CBC Cancels Shows

More than 85 jobs are eliminated following federal budget cuts.

Jennifer Coxby Jennifer Cox

The one-hour TV news program "Connect with Mark Kelley" as well as the radio show "Dispatches" and drama programming on Radio One will all be cancelled because of CBC federal budget cuts announced last month.

In addition to that, the network is also laying off 88 employees.

The CBC budget was cut by $115 million, or 10 percent, and last week the network announced that in the next three years, 650 positions would be eliminated in all. The CBC reported that Kirstine Stewart, executive vice-president, English Services, said $86 million of the English Services budget would have to be cut, including $43 million in programming, which includes 175 fewer hours of original programming. "There's no real way to sugar coat the impact of the cuts," said CBC News editor in chief Jennifer McGuire. "These are great programs we are losing. The sad truth is we had to go there to meet the number."

Several divisions of the CBC will see major cutbacks – CBC Radio is losing 18 jobs and $3 million from its budget, CBC Kids will have four hours of less programming per week, and CBC Sports have lost a sum of $4 million. News bureaus in South America and Africa are closing, and a total of six primetime programs were axed.

"It's not a good day for CBC," said Marc-Philippe Laurin, president of the Canadian Media Guild's CBC branch. "Canadians are really going to see a difference on the TV screen and hear a difference on CBC Radio."