The CBC is slashing 657 positions over two years to cope with a massive budget shortfall.
The managing director of the CBC in Atlantic Canada confirms employees and programming in Charlottetown will not be affected by the April 10 cuts to the corporation.
Andrew Cochran spoke to The Guardian late Thursday night after a day of meetings with management and staff across the region.
“It has been quite a day,’’ Cochran said.
Funding shortfalls and revenue losses have forced CBC/Radio Canada to cut $130 million from its budget this year, a move that will eliminate 657 jobs over the next two years and take the network out of competing for the rights to broadcast professional sports.
He said 15 postions in the region will be affected by the cuts but two of those positions are simply vacancies that won’t be filled.
Another two positions will be eliminated in the music production department in Halifax while another two positions will be affected in web development with the CBC consolidating web developers across the country.
A further two positions in the design department in Halifax are being eliminated, leaving seven more jobs still to be cut although five of those positions will be in Halifax.
Cochran says that leaves two positions to cut and those cuts will be absorbed throughout five stations in Cape Breton, New Brunswick and P.E.I., all in English services.
He added there will be changes to some radio programming in Atlantic Canada but that none of the changes will affect programming that comes out of Charlottetown.
Cochran noted that Compass, the 90-minute supper-hour news broadcast in Charlottetown, remains the most popular local news program on the network, adding that more Islanders watch Compass than any other show on any other network.
He also provided an update on the real estate side of things, noting that, in a sign of the times, CBC headquarters in Halifax is in the process of moving to another location in the city, decreasing in size by nearly 100,000 square feet.
Cochran said the corporation continues to look at possibilities for a new, smaller, location in Charlottetown but there are no updates there as of now. One of the challenge there, he said, is the capital cost of a move.
Carmel Smyth, president of the Canadian Media Guild, said she is furious over the “chronic gutting’’ of the public broadcaster year after year. She said while Charlottetown wasn’t affected by this round of trimming if something isn’t done soon it’s only a matter of time before it will be.
“If we don’t stand up and fund the CBC better next year it will be (bad news) for Charlottetown,’’ Smyth said.