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Canada’s BCE cutting 4,800 jobs, selling 45 radio stations

Canada’s largest communications conglomerate BCE Inc. announced Thursday it plans to cut 4,800 jobs, or nine percent of its workforce, and sell off 45 radio stations across the country, reports AFP.

Bell Canada Enterprises Inc., the parent of Bell Media, said in financial filings that “traditional radio faces accelerated substitution from new music players and alternative streaming services.”

The sale of the dozens of stations — nearly half of its total holdings — to seven buyers will be subject to regulatory approvals.

The broad-based job cuts are part of the company’s largest workforce restructuring in nearly three decades, and come after it reported a more than 20 percent drop in its fourth-quarter profit to Can$435 million (US$322 million).

This is despite a slight uptick in revenues to Can$6.47 billion.

It marks the second round of layoffs in less than a year, after 1,300 positions — mostly in management — were cut in June 2023 as a result of declining legacy phone revenues and losses in its news and radio divisions.

Back then, it also announced the closure or sale of nine radio stations, and a consolidation of its news operations.

Many media outlets in Canada — as in other parts of the world — are currently in dire financial straits.

Canada’s struggling news sector has seen a flight of advertising dollars to internet giants Google and Meta, and hundreds of publications closed in the last decade.