The Rogers-Shaw merger could mean less local news in Kingston and several other communities where Rogers is not present, according to some speakers at CRTC hearings on Tuesday. The CRTC hearings have been ongoing since November 22.
Currently, Shaw Communications provides about $ 13 million to Global News for local news production and distribution. This is due to the requirement that cable companies contribute a portion of their revenue to local news programming.
If the merger is approved, Rogers plans to redirect these funds to its own broadcaster, CityTv. The CityNews division of CityTv has tried to expand in recent years. Last year, Rogers renamed its Ottawa news station CityNews and continues to make rebranding across the country.
In a letter sent to the CRTC in September, Corus Entertainment told the CRTC that the merger “will have a detrimental impact on the production and delivery of local news, including in markets such as Kelowna, Lethbridge, Saskatoon, Regina, Peterborough, Kingston, Saint John and Halifax, where Corus operates local stations, but Rogers does not. “
While Corus Entertainment has not spoken at the CRTC hearings, Telus Corporation’s director of broadcast policy and regulatory affairs told CRTC that this will effectively force Global News to turn to the Independent Local News Fund (ILNF) for funding.
If Global News turns to the Independent Local News Fund, it will likely consume more than half of the $ 21 million budget. Simpson and other Telus executives called for Rogers to continue funding Global News if the CRTC license transfer is approved.
Global News used to be a subsidiary of Corus Entertainment until Shaw Communications spun it off in 1999. The CRTC considers the two companies to be related to each other.
You can view the CRTC hearings on the Rogers-Shaw merger by visiting the CRTC website until November 26.