Canada's CBC Slashes Jobs and Programming to Absorb Government Cuts

1:58 PM PST 04/10/2012 by Etan Vlessing
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The Canadian pubcaster will ax the TV newsmagazine "Connect With Mark Kelley" and the radio show "Dispatches" to pare operating costs.

TORONTO – The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. will ax 256 jobs from its English-language radio and TV services as it looks to slash costs in the face of a $115 million government subsidy cut over three years.

Programming changes unveiled Tuesday to CBC employees during a town hall meeting from Toronto include more repeats on the pubcaster's TV network, fewer original dramas and documentaries and less sports programming.

The CBC even faces the end of National Hockey League games as Kirstine Stewart, the network’s executive vp English services, told employees there was no certainty the pubcaster can renew its TV rights deal with the league as its current contract comes up for renegotiation.

Renewing the contract has been in doubt since the NHL voiced concerns over Don Cherry, one of the hosts of the long-running Hockey Night in Canada program, for provoking an audience backlash over his persistent support for on-ice fighting by players.

Starting in the radio days, the CBC has broadcast NHL games for more than 80 years.

On the programming front, the CBC will ax the TV newsmagazine Connect With Mark Kelley and the radio show Dispatches.

Other cost-cutting moves include ending drama programming on CBC Radio One and airing six fewer TV series, or about 175 fewer original hours of programming, next year.

And the CBC’s newsgathering operation will cut foreign bureaus and 88 jobs as it absorbs a $10 million chop to its budget.

The CBC Radio department will eliminate another 18 jobs.

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