CityTV Layoffs Display Poor Decisions Made By CRTC
Rogers is taking public dollars while cutting local media
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 26, 2010
The recent layoff of CityTV employees across Canada has left people anxious and dissatisfied with the state of local Canadian media. Many full and part-time media workers were let go on Tuesday, January 19, 2010. Rogers has also announced that there will be program cuts. These layoffs will result in no weekend newscasts, noon news, or five o'clock news.
Rogers is blaming the poor economy and television ratings as the reasons for the layoffs and cuts. The CityTV job losses are in large part due to poor decisions made by the CRTC and big media greed. These cuts can partially be blamed on the CTVGlobe Media/Rogers take over of CHUM in 2007. At the time of the merge, Rogers told the CRTC it supported the CityTV stations’ "distinctive local programming."
Ironically Rogers currently also has a public campaign on the go, calling the public to support its continued control of local community media funds. Over $100,000,000 a year is made available to cable companies, like Rogers, for local community programming through the community TV levy. Every cable consumer in Canada already pays this money to sustain local community programming (this is 2% of each bill).
OpenMedia.ca National Coordinator Steve Anderson said today, “Rogers is taking public dollars for community media with one hand and cutting jobs at local CityTV stations with the other. I think Canadians should ask themselves if the public should be subsidizing a company that is so ruthless with local media.”
Canadians who question Rogers’ unfettered access to public funds can send the CRTC a comment at: http://openmedia.ca/action
OpenMedia.ca is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to advance and support an open and innovative communications system in Canada. Our primary goal is to increase public awareness and informed participation in Canadian media, cultural, information, and telecommunication policy formation.