Massive cuts at CityTV, but Rogers doesn’t care

Anne Mroczkowski

The axe fell Tuesday at CityTV. Everyone found out yesterday that long-time Toronto anchor Anne Mroczkowski and about 60 others have lost their jobs in a new round of cutbacks at Canada’s fourth-largest English broadcast network, which will also result in a lot of local programming being cancelled.

Coverage at the National Post, Toronto Sun, Toronto StarFinancial Post, Canadian Press, Globe and Mail, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and all the usual Toronto blogs. Eye has a timeline of City cuts. Breakfast Television’s Kevin Frankish has a video of remaining employees talking about how much it sucks.

The irony in this is that CityTV is owned by Rogers, which is part of that Stop the TV Tax campaign by the cable and satellite companies against fee for carriage. Rogers has argued through it and appearances in front of the CRTC that local television doesn’t need the extra funding and that it is committed to local television without government funding.

With the cuts at City, and more importantly the cuts to programming at all City stations, we can formally call bullshit on that claim. Rogers doesn’t oppose fee for carriage because it believes that’s what’s best for City, it opposes fee for carriage because its cable business is more important to it than its TV business.

And so Rogers continues to sabotage its TV stations for its own benefit, and people like Anne Mroczkowski pay the price.

8 thoughts on “Massive cuts at CityTV, but Rogers doesn’t care

  1. James

    >>Rogers continues to sabotage its TV stations for its own benefit, and people like Anne Mroczkowski pay the price.

    I’m not sure I follow your logic on this one. Rogers is a corporation and it will do what it has to do to generate profit for its shareholders. It’s not in business to “take care of people”, no matter how pretty they are. Every corporation (and individual as well) will shape its statements to show itself in a more positive light, and distract you from any hypocrisy on its part. These seem like basic tenets of capitalism, and while I lament the fact that good peope lose their jobs occasionally, I also live in the real world.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      My argument is that Rogers is bullshitting us by pretending it’s acting in the best interests of CityTV, or pretending that City isn’t joining the Local TV Matters campaign for any reason other than the fact that it’s owned by Rogers.

      These are the “basic tenets of capitalism”, just as the basic tenet of journalism is to cut through the bull.

  2. Billy Bob

    Bull shit, indeed. What Rogers is doing is really, really, really bad. They go before House of Commons committees and tell MPs nothing is wrong with local TV. They go before the CRTC and say nothing is wrong with the business model for local TV. These guys are shameless. It is any wonder why the Harper government even gives them the time of day. Shame on Rogers.

  3. Jim Todd

    Why did Rogers get into the TV station business in the first place, when all they’ve done is reduce the Citytv stations to mere shells of themselves? Citytv, in Toronto especially, used to be one of the most interesting TV stations on the dial. Not anymore. Nothing worth watching there.

    1. Fassero

      Well, Rogers was already in the TV biz before City (they owned the multicultural OMNI stations.) I think it’s interesting to remember that when the CTV-CHUM was first announced, Rogers was to acquire the A-channel network. It was flip-flopped to City when CTV was concerned about getting CRTC clearance.

      That being said I’m amused when I read that it wouldn’t be like this if Moses Znaimer was still in charge. It’s easy to forget that, in the early years of CITY, Znaimer didn’t even want to set up a local newscast. In fact, CITY only really built up newscasts in around the mid-1980’s, after the station had already been sold to CHUM. The other fun point is reading around the Toronto-centric blogs which are loaded with ex-City staffers who are not the least bit mourning some of the on-air talent dismissals.

      That being said, I can’t disagree with Steve that this bludgeoning coming just after Rogers boasted to the CRTC about how local television is viable and look at their stations as an example comes across as BS.

  4. Anonymous

    I think citytv did it to themselves. Especially Toronto, that is the only one that I have watched. It has become wishy washy, childish, almost foolish focusing on the mundane.

  5. Roger robber

    ever since rogers bought city tv stations all they basically show are bull shit commercials, for every8 minutes of orogram there is no0w 5 minutes of commercial them and bell have ruined canadian television they both know that people will cancell their cable or sat cause of all the flippen commercials ” i did’ and willlk watch programs on the internet and this is why they both added the user base internet charge. i say Fuck you rogers and bell and thge old hags at the crtc for allowing this to happen, wonder how much money those fuckers at the crtc were paid to let thi happen . so ending my rant i say FUCK YOU Rogers and bell and if you see a rogers ban or bell van egg the fucker!


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