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Rogers dumps CityNews channel after 20 months

A Rogers Plus store sign is seen in Toronto February 16, 2011. Rogers said Thursday it will shut down its CityNews channel after 20 months.

MARK BLINCH/REUTERS

Rogers Communications Inc. is pulling the plug on its specialty CityNews channel after 20 months of operation.

Scott Moore, president of broadcast at the Rogers Media division, announced the decision to immediately shut down the channel on Thursday.

He also said Rogers is ending the English-language South Asian newscast as well as production operations in Alberta.

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"Today, we made changes to the company's television strategy to reflect evolving viewer habits and the global structural shift in advertising," he said in a statement.

The new strategy is to focus news resources in Toronto on Rogers' 24-hour news radio station 680News as well as its CityNews on City television program, he said.

The changes will affect 2.5 per cent of the broadcast unit's work force, he said.

Reports say 62 jobs will be lost.

"While difficult, these changes enable us to continue to focus our efforts where we know the market is growing, while helping us to effectively manage our costs," said Mr. Moore.

Rogers launched CityNews in October of 2011, drawing on resources and personalities from other media properties such as 680News, Sportsnet, Maclean's magazine and MoneySense.

CityNews borrowed the 680News radio format, with regular traffic, weather, sports and business updates throughout the day.

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The federal broadcast regulator granted Rogers the license for CityNews in late 2008.

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About the Author
Quebec Business Correspondent

Bertrand has been covering Quebec business and finance since 2000. Before joining The Globe and Mail in 2000, he was the Toronto-based national business correspondent for Southam News. He has a B.A. from McGill University and a Bachelor of Applied Arts from Ryerson. More

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