Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton Shaw TV stations will close in August, affecting approximately 70 positions.

By H.G. Watson, Managing Editor

Three local Shaw TV stations will be shut down later this year as Corus Entertainment redirects funding towards Global News.

In a press release sent out April 26, Corus and Shaw Communications announced that about $10 million would be put towards Global News to boost community reporting, including establishing city hall bureaus and municipal affairs specialists. However, the Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton Shaw TV stations will close in August, affecting approximately 70 positions.

“We’re grateful to Shaw for providing this critical lifeline to protect and support local news. This additional funding will ensure viewers in BC’s Lower Mainland, the Calgary Region and the Edmonton Capital Region continue to receive top-notch local news coverage” said Troy Reeb, Senior Vice President, Global News, Corus Radio and Station Operations, in a statement.

In January 2016, Shaw sold its media arm to Corus Entertainment for $2.65 billion, which added Global News and Shaw TV to the Corus portfolio.

The Shaw TV stations are community channels where members of the community can volunteer to work on programs. They often carry content that wouldn’t be carried by larger cable companies, such as high school and college sports broadcasts, community programming and coverage of local municipal councils.

Recent Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission decisions have allowed cable companies to stop community TV funding, redirecting that money to support local news. Community TV advocates have been pushing the CRTC to create a general fund to support the creation of community TV centres across the country, though this has not yet happened.

Reaction to the announcement of the closures came quickly.

 

With files from David Gray-Donald.

H.G. Watson can be reached at hgwatson@j-source.ca or on Twitter.