As It Happens

CBC to prioritize digital and mobile content, cutting up to 1,500 more jobs by 2020

This week, CBC president Hubert Lacroix outlined a new strategy for the public broadcaster -- one that shifts focus away from the traditional media of television and radio, and toward mobile, digital devices. The shift, which also ends the production of in-house documentaries and will shorten most local evening news programs, is expected to cost up to 1,500 jobs by...

This week, CBC president Hubert Lacroix outlined a new strategy for the public broadcaster -- one that shifts focus away from the traditional media of television and radio, and toward mobile, digital devices. The shift, which also ends the production of in-house documentaries and will shorten most local evening news programs, is expected to cost up to 1,500 jobs by 2020.

Chris Waddell has been following the changes at CBC closely. He's a former CBC News executive producer and the director of Carleton University's school of journalism.

"The world and the marketplace is changing quite dramatically," Mr. Waddell tells As It Happens. "Moving more into digital and into mobile devices is where young people are, but it's also increasingly where older people are and other generations as well. So the audience is there, but there's risks that come with it too."

"How do you change some of your content? News and information, it's easy to see how that translates into mobile devices. Drama and other sorts of programming, that may be more problematic."

Heather Conway, CBC's executive vice-president of English-language services, helped unveil the public broadcaster's new five-year plan on Thursday. The strategy includes a shift of priorities from radio and TV to digital and mobile services. (Photo: Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Mr. Waddell adds, "This is in many respects the right strategy for the corporation. It's unfortunate it wasn't a strategy put forward four or five years ago...If you only do this when you really have to, how innovative are you going to be?"

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