General + Regulatory + Telecom + Media NewsLoyalist suspends Broadcasting - Radio program due to low enrollment

Loyalist suspends Broadcasting – Radio program due to low enrollment

Loyalist College has suspended applications to its Broadcasting – Radio program, citing low enrollment.

The Belleville, ON college says the program is currently under review by the college as part of its program planning, development and renewal process and that Loyalist hasn’t “taken an institutional stance on the program’s future.”

“No determination about the program has officially been made beyond the 2023-24 academic year,” a college spokesperson told Broadcast Dialogue, declining to offer recent enrollment data.

Loyalist is just the latest post-secondary institution to announce the suspension of a media program as the broadcast and journalism sectors are faced with mass layoffs, spurred by changing consumer habits and under the looming shadow of uncertainty around AI and the impact other technological advances will have on the industry.

Mohawk College in Hamilton has announced it won’t be accepting applications for its advanced three-year Journalism diploma, due to falling enrollment. Humber College announced suspension of its Journalism degree program last November, while the University of Regina has also suspended admission to its Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, Bachelor in Journalism, and Masters of Journalism programs for the 2023-24 academic year as it moves to overhaul its offerings with a digital reset in line with the needs of modern newsrooms.

‘Industry on life support’

Retired longtime CHFI Toronto morning host Erin Davis, one of the Loyalist Radio program’s best-known alumni, credits the college as the jumping off point for her career.

“It was a perfect incubator, but I realize in the 40 years since that time, colleges would be irresponsible in taking tuition and even providing a hope of employment for graduates,” said Davis, who has provided an annual “Women in Media” bursary at her alma mater since the early 2000s.

Erin Davis

“For this kid, who didn’t even think radio could be a career for a woman in 1980, it gave me my life,” said Davis of the program, then a natural feeder of talent for radio stations in Belleville, Kingston and Ottawa.

“Granted, if you have the talent and communications skills, you will find your place and it may not be a direct line from the classroom into a radio station…but it’s just overwhelmingly that the business has killed the farm teams, so there’s no room for little league anymore,” she told Broadcast Dialogue. “I mourn it because it gave me everything, but I understand it’s probably more responsible for them to pull back and look at what they’re putting out into an industry on life support.”

Davis has embraced podcasting as of late, hosting the Real Time podcast for the Canadian Real Estate Association, alongside her Drift sleep stories pod, and in addition to Gracefully and Frankly, featuring frank conversation with broadcaster and friend Lisa Brandt, among other projects.

Davis said she’s now trying to channel the connection she built with her radio listeners into podcasting.

“The letters A-I are in authentic, but it doesn’t work the other way around,” said Davis. “It’s that human connection that radio has always provided…we’ll find other ways to stay connected…nature finds a way, and so do communicators.”

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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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