General + Regulatory + Telecom + Media NewsCorus layoffs focused on Global digital desk in move away from lifestyle,...

Corus layoffs focused on Global digital desk in move away from lifestyle, entertainment

Corus Entertainment initiated “significant restructuring” today with layoffs hitting the Global News network digital desk hard as part of a move away from supporting lifestyle, entertainment, and social media teams, according to an internal memo.

“The news industry has been challenged by a multitude of factors in recent years, including regulatory restraints, a lack of government support, advertising losses, and most recently, COVID-19. As a result, there have been a number of layoffs across Global News,” said Troy Reeb, Executive Vice President, Broadcast Networks, in a statement provided to Broadcast Dialogue. “Global News extends its gratitude to all outgoing staff members, as we greatly appreciate their many contributions and dedication during their time with our organization.”

An internal note from Reeb sent to employees said while the impacts of the restructuring would be felt in a number of locations, the most significant change would be in Toronto as part of “a strategic shift away from the non-news genre toward our core mission of providing breaking news and fact-based journalism.”

“Our focus will emphasize video on our owned-and-operated platforms, rather than on social media feeds that have lesser benefit to Global News,” the note continued. “We are confident that audiences will continue to enjoy a great supply of lifestyle and entertainment content from our Corus colleagues at The Morning Show, ET Canada, and”

Reeb goes on to say that the company’s recent third quarter results, in which the impact of COVID-19 coupled with one-time impairment charges, resulted in a 24% drop in revenue for the three months ended May 31, “underscored the decline in our advertising revenues, and unlike other areas of our business that are supported by more stable subscription and licensing revenues, news and radio are almost 100% dependent on advertising.”

Television ad revenue was down 31% in the quarter, while in Radio, segment revenues decreased $19.3 million (52%).

Reeb also takes aim in the memo at the federal government’s failure to “address inequities with foreign internet broadcasters who don’t play by the same rules, and tech giants that redistribute our content without compensation.”

Even so, Reeb said Global News will continue to exceed its license requirements in all of the television markets it serves.

Among those caught up in today’s layoffs are Patrick Cain, who had been a national online reporter since 2011; national music journalist Adam Wallis; Meghan Collie, Laura Hensley and Olivia Bowden, all national online writers with a focus in lifestyle; and Global BC marketing writer/producer Karina O’Sullivan, among others.

Rachel Browne and Tamara Khandaker, who were behind the network’s first original daily news podcast Wait, There’s More, were also restructured.

Employees within Corus Radio were also affected, including 980 CFPL London 9 a.m. – noon talk show host Craig Needles, and Scott Johnston, a 27-year sports and City Hall reporter with 630 CHED Edmonton.

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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 -

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