Citing a decrease in its operating budget, the news division of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation announced layoffs Thursday.
Approximately 35 positions were impacted, most of them in the broadcaster's Toronto newsroom, a spokesperson for CBC said.
"Today, as some of you may already know, a number of CBC News staff were given notice of redundancy," wrote Jennifer McGuire, the editor-in-chief of CBC News, in a memo to staff. "This is part of a difficult but necessary exercise to manage a decrease to the CBC News operating budget this fiscal year."
McGuire said affected staff include unionized members of the Canadian Media Guild (CMG), unaffiliated employees, as well as members of management within CBC News.
A memo from the CMG, sent to its members on Friday, said the union was told of the impending workforce reduction several weeks ago, and that it has since worked with the CBC to minimize the number of involuntary layoffs at the broadcaster.
"The vast majority of this workforce reduction will take place through cost savings associated with retirements, through attrition, and through an agreement to not fill some positions which currently are vacant and not staffed," wrote Jonathan Spence, the president of the CBC/Radio-Canada Branch of CMG, and Kamala Rao, the president of CMG.
Spence and Rao wrote that less than ten actual redundancy notices have been served, and said those impacted may not ultimately be laid off if they can be redeployed.
In its 2018-19 annual report, the CBC reported a 14.5 per cent decrease in revenue. The public broadcaster, which has a mixed funding model from government and advertising, reported $490 million in revenue for 2018-19, compared to $573 million in 2017-18.
The steep year-over-year decline, however was in large part because the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games provided a boost to advertising and licensing in 2017-18. Excluding the impact of the winter Olympics, CBC's revenue from its ongoing activities fell 1.9 per cent in 2018-19, according to the annual report.
"Like every other Canadian media company, CBC/Radio-Canada faces challenges in the context of an ever-shifting media landscape with much disruption," McGuire added.
CBC has to contend with a digital advertising market dominated by sophisticated technology firms such as Facebook and Google.
According to the Canadian Media Concentration Research Project, Google and Facebook accounted for 74.3 per cent of online advertising spending in 2017, while the CBC had a market share of 2.2 per cent which resulted in approximately $300 million in advertising revenue.