Latest NewsChallenging ratings, national revenues behind staff cuts, says Pattison Media president

Challenging ratings, national revenues behind staff cuts, says Pattison Media president

A slow to rebound post-pandemic national advertising climate and challenging ratings are behind a three per cent workforce reduction at Pattison Media this week, President Rod Schween told employees in an internal memo Friday afternoon.

Acknowledging that “these moves are more aggressive and might seem contrary to our previous strategy,” Schween told staff that the layoffs, which impacted on-air teams in Vancouver, Edmonton, and Winnipeg, among other markets, were not made “solely from a cost cutting perspective.”

“Through the last six months, national revenues have been particularly challenging. While our local teams have been doing a great job growing revenue in most markets, we still are not back to 2019 levels as an organization, and the growth in local business is not offsetting the decrease in national,” wrote Schween, in the memo provided to Broadcast Dialogue. “The other headwinds we have been facing through most of 2023 and into 2024 is a more challenging ratings situation than we have faced for a number of years. In some of our most competitive markets we are currently not producing as strong a result as we were 12 to 24 months ago. The adjustments we have made to date unfortunately have not substantially changed those results, so our leadership team has decided it was time to make some more significant moves.”

“I want to be clear that we in no way are placing any fault or blame on any of the individuals who have departed the organization this week,” he continued. “These are good people, some who have been with our organization for a significant amount of time and I wish them nothing but success in their future. Their departure comes as a result of our need to try another strategy in these operations to find success. We’ve tried to hold off on these changes as long as we could, but the current combination of ratings and softer revenue has forced our hand.”

Rob Grant, host of Rob and Friends

That new strategy includes networking some of the radio group’s more successful shows to additional markets. Crash and Mars from NOW!radio (CKNO-FM) Edmonton will now also be heard in mornings on 101.5 Today Radio (CKCE-FM) Calgary and NOW! (CKPK-FM) Vancouver. Rob and Friends from Today Radio in Calgary will be heard in afternoon drive on NOW!radio in Winnipeg and Vancouver.

Earlier this week, the morning show teams at Today Radio and NOW! Vancouver and the afternoon drive talent at NOW! Winnipeg and Vancouver were among those released by the company.

Schween said the move does not signal a departure away from the company’s strategy of having local shows, but “in these specific examples we feel we need to try a different strategy in these markets to combat our current results. We felt bringing some of our best talent in the organization to drive some different results was the next logical move.”

He said where possible, Pattison has opted to keep positions vacant or explore alternative cost-saving measures.

“The world we are operating in is changing regularly, we have to continue to adapt with it or face getting left behind,” Schween concluded.

Subscribe Now – Free!

Broadcast Dialogue has been required reading in the Canadian broadcast media for 30 years. When you subscribe, you join a community of connected professionals from media and broadcast related sectors from across the country.

The Weekly Briefing from Broadcast Dialogue is delivered exclusively to subscribers by email every Thursday. It’s your link to critical industry news, timely people moves, and excellent career advancement opportunities.

Let’s get started right now.

* indicates required


Connie Thiessen
Connie Thiessen
Connie has worked coast-to-coast as a reporter, editor, anchor and host at CKNW and News 1130 in Vancouver, News 95.7 and CBC in Halifax, and CFCW Edmonton, among other stations. With a passion for music, film and community service, she led News 95.7 to a 2013 Atlantic Journalism Award and regional RTDNA award for Best Radio Newscast. More recently, she was nominated for Music Journalist of the Year at Canadian Music Week 2019. To report a typo or error please email -

The Weekly Briefing - Subscribe Now – Free!

It’s your link to critical industry news, timely people moves, and excellent career advancement opportunities.

Events / Conferences