Rogers closes more local TV stations

More than 20 employees have been laid off following the closure of the company's Mississauga and Richmond Hill stations.
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Rogers TV has ceased operations at four local TV stations.

Rogers TV in Mississauga and Richmond Hill have shut down, effective immediately, Stephanie Leslie, manager of communications for Rogers Media confirmedThe company’s Toronto and Brampton stations have also closed, with all four channels set to go dark on Aug. 31. Until then, Rogers will offer a single channel across the GTA. As of Sept. 1, the four channels will become a free preview for Canadian specialty channels, Leslie told Playback Daily.

As a result of the closures, 23 full-time positions were affected in the GTA, in addition to the 10 employees who were laid off in February, when Rogers announced it had suspended production at its Toronto station. Leslie noted that 29 other Rogers TV positions were affected in regions outside of the GTA. The company will continue to operate 35 TV stations in small and medium-sized communities across Ontario and the Atlantic, including Durham Region and Newmarket, said Leslie.

“In today’s saturated media market, viewers in the GTA have access to, and the choice of, more news sources than ever before. Given the financial challenges associated with producing local news, the CRTC established greater funding flexibility in its new policy framework for local and community programming. Rogers will use this opportunity to better serve our audiences through the production of local news in communities where it is needed the most,” Leslie said in a statement.

The closures come just a week after Shaw Communications announced it would close community news stations in Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. Approximately 70 positions were effected with those closures.