Rogers will use this graphic and audio from 680 News on CityNews Channel until end of June when it officially dies. pic.twitter.com/6VXtuxeGYC
— Steve Ladurantaye (@sladurantaye) May 30, 2013
Citing “evolving viewer habits and the global structural shift in advertising,” Rogers announced it is shutting down Toronto all-news channel CityNews Channel effective immediately. It also announced that it would no longer be producing OMNI programming in Alberta, where it has two over-the-air stations in Calgary and Edmonton, and it is killing its English-language South Asian newscast.
The cuts affect 2.5% of the Rogers Broadcast workforce, or 62 full-time jobs.
CityNews Channel launched in 2011 as a local Toronto all-news channel (the announcement of its launch was exactly two years ago). Its main competition was CP24, ironically a channel that was previously run by City but that went to CTV when CTV bought CHUM in 2007. It sold City to Rogers but kept CP24 for itself.
The channel has struggled in ratings, doing worse than even Sun News Network (though that channel is a national one).
OMNI’s Alberta stations, CJEO Edmonton and CJCO Calgary, were licensed as a regional system in 2007, and Rogers had proposed 29 hours a week of local and regional programming. But that proposal was not turned into a condition of licence, and their current licence, which expires in 2015, has no provision for local programming, ethnic or otherwise.
They stopped producing regional daily newscasts in 2011, and now they have no original programming at all.
We’ll see if the CRTC has something to say about the complete lack of original programming when those licences come up for renewal.
Statement from Rogers
Statement from Scott Moore, President of Broadcast, Rogers Media, regarding CityNews Channel and OMNI Television:
“Today, we made changes to the company’s television strategy to reflect evolving viewer habits and the global structural shift in advertising.
“Moving forward, we will focus our broadcast news resources in Toronto on 680News and CityNews on City, and as a result, have ceased operations of CityNews Channel, effective immediately. Given the changing marketplace, programming changes have also been made at OMNI Television: the English-language South Asian newscast is no longer being offered and production operations in Alberta have ceased. We remain committed to ethnic programming and will deliver news in four other languages, as well as continue to air programming in more than 40 languages.
“Today’s changes impact 2.5 per cent of the company’s broadcast workforce. While difficult, these changes enable us to continue to focus our efforts where we know the market is growing, while helping us to effectively manage our costs.”