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CBC cutting back evening news, in-house production

TORONTO (NEWS1130) – The CBC says it is cutting back dinner-hour newscasts and in-house production in a bid to shift its priorities from radio and television to digital and mobile services.

The public broadcaster announced its five-year strategic plan Thursday. The CBC has been struggling with federal budget cuts, flagging advertising revenues and the loss of hockey rights to Rogers Media.

In a story published on the CBC website, the broadcaster said it plans to have 1,000 to 1,500 fewer employees by 2020, although it says that goal will in part be fulfilled by retirements and attrition.

These staff reductions are in addition to the 657 job cuts it announced in April.

CBC president Hubert Lacroix was quoted in the story saying the CBC will not close any stations across the country, but 90-minute evening television newscasts will be cut to 30 or 60 minutes.

The move to “significantly” reduce in-house production will not include news, current affairs or radio.

The CBC says fewer documentaries will be directly produced by the broadcaster but it did not say whether it would eliminate the documentary department completely.

CBC personalities including Peter Mansbridge, David Suzuki and Linden MacIntyre have signed a petition to CBC executives opposing the cuts to documentaries.