CBC Television has sent layoff notices to 79 employees at its Toronto production centre and plans to stop all in-house design.
The CBC will shut down its Toronto design operations and lay off all the set design, set decoration, carpentry, paint shop, special effects, hair, costumes and props crew. Only graphic designers and makeup artists for in-house programs survived the cuts.
The cuts were made because costs keep rising annually, but the CBC's allocation from the federal government has not risen in real terms in more than 20 years, said Fred Mattocks, executive director of regional programming and television production.
"It's necessary because English TV does not have enough money to meet all the needs of its schedule and programming," he said in an interview with CBC Arts Online on Thursday.
"We want to make much more Canadian drama," he said. "That requires money and that money has to come from somewhere."
Interesting decision there. Make more drama by firing the people behind the scenes.
But CBC never lacks for drama. And comedy. And tragedy. And bathos. And farce.