APTN undertakes reorganization citing need to remain financially viable

APTN has undertaken a reorganization, citing the need to remain financially viable following the CRTC’s automatic three-year administrative renewal for television broadcasters, through August 2026.

In a statement provided to Broadcast Dialogue, APTN CEO Monika Ille said the Indigenous network has not been immune to the challenges facing the industry.

“In real dollar terms, APTN’s revenue has declined substantially since our last licence renewal in 2018. We need to face that fiscal reality,” said Ille.

To remain economically sustainable, the broadcaster has been looking for cost-saving initiatives that include a reorganization of its Saskatoon news bureau and the elimination of two positions.

Monika Ille

“In their place we created a new video journalist position, effectively keeping the Saskatoon office open, and confirming our commitment to provide stories in that area that are important to our people,” said Ille. “The incumbents of the two deleted positions have rights under the [Canadian Media Guild] Collective Agreement including eligibility to apply for the new position. We also decided not to fill a vacated director-level position.”

Ille says the broadcaster is continuing to seek new ways to drive new revenue and manage its overall expenses, including applying for a wholesale fee increase of three cents to offer more Indigenous language programming, which is under review by the commission.

“If approved, that will provide important support to APTN to meet a key part of our mandate, but it still would not offset the gradual decline that is taking place in the traditional broadcasting system,” said Ille.

“We are participating actively in the CRTC’s ongoing review of its regulatory framework in response to recent changes made to the Broadcasting Act, including a consideration of how online services should contribute to the Canadian broadcasting system,” she continued. “Part of this contribution should be support for Indigenous services and services of exceptional importance, such as APTN. This would place APTN on a stronger footing going forward and modernize how APTN is supported by and contributes to the Canadian system.”

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