Corus Entertainment has confirmed that layoffs are underway as part of “an enterprise-wide cost review.”
“As part of managing the post-pandemic climate and unexpected economic uncertainty, we are conducting an enterprise-wide cost review, looking at all expenses and operations,” a Corus spokesperson told Broadcast Dialogue on Thursday.
“Where possible, we seek to have minimal impact to our people through this review. However, some of these decisions will affect our people, which is never easy. There have been a small number of exits in various business areas and corporate functions,” the Corus statement continued. “To confirm, there have been no station or office closures. We remain focused on the execution of our strategic plan as we make smart, targeted investments to ensure the long-term resiliency of Corus Entertainment.”
Unifor, the union representing over 800 media members at Corus, says online journalists and online video journalists at Global News are among those impacted, in addition to the sports department at Global Edmonton which it described as “decimated.”
“The news of layoffs and restructuring at Global News this week chips away at already barebones newsrooms and puts democracy at risk as the number of media workers dwindles in the industry,” the union said in a statement.
“It is becoming impossibly difficult for media workers to face the news of restructuring and layoffs on a regular basis,” added Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “Journalists are the backbone of our democracy. We need to save local news by investing in newsrooms – not cutting them. We will continue to support our members during this devastating time.”
Corus last undertook significant restructuring at Global in July 2020, as the pandemic took hold, that also impacted a number of digital positions in a network move away from lifestyle and entertainment content.
Corus’ Q1 2023 financial results saw net earnings dip to $31.4 million in the quarter, compared to $76.2M in the same period in 2022. Reflecting the three months ended Nov. 30, television segment revenue fell 11% to $401.5 million, compared with $434.7 million year-over-year, as the company said it continued to weather a downward industry trend in media ad spending. Radio revenue saw a slight bump to $29.7 million, up from $29.1 million in Q1 2022.
The company has increasingly been bolstering its connected TV offerings, including STACKTV, its subscription video on demand (SVOD) service offered via Amazon Prime Video, and its PlutoTV partnership with Paramount Global that saw the free, ad-supported (AVOD) streamer launch in Canada in November.
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