By H.G. Watson, Managing Editor
Bell Media announced on June 7 that nine cities will get local early evening broadcasts starting in the fall of 2017.
News at Five will be available on all local CTV stations across Canada. The stations that will be getting the broadcast include: CTV Saskatoon; CTV Regina; CTV Prince Albert; CTV Yorkton; CTV Winnipeg; CTV Northern Ontario; CTV Kitchener; CTV Ottawa; CTV Montreal.
In Toronto, CTV Toronto and CP24 will both air CP24 Live @ 5 and CP24 Live @ 5:30.
“Adding locally produced, early evening weeknight newscasts in all key markets benefits our industry and partners, while strengthening the communities we are proudly committed to serve,” said Nikki Moffatt, Bell Media’s president of local radio and TV, and senior VP of finance, in a press release. According to CTV the new broadcasts will create 35 hours of original local production a week.
According to Rob Duffy, a CTV spokesperson, CTV Windsor, CTV London and CTV Vancouver Island are on the CTV Two network, and therefore are not affected by today’s announcement.
In response to J-Source’s questions about whether new staff would be hired to produce the new broadcasts, Duffy said any further details would be announced in the future.
Some local CTV stations have seen jobs cuts in the last two years. Local sports coverage was cut at CTV stations in Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Windsor, Calgary and Edmonton on March 28. In mid-February, local sports coverage was also cut in Barrie. A total of 20 jobs were cut as a result of the restructuring. In early February, an undisclosed number of job cuts were made. And over 350 people were cut from their positions in late 2015.