CBC Cuts Jobs Cancels Dispatches Connect

April 11, 2012 by staff 

CBC Cuts Jobs Cancels Dispatches Connect, The axe has come down on CBC Radio’s Dispatches and CBC TV’s Connect with Mark Kelley along with 256 jobs in English-language programming over the next three years.

The details of the cuts – a result of the federal budget that will cut the public broadcaster’s funding by 10 per cent, or $115 million, over the next three years – came in a “town hall” announcement by Kirstine Stewart, the CBC’s executive vice-president of English services.

“We still have a plan that puts a priority focus on being Canadian and reaching out to the regions. People want to be connected to each other no matter where they are in Canada,” Stewart said.

CBC staff members are understandably dismayed by the news, Stewart added.

“We have an organization full of incredibly talented and very passionate people who are here because they believe in what they do . . . and anytime you’re telling a bunch of people who are very engaged in what they do that they’re going to get less to work with, you’re going to get reactions,” Stewart said.

“It’s unfortunate. But they’re also a bunch of practical people.”

The 256 job losses, the vast majority of which will take place within months, are part of the 650 positions being eliminated over the next three years. The CBC announced last week that programming and positions would be cut.

Among the more high-profile casualties include Dispatches, which is hosted by Rick MacInnes-Rae, and the television news affair show Connect, which is hosted by Mark Kelley. Both will be cancelled as of June.

Other cuts include:

Some 175 fewer hours of original programming – one-quarter of the total – resulting in the cancellation of the equivalent of six primetime television series.

The closing of news bureaus in South America and Africa and downsizing the broadcaster’s Los Angeles bureau. Staffing will increase in the Washington and London bureaus.

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