CBC/Radio Canada to Cut Another $28.5 Million

This time the loss of the Local Programming Improvement Fund, a key industry subsidy pool, means small market stations will limit growth plans and original programming.

TORONTO – Canada’s public broadcaster is to cut another $28 million next year to absorb the loss of a key public subsidy.

CBC/Radio Canada CEO Hubert Lacroix in an internal note to nationwide staff sent out Thursday said the latest budget chop for the 2013/14 fiscal year was required after the CRTC said it will phase out the Local Programming Improvement Fund over three years.

Last year, CBC/Radio-Canada drew $47 million from the industry fund, which receives contributions from domestic cable and satellite TV operators, and used the coin to subsidize local news-gathering in 20 markets.

Now those small market stations will see plans for four new local radio stations cancelled, fewer original productions, and reduced contributions from regional CBC/Radio-Canada operations to non-news programming.

The public broadcaster earlier began to slash jobs and original programming after Ottawa cut $115 million from its annual parliamentary appropriation over three years.

The CBC is also going into license renewal hearings in November with a request to the CRTC to run ads and sponsorship on its English language CBC Radio Two signal, and on its Radio-Canada equivalent, Espace Musique.