“We’re actually rolling out a plan to shift the news organization in a bigger way to a story-centric production model and that means moving past some of the traditional ways we’ve produced television newscasts, to one where we touch the content once, make sure that it is best-catered for the audience and then deliver it,” Troy Reeb, the senior vice president of news and station operations said in an interview Thursday.
The production of the late-night and weekend newscasts east of Alberta, as well as Kelowna, will be moved to Toronto, where a single-anchor team will produce a local newscast for each market.
The national and international segments of news programs will be the same throughout the country, freeing up resources in each market for local news gathering, Reeb said.
“We’ll actually increase reporting assets at the front-line through this in many locations and we’ll be able to increase the number of hours of news that we produce every week, though it is going to be a big change in the way that people traditionally think of television.”
There have been some layoffs as a result of the changes with most of the reductions coming behind the camera.
Reeb said Thursday that it’s still unclear how many people will be out of a job as the company deals with seniority and union issues, but the total net reduction across the country will be less than 30.
“It’s really to respond to the change in both the viewing habits of Canadians, the way people consume and the way we are actually able to pay for our news content,” Reeb said.
“The advertising market has changed drastically and its ability to support certain types of news consumption is shifting to more online and digital platforms. We want to be able to follow our audience there.”
Reeb added that the organizational changes were not a “cuts exercise, but an innovation exercise.”
“I’d love to say that we’re just copying somebody else’s idea from somewhere else in the world, but this is very much something we’re doing on our own. We think it’s very innovative. We think it, most importantly, keeps as many boots on the ground as possible doing front line, local, news-gathering.”
The media company has also created a new position, Senior Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer, which will oversee the revenue side of broadcast, digital, distribution sales and branded content. A search is currently underway to fill the position.