National broadcaster CTV is cutting local sports and other programming at stations across Canada, undermining the value of those stations to their local audiences and demonstrating the need for urgent action on the crisis in media, Unifor says.
“People turn to local television to keep up on what is happening in their communities,” said Howard Law, Unifor Media Director. “These cuts give people less of a reason to turn to local news. The CRTC is about to grant CTV a new license for local TV programming, and it had better be paying attention to this.”
The 18 layoffs announced in Kitchener, London, Windsor, Calgary and Edmonton follow a similar move by CTV earlier this year in Barrie, where local sports coverage was eliminated in favour of the CTV national sports feed.
With more cuts expected at CTV stations across Canada, Unifor is calling on the federal government to move quickly on the review of the industry outlined in last month’s budget.
“There are some simple moves the federal government could make to help ensure the viability of this vital industry, including regulatory and tax changes,” said Jerry Dias, National President. “Unifor will continue to push and be very active during the coming review of the industry.”
A group of Unifor journalists and media workers were in Ottawa earlier this year to meet with MPs and senior staff about the crisis in media. For more information, and to sign a petition to save local news, go to mediaactionplan.ca.