Canada's public broadcaster to cut 600 jobs as it struggles with budget pressures

TORONTO (AP) — Canada’s public broadcaster announced on Wednesday that it will cut 600 jobs and reduce its English and French programming budgets as it struggles with monetary pressures.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and Radio-Canada, the French-language version, said the bulk of the layoffs will come from its corporate divisions such as technology and infrastructure. It also identified 200 vacancies that will go unfilled as it contends with 125 million Canadian dollars ($92 million) in budget pressures.

Along with the job cuts, CBC will be reducing its English and French programming budgets, resulting in fewer renewals and acquisitions, fewer new television series, less episodes of existing shows and digital original series.

The federal government provides CBC with over 1.2 billion Canadian dollars ($890 billion) in funding per year, or about 71% of CBC's/Radio Canada's source of funds last year. It attributed the cuts to rising production costs, declining television advertising revenue and fierce competition from the tech digital giants.

At the end of March, CBC had some 6,500 permanent employees, about 2,000 temporary workers and roughly 760 contract staff.

The cuts come days after the federal Liberal government suggested it may cap the amount of money CBC and Radio-Canada could get under a 100 million Canadian dollars ($74 million) deal that Ottawa recently signed with Google.

Canada’s government said it reached a deal with Google last month for the company to contribute the 100 million Canadian dollars annually to the country’s news industry to comply with a new law requiring tech companies to pay publishers for their content.