Canadian local broadcasters face major cuts and closures

Canada’s local news and journalism face cuts as media economist warns of possible closure of 40 television stations and up to 200 radio stations within the next three years.

The Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) released “The Crisis in Canadian Media and the Future of Local Broadcasting”, an economic study by Communications Management Inc.

The report projects the possible closure of 50 radio stations within six months and another 150 stations in the following 18 months, plus the closure of 40 or more of Canada’s 94 private local TV stations in the next 12 to 36 months.

“Canadian private television and radio is in crisis,” said Lenore Gibson, Chair of the CAB Board of Directors. “Without immediate action, Canada will see a wave of local television and radio closures over the next three years. This will deny many communities a daily local media voice, and significantly reduce the diversity of news choices and voices in almost every community in Canada.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the industry’s shortcomings, with a projected revenue loss totaling over $1 billion in the three years between 2020 and 2022. This could also see an estimated 2,000 job losses for local journalists.

Canada’s private broadcasters call for new measures to create a more fair and sustainable future for local broadcasting, ensuring a diversity of editorial voices stay on-air across our provinces and territories.

On July 13, 2020, the CAB filed an application with the CRTC for emergency regulatory relief for the broadcast year ending August 31, 2020. To help avoid station closures, Canada’s private broadcasters call for short term regulatory relief and new government measures to create a more fair and sustainable future for local broadcasting.