CanWest MediaWorks Inc today announced it is developing state-of-the-art Broadcast Centres at its stations in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, and Toronto to support the production needs of its local television stations across Canada. This progressive approach to local news production will enable CanWest’s news programs to immediately begin their transition to high definition and will improve the operational efficiencies of its Global and E! stations across the country. This also mean that about 200 jobs will be cut in various cities over the next 18 months.
CanWest will be using the latest in broadcast technology, including digital newsroom systems and virtual sets, to create a state-of-the-art look and feel to its newscasts across all stations, large and small. Through the development of a sophisticated broadband network CanWest’s local television stations will now be able to share content of interest to Canadians, by Canadians, faster than ever, across its entire operations.
News staff in each market will continue to generate local content. All content will be delivered to a Broadcast Centre and packaged into a program format for air. Local anchors will continue to deliver the news from their local stations.
“We are working towards becoming a leading edge, HD-ready operation by upgrading our equipment to meet the demands of the changing broadcast environment,” said Christine McGinley, Senior Vice President of Station Operations, CanWest MediaWorks. “This innovative redesign of our local conventional television stations will result in significantly improved efficiencies across our broadcast operations.”
“With this dramatic new technology, we will ensure our long term success as a home-grown news gathering operation,” commented Steve Wyatt, Senior Vice President, News and Information Programming, CanWest MediaWorks.
Approximately fifty new staff roles will be created in total in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, and Toronto to enable these Broadcast Centres to manage the additional workload, while staffing levels in other markets will be reduced. Once the new system is fully implemented, overall staffing levels will be reduced by approximately 200 positions across the country.
The first Broadcast Centre is planned to be opened in Vancouver in Spring 2008, with the other three expected to be operational over the next 18 months.