Canadian Mainstream Media COVID-19 layoffs signal changing industry

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Muskoka Post Staff

Corus Entertainment has been hit with a round of pandemic-era layoffs at its Global News division.

“The news industry has been challenged by a multitude of factors in recent years, including regulatory restraints, a lack of government support, advertising losses, and most recently, COVID-19. As a result, there have been a number of layoffs across Global News,” Troy Reeb, executive vp of broadcast networks at Corus Entertainment, said in a statement sent to the Hollywood Reporter.

“Global News extends its gratitude to all outgoing staff members, as we greatly appreciate their many contributions and dedication during their time with our organization," he added.

Corus did not specify the number of jobs lost at Global News, the layoffs have taken place across its Canadian market.

In an internal letter to employees the media company laments over lack of government funding for a private media outlet.

“We have sought sector specific relief to address inequities with foreign internet broadcasters who don’t play by the same rules, and tech giants that redistribute our content without compensation.”

Corus also added that it is shifting resources into its news streaming platforms; Global TV App and Amazon Prime Video to reach “new and younger audience.”

Global News is understood to have also eliminated coverage teams for lifestyle and entertainment news to focus on breaking news coverage after a dramatic drop in advertising revenues for Corus and other Canadian TV networks during the coronavirus spread.

On June 26, Corus Entertainment unveiled its third quarter earnings, with advertising revenues falling 31 percent to $207.8 million, compared to a year-earlier at $349 million.

On July 22 Rogers Communications released its second quarter earnings, and revealed its latest media revenues fell by 50 percent on "lower advertising revenue due to softness in the market and lower sports revenue, including at the Toronto Blue Jays, as no professional sports were played this quarter due to the COVID-19 pandemic."

Massive mainstream media layoffs from newspapers and broadcasters across the globe have been on the rise over the last decade. Media organizations seem to be having a hard time adjusting to added market competition, though it’s hard to understand how with 8 billion people at the tip of their computer keyboards and an open world market these media giants can’t seem to turn a profit.

Just last year in 2019 over 2,000 journalists across the country were fired. Buzzfeed, VICE and HuffPost were all among the media companies to announce major layoffs.

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