CBC, Nat’l Film Board prep for budget cuts

Pubcaster to chop 650 jobs over next three years

MONTREAL

Canuck pubcaster CBC and the public film studio National Film Board of Canada will reduce staff and programs following the 10% cuts to their respective budgets announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government last week.

The cuts at CBC are much more significant given that the TV and radio broadcaster has to grapple with a shortfall of $200 million over the next three years. CBC CEO Hubert Lacroix said the corporation will only have to deal with cuts of $150 million because it plans to offset the reductions with new revenues of $50 million.

But CBC will chop 650 full-time positions across the country over the next three years, including 475 this fiscal year.

“Television is definitely taking the brunt of this cut,” said Kirstine Stewart, exec VP of English services, adding there will be more repeats in primetime.

The NFB also has to trim its budget by $7 million, about 10% of its parliamentary allocation. It plans to close its cinemas in Montreal and Toronto, reduce its Filmmaker Assistance Program and cut 73 jobs.

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