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Corus says Global News 'changes' affect jobs, won't disclose how many

The Canadian Press

TORONTO — Corus Entertainment Inc. says it has "made some changes" at Global News, citing the same headwinds that have led to massive cuts at other media outlets.

Global News spokeswoman Anna Arnone says the move comes as part of an ongoing evaluation of its business and an efficiency review across Corus.

She declined to offer further details, such as whether employees had been laid off, though she said certain roles had been impacted.

"These changes correlate with the current economic and regulatory reality we, and other media organizations, find ourselves in," Arnone said in an emailed statement.

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"We are continuously working to improve the way we gather, produce and deliver award winning content."

Unifor's media director called it a devastating blow to the industry.

"These jobs are desperately needed in this country ... and they just can't afford to keep them on," said Randy Kitt.

Corus announced last week it had been informed by Warner Bros. Discovery that some of its programming arrangements would not be renewed when they expire at the end of the year.

On Monday, Rogers Communications Inc. said it had signed multi-year deals with NBCUniversal and Warner Bros. for their popular lifestyle and entertainment brands in Canada, including HGTV, the Food Network and others.

That will take effect in January 2025.

In April, Corus chief executive Doug Murphy said the company continues to reduce costs following job cuts and a programming reduction plan that began last year.

He said the company lowered expenses by 13 per cent, or $38 million, in its latest quarter that ended Feb. 29, and has slashed 15 per cent of costs, or $88 million, year to date.

Corus reported a loss attributable to shareholders of $9.8 million in what was its second quarter, as Murphy said there could still be lingering effects from last year’s Hollywood strikes that caused an advertising slump

He also cited “other ongoing distortions in the advertising market, whether it be from the economy or increased competition.”

Last month, Canada’s broadcasting regulator granted Corus' request to ease some of its Canadian content spending requirements after the company warned of an increasingly dire financial situation.

The broadcaster had asked the CRTC to “urgently” make the changes last October, saying they would provide “much needed flexibility” amid programming and advertising uncertainty, as well as “severely constrained” finances.

Corus' stock closed down five cents, or 17.5 per cent, at 23.5 cents on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

Other broadcasters have slashed jobs this year amid financial concerns.

Bell Canada cited a lack of progress on its request for regulatory relief when it announced in February it would slash 4,800 more positions, sell 45 radio stations, end multiple television newscasts and cut other programming.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 12, 2024.

Companies in this story: (TSX:CJR.B)

Sammy Hudes, The Canadian Press