The dismantling of Citytv…

19 01 2010

Tuesday was a sad day in Canadian television, particularly for those who were laid off as a result of the “restructuring” of the Rogers-owned Citytv stations across Canada.

Rogers Communications has cut some 60 people – about 6 percent of their workforce: on-air personalities and behind-the-scenes staff – from their Citytv stations in Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver (somehow, the Winnipeg affiliate is unaffected by the job cuts), including some well-known on-air talent: Anne Mroczkowski, Lara Di Battista and and Pam Seatle no longer have jobs at Citytv in Toronto. A number of news shows have been discontinued, while Breakfast Television and Cityline will still air, although BT will be shortened at some stations.

The not-so-pleasant details of the cuts can be seen here and here.

Ever since Rogers took over the Citytv stations a few years ago, as part of a major restructuring of the world of broadcasting in Canada, that saw the takeover of the former CHUM Television-owned specialty stations and A-Channel affiliates (rebranded as, simply, “A”) by CTVGlobeMedia, the Citytv stations that were once, in my view, the most vibrant stations on the dial (especially when there was just the original Citytv in Toronto, and it stood alone as being a very different channel compared to the others), have become mere shadows of their former selves.

It was asked by someone on Twitter that if Rogers, which has lots of money because of the cable empire (read: monopoly) they enjoy in much of Canada, has felt the need to make these cuts, what does it say for the other Canadian networks, who operate more stations than the five owned by Rogers?

I shudder at the thought.

UPDATE, January 22, 2010: Steve Faguy wrote in his Fagstein blog yesterday about the layoffs at Citytv. You can read it here.

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