General + Regulatory + Telecom + Media NewsRegulatory, Telecom & Media News - Federal budget includes support for CBC/Radio-Canada,...

Regulatory, Telecom & Media News – Federal budget includes support for CBC/Radio-Canada, public interest programming

The CBC Ottawa Broadcast Centre (Image Credit: Alamy)

CBC/Radio-Canada received an additional $42 million in support in the 2024 federal budget, on top of its $1.4-billion public funding allocation. CBC President and CEO Catherine Tait said in a statement that the one-time funding would help the corporation “manage its financial challenges in a more stable manner.” Since the corporation announced in December that it would be cutting 600 positions and leaving another 200 vacancies unfilled due to a $125 million shortfall, Tait says the public broadcaster has reduced its workforce by 141 employees, and cut 205 vacant positions. Tuesday’s federal budget release also included a $15 million investment over two years in public interest programming services, including Cable Public Affairs Channel (CPAC), APTN, Accessible Media Inc. (AMI), ICI Television, and TV5. That includes $5 million in 2024-25 to support capital renewal at CPAC. Read more here.

BCE did not give the federal government advance notice of its intention to layoff 4,800 employees in February. Despite legislation compelling companies to give the government 16 weeks working notice, Bell told the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage that it relayed its intention on Feb. 8, the same day it told the public and began laying off staff. In the company’s long-awaited appearance before the committee, CEO Mirko Bibic maintained that Bell was still in full compliance with federal labour standards because it had provided impacted staff with a minimum 16 weeks pay. Bibic blamed a shift toward digital advertising, difficult operating circumstances and a general economic downturn, along with competition from streaming giants like Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon for the layoffs, asserting that Bell Media is now producing more news than it ever has before, albeit in a “different way” as appointment tuning becomes less relevant. Read more here.

Corus Entertainment has reported its fiscal Q2 2024 results for the three months ended Feb. 29. Revenues declined 13% compared to the same quarter last year, with the television segment seeing 14% less revenue this quarter at $278 million, versus the comparable period, while radio saw a four per cent decline to $21.5 million over the same period. Profit was $52.7 million in the quarter, a decrease of 11% compared to the same period last year, driven down by television advertising and subscriber declines. That was offset by a 145% jump to $857,000 in radio profit, attributed in part to lower expenses.

Cogeco Communications has announced its financial results for the second quarter ended Feb. 29. Revenue decreased by 0.8% to $730.5 million. Canadian telecommunications’ revenue increased by 1.4%, mainly driven by the oxio acquisition completed in March 2023 as well as the cumulative effect of high-speed internet service additions over the past year. American telecommunications’ revenue decreased by 3.1%, mainly due to lower video subscriptions and a lower customer base over the past year with an increasing proportion of customers only subscribing to internet services, partly offset by higher revenue per customer and a better product mix resulting from customers subscribing to increasingly fast internet speeds.

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) has announced finalists for its 2023 awards competition. Winners will be announced at the CAJ awards gala on June 1 at the Toronto Public Library’s Bram & Bluma Appel Salon, which will conclude the CAJ national conference: Journalism and How To Survive It. Among the outlets with multiple nominations are APTN; The Local, Toronto; The Narwhal; CBC News; Radio-Canada; The Tyee; IndigiNews; Cabin Radio; Toronto Star, Globe and Mail; and La Presse.

Paige Taylor White

Paige Taylor White, a Toronto-based freelance  photojournalist and videographer, is the recipient of the 2024 Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award, presented by The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) and The Canadian Press (CP). The award was established in memory of the late, prize-winning CP photographer to allow an early-career photojournalist to work at CP’s Toronto head office on a six-week internship. Taylor White’s portfolio was selected among submissions from students and early-career photojournalists from across the country.


Western Association of Broadcasters (WAB) has announced more speakers set to address its upcoming conference at the Banff Fairmont Springs, June 5-6. In addition to previously-announced headliner Conrad Black, broadcast/podcast coach and author Valerie Geller, and programming consultant Tracy Johnson, those joining the lineup include David Leis, Vice President at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, radio sales veteran Pat Bryson, and updates from the CRTC and Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB). Find the full lineup here.

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