News

CBC reverses decision to merge northern newscasts


The CBC has abandoned plans to merge its three territorial morning radio newscasts into one, pan-northern news update, the broadcaster reported on Wednesday.

CBC North managing director Janice Stein had announced the change internally on Monday, saying the move to one newscast would free up staff in Yukon and Nunavut to do more reporting from smaller communities.

On Tuesday, Stein told Cabin Radio she "could not see" any likelihood of that decision being reversed or amended.

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However, on Wednesday morning, the CBC reported Stein had cancelled the plan.

"Overall the response we received from staff and the community was not supportive of the change," the CBC said Stein wrote in an email to staff.

Two CBC staff members in Yellowknife separately confirmed the email's contents to Cabin Radio.

The decision to merge newscasts had been universally panned – by CBC journalists in the three territories, listeners, and even political leaders. Yukon Premier Sandy Silver on Tuesday asked his NWT and Nunavut colleagues to join him in lobbying the CBC's president for the change to be dropped.

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It's not clear if planned changes to the format of newscasts also announced on Monday – more reliance on short clips from interviews instead of longer-form reports by journalists – will still go ahead.

"We are moving ahead with consultation with staff for their ideas on how to move forward with our priorities," Stein told Cabin Radio in a brief response on Wednesday.

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