Rogers Sports & Media Cuts Jobs Amid "Seismic Shift" to Digital

NHL bubble TV - Still 2 - Hotopp Productions NHL Publicity_H 2020
Courtesy of Hotopp Productions/NHL

The Canadian media giant has been hit hard by the pandemic after having to pause its live TV sports offerings, including exclusive broadcasts of NHL games.

Canadian media giant Rogers Sports & Media has undergone another round of job cuts as it drives into the streaming and digital entertainment spaces.

"We are modernizing our business to position us for growth as we face the continued effects of a seismic shift in the media industry from traditional to digital and the challenges of the global pandemic. Today’s changes allow us to prioritize our focus in areas where we have the assets and capabilities to deliver best-in-class multiplatform experiences," a Rogers spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement.

An unspecified number of employees with local Citytv Breakfast Television morning shows in Calgary and Vancouver have lost their jobs to make way for a new, national version of the morning show to serve six major Citytv markets countrywide.

The company did not disclose the total number of jobs cut, but said "a small percentage of our team members across the country are leaving Rogers Sports & Media."

Rogers Sports & Media is a division of telecom and media giant Rogers Communications, which has around 23,500 employees, including in its wireless and cable TV divisions. Earlier job cuts at the Canadian media player impacted its publishing, TV, radio and digital content divisions.

With TV brands like Citytv, OMNI Television and FX Canada, Rogers Sports & Media, like rival Canadian broadcasters, has been impacted by the pandemic, as it owns the Toronto Blue Jays pro baseball club and drives key revenue from its Sportsnet cable sports channel.

Sportsnet's live TV sports offerings, including exclusive broadcast of National Hockey League games, were halted early during the coronavirus crisis. NHL games returned after a pandemic hiatus, but without fans in arena seats and under strict quarantine conditions for games played in Edmonton and Toronto.