Today's treeware effort, about the union challenge to last month's killer cuts to news programming at CHUM's Citytv and A-Channel stations, is here.
On July 12, when the $1.4 billion (yet-to-be-sanctioned) marriage between Bell Globemedia and CHUM Ltd. was announced, all eyes were on the enormity of the deal.
Only a relative few paragraphs were dedicated to the devastating news that CHUM was cutting as many as 281 jobs and hours of local programming.
Of course, in corporate-speak, it announced "plans for a new approach to local information programming at its conventional television stations across the country."
In half CHUM's TV markets, news was dramatically slashed.
So dramatically that the Communication, Energy and Paperworkers Union (CEP), the largest media union (and the one that represents us Star drones), last week filed a 24-page complaint to the federal broadcast regulator, calling for an immediate inquiry.
The cuts were draconian.
In cities such as Winnipeg, familiar faces and programs just disappeared. Programs that CHUM had either promised or committed to produce. Gone, without so much as a sign-off.
Not much to add to what I have written, or blogged here, here and here, except to say less news is NEVER good news. If CHUM couldn't make the programs work in those markets, they should have fixed them, not cancelled them.