February 16, 2017 4 days 11 hours ago

Rogers Community TV suspends some Toronto production, lays off 10

TORONTO – Rogers Media today told employees it will cease community cable TV production at its Toronto facility at 855 York Mills Road.

A total of 10 positions have been eliminated with the move and all programming produced there has been cancelled.

“While production from our York Mills facilities has stopped, we will continue to meet our CRTC commitments for local and access programming,” Rogers spokeswoman Michelle Lomack told Cartt.ca in an email late Thursday. “Toronto-focused content produced by local independent community producers such as our Mosaic line up, Hogtown Wrestling, Xs Network, Ryerson Rams Sports, and many more will continue to air on RTV Toronto, in addition to productions from our studios in Mississauga and Richmond Hill. Programming will also include ongoing coverage of Toronto City Council.”

As part of the CRTC’s recent review of local and community television, vertically integrated companies such as Rogers are now allowed to shift some funds from community cable programming to their local conventional stations – in Rogers’ case, CityTV. Historically, under the old regulations, 2% of basic cable revenues were diverted to community access programming but the new rules let VI companies cut that to 1.5% if they wish, as long as they divert the rest to local OTA station news programming. Click here for more on that decision.

“As a result of this decision, we’ve been looking at Rogers’s entire television portfolio to make the necessary adjustments to continue to deliver quality local content in the markets where we are needed most,” added Lomack.