CTV has cut seven contract positions at W5 and will slash production of its flagship newsmagazine show by up to 40 per cent. 

Photo courtesy of Matt Meuse

By Tamara Baluja, Associate Editor

CTV’s flagship newsmagazine show W5 is the latest to face cuts after a sharp decline in advertising.

CTV has cut seven contract positions at the show and will slash production of its upcoming season by up to 40 per cent.

“These decisions are never easy. However the broadcast industry currently faces severe financial pressures due to changing viewer habits, along with a sharp decline in advertising revenues,” said CTV president Wendy Freeman in an emailed statement to J-Source. “In spite of these reductions, the award-winning W5 team intends to continue the important work of delivering investigative and inspirational stories that Canadians have come to rely on for nearly 50 years.” 

The show will lose three of its six producers as well as a film crew and editor. Bell Media declined to name the individuals who were laid off because they are contract, not staff positions.

The Canadian Association of Journalists said it is dissapointed in the cuts to long-form journalism.

“When does eliminating journalists’ jobs start to reach the point where you can no longer produce a high-quality news and information program that’s worth marketing?” CAJ president Hugo Rodrigues said in a press release. “As one of CTV’s only outlets for long-form journalism, the cuts to W5 will have an immediate impact on Canadians as fewer of our stories will be told.”

Earlier this week, Bell laid off three journalists at its Toronto talk radio station, Newstalk1010: morning news anchor Evelyn Macko, reporter Amber Gero and Queen’s Park bureau chief Katie Franzios. The media company also recently cancelled Kevin Newman Live

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Tamara Baluja is an award-winning journalist with CBC Vancouver and the 2018 Michener-Deacon fellow for journalism education. She was the associate editor for J-Source from 2013-2014.