Ottawa

'A' channel cuts jobs, drops local newscasts

A number of 'A' channel stations across the country have announced they're restructuring their local programming and laying off staff. In Ottawa, that means an end to evening newscasts.

A number of 'A' channel stations across the country have announced they're restructuring their local programming and laying off staff. In Ottawa, that means an end to evening newscasts.

CTVglobemedia, the parent company, said the moves are to cut costs.

"We are doing everything we can to hang on to conventional television," Paul Sparkes, executive vice-president of corporate affairs at CTVglobemedia, said in a release. "But as we continue to stress, the conventional model is now broken."

The announcement comes after CTV confirmed that it will not seek licence renewals for the 'A' stations in Wingham, Wheatley and its rebroadcaster in Windsor, all in Ontario.

Other stations that will be affected are in Ottawa, Barrie, London, Ont., and Victoria.

The three-hour 'A' Morning show, produced separately in Barrie, London and Victoria, is being cancelled, according to the release.

In Ottawa, the 6 p.m., 11 p.m. and weekend newscasts have been cancelled.

At those four stations, 118 jobs have been cut, including 34 from Ottawa — 19 of which are in the area of news production.

A group of 'A' channel employees gathered in an Ottawa restaurant Tuesday to discuss the changes and their futures in journalism.

"The past week or so, everyone's been saying, 'Please, would you do it and get it over with so we can get on with life,'" said Bob McIntyre, who produced the channel's evening and weekend newscasts in Ottawa.

"I've been a journalist and a broadcaster for 30 years," he said. "And that's the scary part. I don't know what else I can do."

However, not everyone's future is uncertain. Some of the faces from Ottawa's evening newscasts will soon turn up in the 'A' channel's new morning programming.

Sandra Blaikie, Bill Welychka and Tony Grace are moving to the morning show, which will be extended to four hours during the week, said Richard Gray, the vice-president and general manager of 'A' Ottawa.

He says there will also now be a two-hour version of the show broadcast on Saturdays.

Corrections

  • The morning show in Ottawa is not being cancelled, as originally reported.
    Oct 23, 2013 1:25 AM ET

now