Rogers Media Shuts Down CityNews Channel in Toronto

The broadcaster cites the "global structural shift in advertising" as it kills a local 24/7 all-news network that aimed to unseat market leader CP24.

TORONTO – Citing a tough TV advertising market, Rogers Media has shuttered its CityNews Channel in Toronto.

The broadcaster in late 2011 launched the 24/7 local TV news service by exploiting its City conventional TV station brand and adapting a 30-minute news wheel format used by one of its local all-news radio stations, 680 News.

CityNews Channel aimed to fend off local competition in the key Toronto market from 24/7 all-news market leader CP24, owned and operated by rival Bell Media.

Now Rogers Media is back-pedalling, shutting down CityNews Channel and focusing its Toronto news-gathering operations on 680 News and the CityNews team at the City network.

“Today, we made changes to the company’s television strategy to reflect evolving viewer habits and the global structural shift in advertising,” Scott Moore, president of broadcast at Rogers Media, said in a statement.

The license for CityNews Channel was only for greater Toronto, against CP24 which has a southern Ontario footprint.

CP24 has also been on air for over a decade and has a commanding market share against the competition.

Rogers Media is also making programming changes at its OMNI Television station group by cancelling the English-language South Asian newscast and closing production operations in Alberta.

“Today’s changes impact 2.5 per cent of the company’s broadcast workforce. While difficult, these changes enable us to continue to focus our efforts where we know the market is growing, while helping us to effectively manage our costs,” Moore added.