Rogers cuts jobs, programs at Citytv stations

TORONTO (Reuters) - Rogers Communications said on Tuesday that it was cutting jobs and programs at its Citytv stations across Canada as the recession and the drop in advertising revenues squeeze broadcasters and publishers.

Rogers, which owns Citytv stations in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg, did not say how many jobs it was cutting.

Two Rogers spokeswomen were not immediately available for comment. Unconfirmed media reports said 60 jobs had been cut.

“Today’s changes, although difficult, are necessary to align our operations with the economic and regulatory realities of our industry,” Leslie Sole, chief executive of Rogers Media Television, said in a statement.

“We are improving our core business by tightening our operations and concentrating on the strengths of our top performing local programs.”

Rogers cut 900 jobs across Canada in November, including 20 percent of its executives, in an effort to streamline operations and better respond to the downturn.

The recession has forced a number of broadcasters to cut staff and programing, with companies selling or closing some stations, particularly in smaller markets.

($1=$1.03 Canadian)

Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Rob Wilson