CBC President Doesn’t Rule Out Bonuses for Executives Despite Cutting 600 Jobs

In the wake of Canada’s public broadcaster, CBC, announcing mass layoffs, President Catherine Tait has come under scrutiny for not ruling out holiday bonuses for executives. 

The broadcaster disclosed on Monday that it would cut 600 jobs and leave 200 vacancies unfilled in the next year, citing budget constraints and a $125 million shortfall for the 2024-2025 fiscal year

READ: CBC/Radio-Canada Confirms 600 Job Cuts

But during an appearance on “The National,” Tait hesitated to confirm the absence of bonuses this year, stating it was too early to make such declarations, despite it already being December. CBC spokesperson Leon Mar later asserted that existing compensation agreements, including potential bonuses, were not under review.

The move to reduce English and French programming budgets will impact renewals, acquisitions, new television series, episodes of existing shows, and digital original series. This decision, coupled with Tait’s ambiguity on executive bonuses, drew criticism from Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre and NDP MP Peter Julian.

Documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation revealed that CBC awarded $99 million in bonuses between 2015 and 2022, including $16 million last year. While the federal Liberals have not commented on the bonus issue, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland expressed sadness over the cuts, but her response regarding exempting CBC from overall spending cuts remained evasive.

Comedian Stewart Reynolds captures the sentiments almost exactly in this response.

CBC and Radio-Canada, addressing the CRTC’s ongoing hearing on modernizing the regulatory framework for broadcasters, emphasized the need for financial support to sustain domestic production. As the broadcaster plans to “work differently” amid cuts, it is committed to protecting local news, prime time shows, and content serving Indigenous communities.

“We have not figured out all the details of this,” CBC executive vice-president Barbara Williams said.

“But we are looking to protect local, we are looking to protect news, we have a key investment in the kinds of shows that we have in our prime time. We have a strong and loyal audience to radio, we have a young, diverse audience that’s looking for us on digital.”

The financial challenges faced by CBC coincide with the federal government’s 3% spending cut across departments by the 2026-2027 fiscal year. While the broadcaster seeks increased funding, the specifics of its plan to navigate the announced cuts and its future remain unclear.

Information for this story was found via the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

Leave a Reply