Montreal

Montreal news radio station bids farewell

The Canadian Media Guild has renewed a call to the federal broadcasting regulator to take steps to protect local newsrooms in the wake of layoffs at a Montreal radio station.

The Canadian Media Guild has renewed a call to the federal broadcasting regulator to take steps to protect local newsrooms in the wake of layoffs at a Montreal radio station.

Montreal radio station 940 AM broadcast its last newscast Thursday as a news-talk service.

Owner Corus Entertainment announced the station's news format was not profitable enough to stay on air, and will switch to an oldies/greatest hits format, laying off 18 newsroom employees.

The announcement is the latest move in what the Guild calls an "assault on news and newsgatherers" from private broadcasters in Quebec, said union president Lise Lareau, in a statement.

She urged the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to intervene.

"We've said it before, and we'll say it again: the CRTC must take action to ensure that local news and information programming survives the current private media trend in this country," Lareau wrote.

"These companies still have an obligation to the public, and one of the most important ways they can fulfill that obligation is to provide quality reporting about local events and issues.

The 940 AM closing is the latest in a string of newsroom layoffs across the province.

French television network TQS is moving ahead with plans to close TV newsrooms in several Quebec cities, after Global TV gutted its news operation in the province.

Another Corus-owned radio station in Quebec City recently moved from all-news to a sports format.

Leaders in the community also have a responsibility to speak out about local media and advocate for representation, the Guild said.

With files from the Canadian Press

now