Response to CRTC Decision 2014-399, July 31st, 2014
The Unionized employees at Rogers Media operations applaud many aspects of the CRTC’s decision, especially those that affirm the importance of local programming to Canadians and we look forward to working with both the Commission and Roger’s to protect and strengthen daily original local programming in the near future.
The Commission turned down many of Roger’s requests that would have effectively changed the multicultural nature of their OMNI operations. We look forward to expressing a positive vision of local ethnic programming during next years review of the Ethnic Broadcasting Policy.
Rogers has been directed to apply for a network license for it’s National Hockey League plans and is now required through condition of license to calculate any local programming separately for NHL operations.
We are disappointed that Rogers did not take this opportunity to express a clear plan for programming that captures local multicultural issues and concerns. We hope to work with Rogers through the creation of advisory boards, that should include the creative professionals we represent, to achieve a sustainable 100% ethnic programming model for OMNI’s future by August of 2016.
It is of great concern that the Commission is allowing Rogers to operate their OMNI Edmonton license with only 1.5 hours a week of local programming and their OMNI Calgary license with only 3.5 hours a week of local programming.
We disagree with the Commission’s determination that requiring 14 hours of local programming at it’s OMNI operations would cost $2 million and create “undue financial burden for Rogers”. Rogers total revenues for 2013 were reported at $12.7 billion, $1.7 billion of that was in media with a $161 million adjusted operating profit.
This decision gives us hope for the future of multicultural and local programming and we look forward to working with Rogers and the CRTC in the future.
Stephen Hawkins, President Unifor Local 830M
Chairperson, Rogers Bargaining Units Council