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Samantha

Canadian station's future uncertain; tonight's news canceled

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CHCH in Hamilton, Ontario, has canceled tonight's scheduled newscast.

 

The move comes amid uncertainty over the future of the station. An announcement to staff is expected at 4pm and employees either expect a full station shutdown or major cutbacks.

 

The questions began this morning, when employees saw two pay periods' worth of money deposited into their bank accounts.

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CHCH in Hamilton, Ontario, has canceled tonight's scheduled newscast.

 

The move comes amid uncertainty over the future of the station. An announcement to staff is expected at 4pm and employees either expect a full station shutdown or major cutbacks.

 

The questions began this morning, when employees saw two pay periods' worth of money deposited into their bank accounts.

 

Oh no. I love CHCH and their uniqueness to how they deliver their programming. I hope this is not the end for CHCH as I know it. A lot of people in Hamilton, Halton and Niagara will be pretty pissed, knowing that they will lose their own TV station and will be forced to watch Toronto-based news instead of Hamilton-based news from CHCH.

 

"Serving Hamilton, Toronto and the Niagara Peninsula, this is CHCH-TV 11."

 

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The CHCH station site has been up and down. I've seen reports that it's due to high traffic.

 

If you can get to their site, apparently they are streaming the staff announcement. The station will remain on the air with cuts, says one tweet, and a reduced local news schedule will return on Monday. Not many details were offered by the CEO of Channel Zero, which owns CHCH.

 

Apparently advertising losses are the driving factor behind the cuts. It looks like one of the cuts is to the daytime news hours.

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I've been following this story all day because its a complete shock to me. Here's what I know right now...

  • CHCH will remain on the air.
  • CHCH + Channel Zero are financially unaffected.
  • ONLY Channel 11 L.P. (the company that provides the local news and pays the news employees) is going under bankruptcy.
  • A new modified programming format debuts Monday.
  • Newscasts are canceled only for tonight and the weekend, as well as Monday's Morning LIVE with Bob Cowan and Annette Hamm.
  • 100 employees are affected by this announcement with some going to be offered new jobs while others will just be cut and I heard that the most senior of staff has been axed.
  • News hours will be significantly reduced from 80 hours to just 25 hours a week.
  • National advertising losses (not local advertising) are to blame for this huge reduction.
  • News NOW AM/PM is the only news program I've heard of so far, that's been canceled.

This is the only mention about the situation that I've seen so far from either CHCH-TV or CHCH News on Twitter, Facebook or on any other social media site:

[MEDIA=twitter]675415250464669696[/MEDIA]

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Here's the press release from a tweet by @CHCHTV which takes you to the PDF - @CHCHNews did the same thing but posted a link which takes you to their website with the press release:

[MEDIA=twitter]675446244211187712[/MEDIA]

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What is wrong with the media landscape in this country?

 

- The CBC is a disaster

- Sun News Network shut down

- Bell Media cut 300+ jobs

- Now CHCH lays off staff

 

Mismanagement of media properties in Canada must be a highly contagious disease.

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BREAKING: 159 people are out of work due to this restructuring = 129 full-timers and 30 part-timers. 71 of those are expected to get new jobs, though we're not sure in what capacity. Another 88 will now have to find work somewhere else.

 

EDIT: Follow @ConsumerSOS on Twitter right now for updates on CHCH's big downfall. If you're wondering who's twitter that is... that's Sean O'Shea, the consumer/investigative reporter for the Global Television Network.

 

SECOND EDIT: According to CBC Hamilton, longtime reporter and former "LIVE at 5:30" (now "Square Off") host Donna Skelly and noon/6pm weather guy Matt Hayes are among the 159 who have been let go today.

 

THIRD EDIT: Sean O'Shea just reported on Twitter that CHCH Sportsline is also gone and so is GTA/Hamilton TV veteran Mark Hebscher. Hebsy tweeted out (@Hebsyman) that Square Off is also gone.

 

A very dark day at CHCH Television indeed.

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Sorry for the double post but... the news is worse than first thought.

 

I'm now hearing that only 58 people will be qualified for new jobs while the rest will be laid off while the amount of news programming on CHCH will decrease even further from 25 to 17.5 hours/week.

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What is wrong with the media landscape in this country?

 

- The CBC is a disaster

- Sun News Network shut down

- Bell Media cut 300+ jobs

- Now CHCH lays off staff

 

Mismanagement of media properties in Canada must be a highly contagious disease.

 

The Canadian media has always been broken. Ever heard about what happened between 2007-2009?

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The Canadian media has always been broken. Ever heard about what happened between 2007-2009?

 

Of course. IMO, the big players never should have been permitted to acquire any of Chum's properties. However, I believe the real evil is in allowing cable companies/bdu's to own television networks. Their monopoly on the production and distribution of content is responsible for shattering our industry and the loss of all these jobs.

 

I can only hope those at CHCH are able to find opportunities elsewhere.

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This is unconfirmed but I believe this will be CHCH's new news schedule because they are going down to 17.5 hours/week, a lot worse than the planned 25 hours a week in original reports. This does equal 17.5 hours a week which would mean no more weekend newscasts at CHCH:

[MEDIA=twitter]675505325194244096[/MEDIA]

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Of course. IMO, the big players never should have been permitted to acquire any of Chum's properties. However, I believe the real evil is in allowing cable companies/bdu's to own television networks. Their monopoly on the production and distribution of content is responsible for shattering our industry and the loss of all these jobs.

 

I can only hope those at CHCH are able to find opportunities elsewhere.

 

Most likely they will have to go to the US if they want those opportunities, or perhaps Europe, based on my limited understanding of the joke that is media in Canada.

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What a strange operational structure CHCH had.

 

I've never heard of the station owner contracting a separate, dedicated company to produce the station's newscasts (Channel 11 L.P.)

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What a strange operational structure CHCH had.

 

I've never heard of the station owner contracting a separate, dedicated company to produce the station's newscasts (Channel 11 L.P.)

 

Not to sound heartless towards the staff who lost their jobs, but it was pretty shrewd of Channel Zero to have a structure like this...

 

Since "Channel 11 LP" is the one going into bankruptcy, Channel Zero does not have to pay severance and gets rid of its union at the same time - plus, the employees end up as "creditors" of the bankrupt company, and creditors with the most money owed to them will get paid first out of what's left over. Anything that happens to "Channel 11 LP" does not affect "CHCH" and Channel Zero.

 

In turn, "CHCH" can hire former 71 of the 159 former employees of "Channel 11 LP" into a non-unionized shop at (what I assume is) a lower salary. It's like they knew this was gonna happen, and CH0 was prepared to cut their losses when the time came.

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I'm very sorry to hear about the tumultuous times and layoffs at CHCH TV

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I think CHCH should change their Your Superstation slogan to a much lesser slogan, now that the station is deemphasizing their operations, big time.

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I always found it odd that an indie station in Hamilton (a bedroom community not unlike what Akron is to Cleveland) would produce that much news. I wonder what are they going to run in those vacated timeslots starting Monday.

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I wonder what are they going to run in those vacated timeslots starting Monday.

 

They could slot re-runs of Skippy The Bush Kangaroo because all Canadians love kangaroos.

Or Terrance and Phillip the cartoon.

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Poked through the schedule for Monday that's up on the website. There's a lot of paid programming slots but I'm not sure if this is just because it hasn't been updated yet. A few of the shows on there seem to be sourced from Bloomberg/Bloomberg TV Canada (which CHCH's parent company is running. They managed to poach CBC's Amanda Lang for it too), particularly The Daily Brief, but it's mostly 20/20 (CHCH has the simulcast of it on Fridays but ... strip reruns?) , and Justice with Judge Mablean (read: Bryon Allen court show)

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Well here's the revised schedule for Monday

Monday, December 14

12:00 AM The Watchlist cc.png

12:30 AM Peter Popoff Ministries

1:30 AM The Watchlist

2:00 AM Waiting...

4:00 AM Made For Each Other

6:00 AM The Daily Brief

7:00 AM 20/20

8:00 AM 20/20

9:00 AM 20/20

10:00 AM 20/20

11:00 AM Brilliant Ideas

11:30 AM Good Fortunes

12:00 PM 20/20

1:00 PM Justice with Judge Mablean

1:30 PM Justice with Judge Mablean

2:00 PM Brilliant Ideas

2:30 PM Good Fortunes

3:00 PM 20/20

4:00 PM The Pinkertons

5:00 PM The Daily Brief

6:00 PM Evening News at 6

7:00 PM Spin Off

7:30 PM Access Hollywood

8:00 PM The Pinkertons

9:00 PM Christmas Too Many; A

11:00 PM Evening News at 11

11:30 PM The Daily Brief

Wow! This almost looks like a cross between an American cable net and KRON. Hopefully, CHCH can pick up some decent syndication next year to fill the time.

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What is wrong with the media landscape in this country?

 

- The CBC is a disaster

- Sun News Network shut down

- Bell Media cut 300+ jobs

- Now CHCH lays off staff

 

Mismanagement of media properties in Canada must be a highly contagious disease.

 

Shaw also cut a bunch of jobs at Global as well. Since August all late night and weekend local news is produced and anchored out of Toronto, with reports from local reporters (Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and Toronto were exempt from this).

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Shaw also cut a bunch of jobs at Global as well. Since August all late night and weekend local news is produced and anchored out of Toronto, with reports from local reporters (Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and Toronto were exempt from this).

Not unlike when CanWest slashed jobs and payroll at Global (and the CH system, including CHCH).

I always found it odd that an indie station in Hamilton (a bedroom community not unlike what Akron is to Cleveland) would produce that much news. I wonder what are they going to run in those vacated timeslots starting Monday.

I view Parma as more of a bedroom community than Akron (which is simply too close to Cleveland to count as a standalone market). But Akron and Hamilton are analogous to each other as being modest cities in the shadow of a larger metropolis.

 

CHCH was acquired by Channel Zero for $1 (plus the obvious assumption of any debt incurred by CanWest) the day that the E! system was to shut down. I am assuming that E! programmed in the midday and afternoon hours, thus rolling news were instituted because of the resulting void.

 

Where Channel Zero failed with CHCH is the lack of any acquired dayside programming. They should have slowly phased out the superfluous news blocks in favor of game shows, talk strips and the like months or even years ago. Instead, they destroyed all of their brand equity after having kicked the can down the road for much too long.

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Shaw also cut a bunch of jobs at Global as well. Since August all late night and weekend local news is produced and anchored out of Toronto, with reports from local reporters (Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and Toronto were exempt from this).

That's prolly because of the Global News 1 initiative they're going to launch. Otherwise, this is baby soft compared to what Canwest would do.

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I think CHCH should change their Your Superstation slogan to a much lesser slogan

lolno. Look at CTV, then look again at their programming. The name itself is already a contradiction.

 

CHCH will keep the slogan, trust me. Doubt they'll use it that much, but they're still keeping it.

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