Rogers Media Cuts More Jobs Ahead of Cable Unbundling

Rick Brace - H 2016
Bernard Weil/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The Canadian broadcaster, led by CEO Rick Brace, also cites "fierce competition from global players" such as Netflix as it cuts another 200 jobs.

Canadian broadcaster Rogers Media, led by CEO Rick Brace, is set to cut another 200 jobs ahead of the country's great cable unbundling, starting in March.

Shedding another four percent of its workforce after earlier cost-cutting is also attributed to a "softening advertising market, fierce competition from global players" and shifting audience viewership patterns, a Rogers Media spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter

The job cuts at Rogers Media across its TV, radio and publishing divisions will be made in February and follow similar workforce slashes at rival broadcasters Bell Media and Shaw Media. The industry-wide cull comes after the CRTC, the country's TV regulator, ordered cable TV providers to let their customers pick and pay for cable and satellite TV channels after purchasing a basic package capped at $25 a month.

The cross-industry cost-cutting is also the latest sign of a broadcast sector feeling the strain of an advertising market downturn and audiences increasingly going online to view TV shows. To answer online competition, Rogers Media parent Rogers Communications and Vice Media plan to launch a new Canadian cable TV channel, Viceland, on Feb. 29.

Rogers and Vice have already opened a new $100 million production studio in Toronto to make mobile, web and TV content for domestic and worldwide distribution. The continuing ad slump for free, over-the-air broadcasters has hit hard as networks in Canada have long depended on U.S. network shows for audiences and ad dollars.