Canadian pubcaster to ax 800

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The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said Wednesday that it will cut as many as 800 jobs to deal with a growing budget shortfall.

CBC president and CEO Hubert Lacroix told employees during a closed-circuit meeting that the public network must cut costs to fight the growing advertising downturn.

"I wish I could be standing here in better circumstances," he told CBC employees. "But these are tough times … and we need ($139.5 million) to balance our budget, which will mean 800 positions."

Beginning in May, the CBC will look to cut 393 jobs at its English-language TV, radio and new-media divisions, another 336 jobs at its French-language counterparts and 70 corporate posts.

Additionally, Lacroix said the CBC will raise CAN$125 million ($102 million) through unspecified asset sales. The broadcaster also will freeze top executive salaries and halve bonus payouts.

The CBC will not introduce first-time radio advertising to help balance its budget.

The public broadcaster, like private Canadian networks, has struggled to deal with the ad downturn, which has prompted widespread programming and job cuts industrywide. (partialdiff)
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