Quebec media giant TVA lays off more than 500 workers

'The necessary measures we are taking will change the way we do business to withstand the market pressures and face the competition'

Quebec media giant TVA lays off more than 500 workers

TVA Group, one of Quebec’s media giants, has announced a reorganization plan that will result in the elimination of 547 positions – 31% of TVA Group’s current workforce.

The layoffs will include 300 positions in in-house production, 98 positions related mainly to the operations of TVA’s local stations and 149 positions in other departments.

These are not the first layoffs the company has announced. In February, TVA Group eliminated 140 professional and managerial positions in February, reduced content production costs and cancelled some programmes. However, these efforts were not sufficient in bringing the Corporation to sustainability.

“The deficit TVA Group is currently running is simply no longer sustainable. We have a responsibility to correct the situation. TVA has historically been an important vehicle for Québec culture, language and news. We have a duty to preserve it and ensure its sustainability. The necessary measures we are taking today will change the way we do business in order to withstand the market pressures and face the competition,” said Pierre Karl Péladeau, President and CEO of TVA Group and President and CEO of Quebecor.

“We will refocus our activities, reduce our operating costs and concentrate on the strengths that set us apart and make TVA Quebec’s favourite television network. Our goal is to be able to continue offering viewers original Quebec content, to continue investing, and to bring all Quebecers reliable coverage of news and major sporting events.”

Layoffs part of extensive reorganization

The layoffs are part of an extensive reorganization plan with the goal of reducing the corporation’s operating costs and streamlining its workforce in order to safeguard TVA Group’s core businesses so that it can continue providing the best local content and trusted, high-quality news coverage throughout Quebec.

According to the announcement, the reorganization plan is necessary because of the challenging financial, economic and competitive environment affecting TVA Group and the entire industry. In the third-quarter financial results, TVA Group reported a year-to-date loss of nearly $13 million for its Broadcasting segment, compared with $1.6 million for the same period last year.

The reorganization plan will consist of three parts:

  1. Cessation of in-house production of entertainment content
  2. Restructuring of the news division
  3. Optimization real estate assets

As part of these steps, TVA Group will focus on its role as a broadcaster and end in-house production of entertainment content by its TVA Productions subsidiary. The company will also reorganize its news crews based in Montreal, Quebec City and its local stations in the rest of Quebec.

Despite the major reorganization and workforce cuts, Péladeau made it clear that TVA group would not be disappearing from the media landscape.

“There is no question of TVA Group disappearing from Quebec’s media and television landscape. Its programs are landmarks on Quebec’s distinctive cultural landscape. They bring Quebecers together. We have always been able to innovate and adapt to major upheavals in the industry. Just as we rose to the challenges in print media, which were similarly disrupted by the Internet in 2000, I am confident that we will meet today’s challenges in television,” he said. 

Layoffs ‘dramatic wake-up call’

The news promoted a quick reaction from Quebec politicians, who said the move will be a massive for the province.

"The restructuring at TVA is a dramatic wake-up call: more than 500 television craftspeople laid off, the industry weakened like never before, and our French-language culture weakened," Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Mathieu Lacombe, Quebec's minister of culture and communications, said the news was sad, especially for the employees affected by the layoffs. Those who lost their jobs are now feeling incertitude, he said, and "this is a difficult time for them, and their families."

The minister also said that the news industry has been facing a challenging crisis, as news business models aren't functioning well in the digital age.

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