Corus Entertainment initiated “significant restructuring” today with layoffs hitting the Global News network digital desk hard as part of a move away from supporting lifestyle, entertainment, and social media teams, according to an internal memo.
“The news industry has been challenged by a multitude of factors in recent years, including regulatory restraints, a lack of government support, advertising losses, and most recently, COVID-19. As a result, there have been a number of layoffs across Global News,” said Troy Reeb, Executive Vice President, Broadcast Networks, in a statement provided to Broadcast Dialogue. “Global News extends its gratitude to all outgoing staff members, as we greatly appreciate their many contributions and dedication during their time with our organization.”
An internal note from Reeb sent to employees said while the impacts of the restructuring would be felt in a number of locations, the most significant change would be in Toronto as part of “a strategic shift away from the non-news genre toward our core mission of providing breaking news and fact-based journalism.”
“Our focus will emphasize video on our owned-and-operated platforms, rather than on social media feeds that have lesser benefit to Global News,” the note continued. “We are confident that Globalnews.ca audiences will continue to enjoy a great supply of lifestyle and entertainment content from our Corus colleagues at The Morning Show, ET Canada, and Slice.ca.”
Reeb goes on to say that the company’s recent third quarter results, in which the impact of COVID-19 coupled with one-time impairment charges, resulted in a 24% drop in revenue for the three months ended May 31, “underscored the decline in our advertising revenues, and unlike other areas of our business that are supported by more stable subscription and licensing revenues, news and radio are almost 100% dependent on advertising.”
Television ad revenue was down 31% in the quarter, while in Radio, segment revenues decreased $19.3 million (52%).
Reeb also takes aim in the memo at the federal government’s failure to “address inequities with foreign internet broadcasters who don’t play by the same rules, and tech giants that redistribute our content without compensation.”
Even so, Reeb said Global News will continue to exceed its license requirements in all of the television markets it serves.
Among those caught up in today’s layoffs are Patrick Cain, who had been a national online reporter since 2011; national music journalist Adam Wallis; Meghan Collie, Laura Hensley and Olivia Bowden, all national online writers with a focus in lifestyle; and Global BC marketing writer/producer Karina O’Sullivan, among others.
Rachel Browne and Tamara Khandaker, who were behind the network’s first original daily news podcast Wait, There’s More, were also restructured.
Employees within Corus Radio were also affected, including 980 CFPL London 9 a.m. – noon talk show host Craig Needles, and Scott Johnston, a 27-year sports and City Hall reporter with 630 CHED Edmonton.
Sad to say I was among the layoffs at @globalnews today. My heart is broken – I loved the people there and I believed wholeheartedly in the work we were doing. I‘m so grateful for all the opportunities I was given.
— Meghan Collie (@MeghanCollie) July 23, 2020
This picture is from my first day at Global News. Today was my last. I’m grateful for the opportunity; a 1-year contract lasted almost five years, and I’m looking forward to what’s next. But first, ice cream. pic.twitter.com/RBSMAgNOLX
— Andrew McKay (@apmckay) July 23, 2020
Thanks to everyone who’s been reaching out. I’m afraid it is true I am among those who received a layoff notice this morning. It was tough to hear, but will remain forever grateful to have played a small role in such a great newsroom. Thanks for the laughs & good times @GlobalBC
— Karina O’Sullivan (@karinacomms) July 23, 2020
Well, I am among the layoffs at Global News today.
My team does amazing work, so I want to thank @LolaHensley @MeghanCollie and specifically @artipatel for the guidance and mentorship.
I’ve met many amazing people and have had to chance to tell some really important stories.
— Olivia Bowden (@OliviaBowden__) July 23, 2020
Good morning, Twitter –
I got laid off this morning, which ends a satisfying decade or so at Global News. Thanks to @dskok, @amp6 and @Jamesaa for their help and encouragement over the years. My personal e-mail is pemcain * https://t.co/ZCEW55vi8f. Here are some highlights: /1
— Patrick Cain (@Cain) July 23, 2020
Unfortunately, I was among the many Global employees who lost their job today. I’m so fortunate to have worked alongside some of the smartest, most talented and kind people. I’ll miss my colleagues, but know our paths will cross again soon.
— Laura Hensley (@LolaHensley) July 23, 2020
Today was my last day at Global News. For the past two years, I’ve worked with journalists across the country, polishing copy, talking through stories and helping to make their work shine.
— Dana Filek-Gibson (@dfgvietnam) July 23, 2020
As many of you may know, I’m among the layoffs for Global News today. I’ve worked there for 4.5 years and my heart is broken. With that being said, I’m ready for a new adventure and I’d like to thank everyone who’s reached out to check in on me. 💕
— Katie Scott (@KatieScottNews) July 23, 2020
I found out this morning that @rp_browne and I have been laid off, effective immediately, and that after 276 episodes, Wait There’s More has been cancelled.
— Tamara Khandaker 🌴 (@anima_tk) July 23, 2020
Today was my last at Global News. I spent two years there, figuring out how to lean into the reporter I am/want to be. I’ve been ready to move back to freelancing for awhile, so I’m choosing to see this as the push I needed.
— Jane Gerster (@Jane_Gerster) July 23, 2020
Along with many talented, dedicated and absolutely wonderful journalists, I was let go from @globalnews today. I was hired there almost two years ago as the national music journalist and it quickly turned out to be one of the greatest experiences of my life.
— Adam Wallis (@adamrwallis) July 23, 2020
My time at @globalnews has come to an abrupt end, but I am so looking forward to all of the opportunities that lay ahead. Endlessly grateful to my colleagues who have checked in, supported and are joining me in this new chapter. A big thanks to those I’ve learned so much from. ❤️
— meaghan wray (she/her) (@MeaghanWray) July 23, 2020
This impacts me. Turns out the last show was yesterday.
I can’t describe how grateful I am to the people who listened to the show and the guests who helped make it what it was.https://t.co/EeXYJ4ODLk
— Craig Needles (@NeedlesOnNews) July 23, 2020
My husband @ScottYEGnewsguy is one of the best and hardest working reporters I know. Gutted that after 27 years with @630CHED, he was laid off by phone call this morning. By a company promising “a powerful network of journalists.” #yeg #yegmedia pic.twitter.com/DXheteiZhC
— Janice Johnston (@cbcjanjohnston) July 23, 2020
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