MONTREAL – Executives at the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., Canada’s national pubcaster, announced late Friday that it will cut all of its funding to Montreal-based Radio Canada Intl., the country’s international shortwave radio service. Radio Canada Intl. is expected to shut down permanently March 31, and, if it does, Canada will be the only member of the Group of Seven leading industrial nations without a foreign radio service.
CBC president Perrin Beatty said the corporation does not have the funds to keep financing Radio Canada Intl.’s C$16 million ($11.8 million) annual budget at a time when it is drastically cutting back its funding to its Canadian TV and radio services due to government reductions to the CBC budget. CBC is set to announce on Wednesday which of its employees will be laid off in the largest round of cuts in the pubcaster’s history. The CBC is poised to slash 1,800 positions from its English- and French-language TV and radio services. Many of the CBC staffers receiving pink-slips will be able to bump other less-senior employees at the network, according to the company’s union regulations.