Quebec media big TVA lays off greater than 500 staff, nearly a 3rd of its workforce

Certainly one of Quebec’s media giants introduced Thursday that it’s shedding roughly one-third of its workforce as of February. 

TVA, owned by Quebecor, mentioned it’s going to slash 547 jobs, together with 300 positions in in-house manufacturing, 98 operations positions and 149 positions in different departments.

Pierre Karl Péladeau, performing president and CEO of TVA Group and the president and CEO of Quebecor, mentioned leisure collection like Le Tricheur, La Poule aux œufs d’or and VLOG, will nonetheless run on TVA’s airwaves however manufacturing will likely be outsourced.

Regional information will likely be broadcast out of Quebec Metropolis.

TVA mentioned an entire reorganization of its sources is critical due to the quickly shifting media panorama, the recognition of streaming companies and losses in online advertising income. The broadcaster says it misplaced $13 million this yr, in contrast with $1.6 million final yr.

“TVA is not going to disappear,” mentioned Péladeau at a information convention Thursday.

“We wish to proceed to supply high quality programming… that may herald promoting income.” 

The media big mentioned it’s going to refocus its mission completely on broadcasting — successfully ending in-house manufacturing of leisure content material, centralizing its information division and lowering its actual property.

Péladeau steered TVA’s constructing at 1600 De Maisonneuve Blvd. in Montreal may very well be became social housing.

“The normal tv enterprise mannequin has been disrupted on all sides: shrinking audiences, declining subscriptions, falling promoting revenues, fierce competitors and aggressive bidding for leisure content material and sports activities rights,” mentioned TVA in a information launch.

It additionally mentioned these issues are compounded by CBC/Radio-Canada unfairly competing with non-public broadcasters for promoting income. 

TVA had already lower 140 skilled and managerial positions in February 2023 and had cancelled a few of its programing, however right this moment mentioned these measures weren’t sufficient to remain afloat. 

“The deficit TVA Group is at present working is just now not sustainable,” mentioned Péladeau.

“We’ve a duty to right the scenario. TVA has traditionally been an vital automobile for Quebec tradition, language and information. We’ve an obligation to protect it and guarantee its sustainability.”

The union representing TVA staff mentioned it was the “darkest day in [their] historical past” and that it was not knowledgeable of the cuts earlier than the announcement. It additionally mentioned the announcement goes towards the employees’ collective settlement.

However TVA journalist Gilles Valiquette mentioned he was not shocked by the announcement “given every thing occurring with information media.” 

“My greatest want is that we preserve the standard of the work we have all the time completed, and that may come from a brand new technology of younger individuals,” he mentioned.

‘Dramatic wake-up name’ 

Quebec politicians rapidly reacted to Quebecor’s announcement, saying the transfer will likely be a large loss for the province.

“The restructuring at TVA is a dramatic wake-up name: greater than 500 tv craftspeople laid off, the trade weakened like by no means earlier than, and our French-language tradition weakened,” Bloc Québécois Chief Yves-François Blanchet on X, previously often called Twitter.

He mentioned web giants have to be prevented from taking massive parts of media income. 

Mathieu Lacombe, Quebec’s minister of tradition and communications, mentioned it’s unhappy information, significantly for the staff affected by the layoffs. He himself was as soon as a information anchor for TVA Nouvelles on TVA affiliate CHOT-DT in Gatineau, Que.

Those that misplaced their jobs are actually feeling incertitude, he mentioned, and “this can be a troublesome time for them, and their households.”

He mentioned the information trade has been going through a rising disaster yr after yr, and it has been difficult to adapt to the altering occasions. As it’s, information enterprise fashions aren’t functioning effectively within the digital age, the minister mentioned.

His authorities has given thousands and thousands in monetary help to the information trade, however clearly additional discussions with the heads of the information trade are wanted to see how the province may help.

Québec Solidaire MNA Ruba Ghazal, who’s the social gathering’s tradition critic, known as for the creation of a media help fund to forestall additional layoffs within the media sector. 

“It is a query of the survival of our tradition, our language and our heritage,” she mentioned.

Parti Québécois MNA Pascal Bérubé, whose associate is a TVA worker, mentioned it was a “darkish Thursday” for Quebec tradition. 

“I hope this may not affect the protection of vital occasions,” he mentioned. “Democracy rests on info.” 

He mentioned he’s fearful concerning the protection popping out of the Nationwide Meeting and that there will likely be a lack of management over regional information.

“Tomorrow it is going to be one other media. Nobody wins … This does not ship out a superb message for the information trade.” 

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