In a significant recalibration of its business model, TVA Group is set to reduce its workforce by a staggering third as it grapples with shrinking audiences and dwindling advertisement revenues, cutting 547 jobs in the process. Based in Montreal, the broadcaster’s restructuring plan involves a considerable shakeup at its news division, along with ceasing in-house entertainment content production. As part of this strategy, the company is also looking to optimize its property portfolio, with its downtown-east headquarters potentially being reassigned for future use.
Pierre Karl Péladeau, the Chief Executive Officer of Quebecor Inc., TVA’s parent company, stated in a press release that the subsidiary’s rising deficit has become untenable. TVA is now refocusing its core operations with the aim to cut running costs and continue offering original Quebecois content, he explained.
The corporation identified the rising trend in streaming platforms and the transition of advertisement spending towards internet giants as opposed to traditional media as the primary sources for its financial woes.
Péladeau expressed that TVA Group has been seeking governmental and regulatory intervention for over a decade, lobbying for a modernized business environment that can accommodate the digital, global landscape. He pointed out how social media platforms benefit from news links without reimbursing for content and criticized CBC/Radio-Canada as unfair competition.
As part of attempts to arrest its flagging finances, TVA advocates removing advertisements from all CBC/Radio-Canada platforms as well as narrowing its public broadcaster mandate to better aid the private sector. It has also culled 140 professional and managerial positions in February, adopted new technologies, and shelved some programs.
Following Meta’s move to restrict Canadian journalistic content on its platforms in response to the Online News Act, Quebecor retaliated in July by pulling out ads from all its business divisions from Facebook and Instagram. The contentious Act seeks to compel technology companies like Meta to compensate news organizations for disseminating their content.
Péladeau argued that the current exigencies of the television industry warrant regulatory relief, flexibility, and targeted tax credits. Indicating the escalating challenges faced by the media industry, he lamented the worsening scenario. “The reality is that far from improving, the situation has exacerbated beyond measure. Despite the industry’s hardships, the continued disregard has compelled us to resort to extraordinary measures,” expressed Péladeau.