Rogers Sports & Media has made staff cuts at its radio and television properties, that include the cancellation of Breakfast Television in Calgary and Vancouver, as well as the JACK 96.9 (CJAX-FM) Vancouver morning show.
“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,” Andrea Goldstein, Senior Director of Communications, told Broadcast Dialogue in an email. “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.”
Goldstein said a “small percentage” of Rogers Sports & Media staff across the country are impacted by the staff reductions.
That includes a number of staff associated with the local Citytv Breakfast Television morning shows in Calgary and Vancouver to make way for a new, national version of the show.
“In early 2021, we will be expanding the Breakfast Television brand and a new BT will air on Citytv in six markets across the country: Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal,” revealed Goldstein. “Decisions like this are never easy, particularly as they are not a reflection of the enormous talent, dedication, and passion displayed by the team members leaving the company.”
It was just over one year ago that Rogers cancelled BT Montreal and made layoffs in Vancouver and Calgary ahead of the “reimagining” of the morning show in the Western Canadian markets.
Among the staff impacted at Rogers’ radio stations in Vancouver are News 1130 (CKWX-AM) meteorologist Russ Lacate, who had been with the station for more than two decades and also contributed to BT Vancouver; senior managing editor Bruce Claggett, who had been with Rogers since 2003; longtime afternoon news anchor Jim Bennie; weekend anchor/producer Toby Kerr; and web editor/reporter Mike Hall. As part of newsroom restructuring, morning co-anchor John Ackermann will also move to afternoons.
Tough day and yes I will miss the newsroom (thanks all for reaching out – I will get back to you soon). It’s been an amazing 17 years and thank you to my coworkers, media colleagues, newsmakers and listeners. Be kind to each other.
— Bruce Claggett (@BruceClaggett) November 18, 2020
In a surprise twist, JCPonJACK has been cancelled. I loved our show and will very much miss all the lovely people I got to work with over the last 2.5 years. Radio is a wild ride.
💚💛🧡💜💙❤️🖤😘 #jeffcharisandpaul pic.twitter.com/PIhp9AVChG
— Charis Hogg (@CharisHogg) November 17, 2020
On the FM side, Jeff Brown, Charis Hogg and Paul Brown, who had been teamed together on the JACK 96.9 morning show since Aug. 2018, have also been released. Goldstein said a new morning show will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
So, news is starting to leak out about the layoffs at Rogers in #Halifax and at News 95.7. I was among the cuts today and “small percentage” of people let go across the country. I’m not surprised, doing fine and look forward to a nice break. 😉
— Steve MacArthur (@Steve_Mac_NS) November 17, 2020
Staff at Rogers in Halifax have also been impacted, including News 95.7 (CJNI-FM) morning editor Steve MacArthur, who had been with the station since 2017.
More to come.
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