On July 24, CBC announced massive staff cuts, roughly 20% of its current complement of 7,500 employees, as it shifts from broadcasting to a mobile-first strategy. The cuts are in addition to the announcement in April that 657 jobs would be eliminated over the next two years. President/CEO Hubert Lacroix calls it a “culture shift”— turning the public broadcaster into a less expensive multi-platform player.
The five-year plan also includes scaling back certain local evening TV newscasts from 90 minutes to 30, and shifting more resources from radio and TV to web broadcasting. Since more than 50% of CBC’s online audience gets news alerts from mobile devices, the new emphasis on mobile content will mean a shift in resources away from TV and radio so that more news and programming specifically tailored to smartphones and tablets, including more mobile video, can be produced.
Rumours to the contrary are that CBC Radio 2 will remain an on-air product and not go all-digital and CBC will not close any TV or radio stations in cities and towns across Canada although it does want to move from property ownerships to tenancies. It’s planning on selling or leasing out upwards of two-million square feet, half of the floor space is now occupies.
The cuts will occur over the next five and a-half years, with many receiving layoff notices over the next year as CBC ramps up the transition process. The Canadian Media Guild speculates where the cuts might occur.
The fifth annual Care from the Heart Radio-a-thon saw all six Lethbridge radio stations: 94.1 CJOC (Clear Sky Radio), CKVN 98.1 (Golden West), CHLB Country 95.5 (Jim Pattison), B93 (Jim Pattison), CFVR 107.7 The River (Rogers) and CJRX Rock 106 — work together for the benefit of the Chinook Regional Hospital Foundation. On February 24, 2014, the stations broadcast all day from the hospital’s atrium and raised $217,552, a slight increase over last year’s $216,000. All of the money is aimed at hospital redevelopment.
February, 2014 was a good month for Radiothons in Alberta. Air 106.1 Airdrie, a Golden West station, raised $27,281 in its second annual Give from the Heart $27,281 in its second annual radiothon for Community Links. It provides counseling, outreach, community development and family resources. Popular with the listeners was the sing-o-gram. For $25 a local artist, carrying a rose donated by a local florist along with a personal message, went to serenade a loved one.
Clear Sky Radio has applied to the CRTC for a broadcast licence for a country music FM station in Strathmore, Alberta. Should they be successful, the new station will join sister stations CJOC 94.1 FM in Lethbridge and CJCY 102.1 FM in Medicine Hat, both playing classic hits. The application will be heard by the CRTC on September 25.
Vista owned Classic Rock FREE FM (CFRI-FM) Grande Prairie has changed format and station identification. The station is now 2dayFM , a Contemporary Hit Radio station. The first song played was Birthday by Katy Perry at 5 p.m. July 14. This is the second (technically the third) Vista property to use the ID. Simulcast CFLZ-FM and CKEY-FM Niagara Falls also use 2dayFM. Evan James does mornings along with co-host/news anchor Jenny Oatway, and Lyndsay Cowan is in afternoon drive. The countdown to the new format was aired live from the local Cineplex theatre where clients were the honoured guests.
Postmedia has launched a four-platform strategy beginning with with the Ottawa Citizen on May 20. The redesigned newspapers are set to roll out across seven other newspapers owned by Postmedia Network in the next 12 to 15 months, including the Edmonton Journal, Vancouver Sun and the Montreal Gazette. The company says the changes are more than cosmetic, and will shape their journalism to target readers in certain demographics and on different devices – and let advertisers to do the same. Read more about Postmedia’s new strategy at Strategy Online.
Western Horse Review, a bi-monthly magazine published in Calgary now in its 21st year of publication with a claim to be the voice of western riding culture, has partnered with the Alberta Equestrian Federation (AEF) to publish their member magazine Alberta Bits. With the guidance of the AEF, the WHR will continue to publish their member magazine quarterly for a readership of 50,000 Alberta riders. On the horizon will be a digital version for members, a redesigned publication and enhanced newsstand distribution.
Glass Buffalo a literary magazine that showcases student and alumni perspectives and the Creative Writing department at the University of Alberta have released their first summer issue and invite readers to engage, explore, and discover new writers from the University of Alberta campus. The magazine partnered with local businesses within the Downtown Edmonton and Old Strathcona areas to provide free copies to the public.
Shaw Media applied to the CRTC for a national news network to be operated as a “hybrid local/national” English-language channel. They’ll get their answer at the Let’s Talk TV CRTC hearings on September 8, 2014. in Gatineau, Quebec.
(Source: Alberta Media News)