Global News lays off camera operators, Maritime newscast to be hosted in Toronto

Four camera operators with Global News in the Maritimes are losing their jobs, and the evening news will now be hosted out of Toronto, their union confirmed on Thursday.

70 employees across Canada to lose their jobs, says union

The layoffs at Global News in the Maritimes include two camera operators in Halifax, one in Saint John, N.B., and one in Fredericton. (Google Streetview)

Four camera operators with Global News in the Maritimes are losing their jobs, and local evening news will now be hosted out of Toronto, the union confirmed on Thursday.

Corus Entertainment is laying off 70 employees across Canada, including camera operators, reporters, anchors, control room staff, makeup artists and other production crew members, according to Unifor.

The layoffs in the Maritimes include two camera operators in Halifax, one in Saint John, N.B., and one in Fredericton, according to David MacPherson, president of the local.

"We had four, and now we have none," he said. "It's not good. Morale in the newsroom is not good. The [camera operators] gather a lot of content for us. It's going to be more work for fewer people."

Maritime shows to be hosted out of Toronto

Global News in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick will now be hosted by an anchor in a Toronto studio starting Monday, according to Unifor.

"We're Maritimers. We want to do our own show," MacPherson said. "People want to see people they know [on TV].

"The people from Toronto, they don't know our locations, they don't know how to pronounce them. It's not hard to determine that the people who are doing our shows are not from here," he said.

David MacPherson is president of the Unifor local representing employees at Global News. (Marina von Stackelberg/CBC)

Ron Kronstein, the evening news anchor based in Halifax, is leaving Global to become news director of CHEX-TV in Peterborough, Ont., at the end of February.

MacPherson said the staff in Halifax haven't been told if a new host will be hired in the Maritimes, but there is no job posting currently for an anchor in the region.

Cuts part of 'transformation,' company says

No one from Corus Entertainment, which owns Global, was made available for an interview, but a spokesperson referred CBC to a story on the Global website outlining the changes. In that story, the company said the cuts were part of its "transformation into a sustainable, digital-first organization."

The change represents a "continued shift of resources from areas of traditional television production and into more front-line journalism," it read.

Global plans to open four local news bureaus in southern Ontario, including in Ottawa, Kitchener, Guelph, Barrie.

"This is an opportunity [to] have coverage that's closer to home," said Troy Reeb, senior vice-president of Global News and Corus Radio in the story.

"We've always seen local news as the front door to the rich content Global News has to offer. Now, we're opening up more doors."

Global plans to add approximately 50 new positions, with the majority being journalists mandated to focus on underserved areas, especially in Ontario.

About the Author

Marina von Stackelberg

Journalist

Marina von Stackelberg is a CBC journalist based in Halifax. She previously worked for CBC Sudbury. Connect with her on Twitter @CBCMarina. Send story ideas to marina.von. stackelberg@cbc.ca