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Corus Entertainment announces layoffs at Global News



Corus Entertainment announces layoffs at Global News

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layoffs at Corus come days after said it stands to lose programming next year after Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. and Rogers Communications strike content deal.Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press

Corus Entertainment Inc. CJR-B-T is cutting jobs at its Global News division as it seeks efficiencies across the company and battles adverse trends in the media industry.

The cuts came a few days after Corus said it stands to lose programming next year due to an arrangement struck between Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. and Rogers Communications Inc. RCI-B-T, which will see Rogers pick up rights to content such as HGTV and Food Network.

“As part of our ongoing evaluation of our business and continued enterprise efficiency review across Corus, we have made some changes at Global News today, and as a result, certain roles have been impacted,” Corus spokesperson Anna Arnone said in a statement.

“These changes correlate with the current economic and regulatory reality we, and other media organizations, find ourselves in. We are continuously working to improve the way we gather, produce and deliver award winning content.”

Corus shares have been in a tailspin in recent years, slumping to just 24 cents Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange, down from levels above $6 in 2021.

The news of layoffs came on the same day a report by analysts at TD Cowen said shares of the Canadian media company could drop to zero if Rogers Communications is successful in taking over all of Corus’s content and branding deals with Warner Bros. Discovery with no compensation to Corus. On Friday, Corus said it had been informed by Warner Bros. that some of its programming and trademark agreements would end on Dec. 31, and not be renewed.

TD analysts Vince Valentini and Natale Puccia wrote in their report that Corus’s future was “highly uncertain” and regulatory and legal challenges are expected. Rogers has indicated it will launch 10 channels in January, 2025 – five of which are currently operated by Corus. If Rogers succeeds in taking over all of these channels from Corus, the precedent could be “disastrous” for the company, the analysts wrote.

The loss of programming is “an unfortunate example of inequitable structural relationships in the Canadian media and telecom industries, particularly affecting independent broadcasters like Corus,” Doug Murphy, president and chief executive officer of Corus, said in a statement Friday.

Traditional media businesses have been facing challenges for years as audiences turn to alternative sources of news and entertainment. This has contributed to an erosion of advertising spending on television networks. Earlier this year, BCE Inc. BCE-T announced it was slashing 4,800 jobs. Chief executive officer Mirko Bibic partly blamed Canadian government policies that “fail to support our media business in a time of crisis and fail to level the playing field with global tech giants.”

Corus said it would not be providing any further details about the layoffs at this time, including the number of jobs being cut.

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