The CBC’s bad decade continues this morning, with news that the broadcaster’s grand solution to its existential funding crisis, is, essentially, to stop broadcasting so much.
CBC News reports that its parent corporation is planning to shed 1,000 to 1,500 jobs by 2020—and that’s on top of previously announced staffing reductions. (To put those numbers in perspective, the CBC only had about 7,000 permanent employees in April, before it announced the elimination of 657 jobs.) CBC CEO Hubert T. Lacroix told CBC News that the bloodletting will be accompanied by a shift in priorities. “We used to lead with television and radio,” he said. “Web came and then mobility came. We are reversing, we are inverting the priorities that we have. We’re going to lead now with mobility, we’re going to lead with whatever widget you use.” (Lacroix no longer knows or cares what widget you use.) He also said he might consider selling CBC’s Toronto building and leasing it back. Evening newscasts are expected to be shortened from 90 minutes to 60, or even 30.
In all, this isn’t a particularly good day to be a twenty- or thirty-something person working for the CBC. It’s a slightly better day for older workers who may suddenly find themselves eligible for voluntary buyouts, should the CBC decide to go that route. All of this is fallout from a run of ruinous financial blows, starting with the 2012 federal budget and culminating, last year, in the loss of NHL broadcast rights and all the ad revenue associated with Hockey Night in Canada.
The CBC has released an almost deludedly cheerful report on its so-called “2020 strategy.” Read the whole thing right here.