Regulatory, Telecom & Media News – Quebecor Media to cut 240 jobs

Pierre Karl Péladeau

Quebecor Media has announced it’s cutting 240 jobs, including 140 positions across TVA Group’s broadcasting, publishing and film production divisions. The restructuring was announced as Montreal-headquartered TVA Group reported its fiscal 2022 year-end results showing a drop in revenue across all of its business segments. The corporation’s consolidated adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) was $19,385,000, compared to $80,283,000 the previous year. Consolidated revenues were down 4.6% overall with the corporation recording a net loss of $0.21 per share, compared to earnings per share of $0.71 for 2021. Q4 revenues of $171.9 million marked a slight year-over-year increase of $23,000. Peladeau said the company will move forward with a comprehensive plan that will see significant reductions made to operating expenses across all segments. That includes the elimination of 100 additional positions at other Quebecor entities that provide services to TVA Group. Read more here.


Image Credit: SOPA Images Limited/Alamy Live News

Rogers, Shaw, the Shaw Family Living Trust, and Quebecor have announced another agreement to extend the outside date of the proposed Rogers-Shaw merger and the acquisition of Freedom Mobile by Quebecor subsidiary Videotron, to March 31. Approval is still required from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) for the merger to proceed.

CRTCThe CRTC has re-opened its consultation on basic cable rates as broadcasters provide new data to the commission. A joint application filed by four TV service providers – Bell, Cogeco, Bragg and SaskTel – proposes to increase the maximum price of the basic TV package from $25/month to $28/month, with adjustments based on the rate of inflation for each subsequent year. Canadians are encouraged to share their views and comments. The deadline to submit interventions is Feb. 24.

The CRTC has issued a call for comments on a proposal to require all Canadian carriers, on a go-forward basis and as a condition of service, to notify Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), and other authorities of major service outages; and submit a comprehensive post-outage report to the commission. The CRTC says as it works toward developing a framework to improve the reliability and resiliency of telecommunications networks, in the interim, it’s directing all Canadian carriers to report major service outages (including outages affecting only 9-1-1 networks) to the commission within two hours of when a carrier becomes aware of the issue. Additionally, it directs carriers to file a comprehensive report with the commission within 14 days following the outage, effective March 8. The commission says it will initiate additional public proceedings to address network resiliency in broader terms, including public alerting, consumer communication and compensation, accessibility, technical measures, and administrative monetary penalties. 


Saba Eitizaz and Erica Ifill onstage at the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) gala on Wednesday evening where they accepted the Tara Singh Hayer Memorial Award. (Unifor/Twitter)

TSN senior correspondent Rick Westhead, Global News reporter Rachel Gilmore, The Hill Times’ journalist Erica Ifill, and Toronto Star podcast host Saba Eitizaz were among those recognized at the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) 23rd Fundraising Gala: A Night to Honour Courageous Reporting. Westhead was presented with the Arnold Amber Award for Investigative Journalism, recognizing contributions to advancing public interest reporting in Canada. The veteran investigative journalist was acknowledged for his work breaking the story that Hockey Canada had quietly settled a lawsuit by a woman who alleged players on the Canadian Men’s Junior team had sexually assaulted her following an event in 2018. The Tara Singh Hayer Memorial Award, recognizing a Canadian journalist who, through his or her work, has made an important contribution to reinforcing and promoting the principle of freedom of the press was jointly presented to Eitizaz, Ifill, and Gilmore. Recognized on behalf of all female Canadian journalists fighting misogyny and online abuse, all three have spoken out about an escalation in racist and sexist comments, harassment and death threats. Read more here.

Unifor Media Council has launched new media discussion paper Breaking the News: Media Workers Under Attack, focused on confronting the increasing harassment of media workers. The discussion paper helps define harassment, finding women, workers of colour, Indigenous, and 2SLGBTQIA+ workers are disproportionately affected. It also examines the roles of media employers, media unions, journalism schools, and the criminal justice system as well as legislative regulatory solutions. 

Brian Masse

NDP MP and Innovation, Science and Industry Critic Brian Masse is calling for a review of cross-border digital television advertising. Masse says new broadcaster capabilities to collect consumer data for targeted advertising and content across over-the-air, cable, satellite, inter-tower and internet streaming distribution platforms, a review is essential. The MP for Windsor West also wants any review to encompass looking at cross-border television donations by Canadians. 

Cogeco Connexion has acquired internet service provider oxio, which will continue to operate independently and serve its customers using its brand. As part of the transaction, Cogeco will also license gaiia, oxio’s proprietary software, and use it to serve oxio’s customers. Oxio provides sustainably priced internet and telecommunications services to residential customers in Quebec, Ontario and the western provinces.

The BC Association of Broadcasters (BCAB) has opened registration for their 73rd Conference, May 4, at the River Rock Casino in Richmond, BC. This year’s conference is highlighted by a feature a conversation with Jim Pattison, CEO & Chairman of the Jim Pattison Group. Valerie Geller, President of Geller Media, will also be featured with the full lineup of speakers TBA.

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