Budget slashed 80%, shortwave and newsrooms cut

RCI Director Hélène Parent informs staff of the impact of the huge cut to RCI's budget and services, April 4, 2012.

Sad  day at Radio Canada International today (April 4, 2012) as Canada’s national public radio and television broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada announced the impact of budget cutbacks on RCI.

The main points:

Radio Canada International’s $12.2 million dollar budget will be slashed by 10 million, leaving only $2.2 million. [Revised April 5: $12.3 and $2.3 million]

Two thirds of staff will be eliminated, leaving maybe 16, 20 perhaps 25 people.

Newscasts and newsrooms will be eliminated.

Shortwave broadcasting will be dropped, our work will now be limited to the web site.

The Russian service and the Brazilian program eliminated.

It’s being billed as a “transformation” – I think we would use other words. More details soon.

Suggestions, comments, questions welcome at:

rciaction@yahoo.ca

We are working on an action plan – should be able to provide details within a few days.

Thanks for your support!

Here’s the latest news and what you can do to help us: http://rciaction.org/blog/2012/05/04/govt-must-step-in-stop-cut-save-radio-canada-international/

Worry and concern at RCI

Today was a tough day. Tomorrow we expect to hear how we will be affected by last week’s federal budget cuts. We know that about 10 per cent of the budget of our national radio and television public broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada will be cut over the next three years. We don’t yet know how those cuts will be made. And in particular, since we are part of the public broadcaster, we have no idea how it will affect Radio Canada International.

As you can imagine, there are concerns. In 1990, in a similar situation, CBC/Radio-Canada facing severe cuts, announced it would close RCI, and basically said, if the federal government wanted an international service, it could pay for it. For a while it looked like we would be closed down. The government of the day cobbled together some money. But we lost half of our language services, half of our staff, and three-quarters of RCI original programming.

What will happen this time? We don’t know. We’ll get at least some of the details tomorrow, at 1:30PM (Ottawa time) in a close circuit TV meeting with the president of CBC/Radio-Canada, Hubert Lacroix.

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