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CBC Merges Drama and Comedy Divisions as Budget Cuts Bite

The consolidation follows a deep chop to the pubcaster's annual subsidy from the federal government and a slimmed-down primetime schedule for 2012-13.

TORONTO -- Continuing budget-cutting at the CBC has led to the consolidation of the pubcaster’s drama and comedy divisions.

Jenny Hacker, the CBC’s creative head of comedy, has been promoted to head of a merged entity, scripted primetime.

That leaves Tom Hastings, the CBC’s creative head of drama, headed for the exit.

“Tom has made significant contributions to CBC’s drama department and will undoubtedly continue to have a significant impact on the Canadian television industry going forward,” Sally Catto, executive director of commissioned and scripted programming at the CBC, said Wednesday in a statement.

Catto recently returned to the pubcaster after stick-handling a move into Canadian scripted comedy and drama production at indie producer Cineflex.

Before that stint, Catto was at the CBC overseeing dramas like Being Erica, Republic of Doyle, Heartland and Intelligence.

Hacker’s promotion comes as the CBC enjoys a renaissance in comedy with hits like Mr. D and Insecurity, and upcoming comedy pilots Leilah and Jen by Miss Congeniality co-writer Katie Ford, and The Khouris by Tim McAuliffe (Up All Night, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon).

The CBC, facing a deep chop to its government subsidy, recently unveiled a slimmed-down primetime schedule for 2012-13 with a new crime drama, Cracked and the historical drama Titanic: Blood and Steel, from European producer De Angelis Group.