Saturday, July 15, 2006

The times, they are a-changin'...

I thought I'd post an update on here so those of you that heard about CHUM's restructuring and sale, can see how this has affected me.

On Wednesday, it was announced that as of January 2007, our control room will be run by an "overdrive" system. Although I'm still discovering what this means, basically all of the positions formerly held by humans, will be done by a machine. This resulted in the layoff notice of 40 positions in our newsroom, including camera, audio, lighting, floor director, PA, director, etc.

Wow, I thought last June was bad when our noon news was cancelled and 13 people lost their jobs. This is devastating. Although my position was not eliminated, it is still very upsetting to realize I will not be working with these 40 people anymore. After working 5 days a week for 7 years with these people, you establish relationships and friendships. The announcement definitely signaled the end of an era.

On top of the announcement of the restructuring, it was also revealed on Wednesday, that CHUM was bought by Bell Mediaglobe. It is very likely that they will, in turn, sell us again. What this means to the rest of the employees, I don't know. However, it has me re-thinking my career-path. Television broadcasting as I've known it for the past 7 years is changing.

It was very sad when I saw a story on CBC about some of the CHUM stations out west that eliminated positions, effective immediately. There were cameramen who had worked there for 30+ years, and they were showing them unloading their truck and handing over their keys. What a devastating blow. I understand that business is business and if you can run your company more efficiently, then that is, of course, what you should do. However, the human element of this really sucks. Kim, my friend from college, worked for the Barrie station and was laid off on Wednesday. Having just had a baby last year, I'm sure she is shocked and lost as to what to do next.

The silver lining for my co-workers is that they still have 6 months as employees to figure out what their next move is. However, it will not be pleasant during those months, I'm sure. Yuck. Hopefully my next post is a little more upbeat. :(

No comments: