News and Events
Holding management to account for eroding The World This Hour (TWTH)
•  Posted on  October 31, 2017  

The CBC/Radio Canada Branch Executive Committee of the Canadian Media Guild (CMG) wants to update members on our recent efforts to hold senior management to account for changes to the radio newscast The World This Hour (TWTH).

We heard from many CMG members about the decision, its potential impacts and how unhappy many of you are with the move. All expressed concern about Radio and journalism, and the future of news at CBC/Radio-Canada.

Our first step was to reach out to those directly affected by the decision.

We followed up with a letter to senior management outlining our concerns, questions, and arguments against the decision to shorten the TWTH to 4.5 minutes, based on what members told us and what management had said so far.

We led off our union’s letter to Heather Conway, Jennifer McGuire, and Susan Marjetti with the following:

“On behalf of CMG members at CBC/Radio-Canada, the CMG Branch Executive Committee is expressing our profound disappointment and disagreement with the decision to shorten the The World This Hour (TWTH) to 4.5 minutes. It is a direct blow to National Radio news and to a core Canadian service. We have heard from dozens of reporters, assignment staff, local show staff and not one person has expressed support for this ill-conceived move.”

After receiving our letter, senior management asked  for a meeting with members of the union executive. We had that meeting on Monday, October 2nd.

During that call, we asked senior managers pointed questions regarding:

•         the rationale behind that decision and how the decision was communicated to employees
•         reinvestment of new government funding
•         local impact

We also  pushed for a mechanism to include front line employees in a rapidly-evolving news landscape to be part of the conversation going forward.

In addition, we asked for regular updates on the impact to  local afternoon shows and a review of the changes to TWTH to assess the successes and failures.

In the meantime, the issue was also added to the agenda at the Corporate Steering Committee (a joint Union/Management committee whose purpose is the exchange of information pertaining to corporate strategies). TWTH was discussed under the rubric of the “government reinvestment in CBC/Radio-Canada and job creation.”

Everyone will likely have their own read of senior management’s answers (English only), so rather than parse these for members, we are providing the full letter.

Jonathan Spence
President, CBC Branch, Canadian Media Guild
On behalf of the CBC/Radio-Canada Branch Executive Committee