taking the network out of competition for the rights to broadcast professional sports.
CBC’s 2020 plan will leave the broadcaster with 1,000 to 1,500 fewer employees, on top of the 657 job cuts already announced in April.
About 1,000 employees are eligible for retirement, and about 300 leave through attrition every year, according to the broadcaster.
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