Approximately 100 staff have been affected by a mass layoff at Rogers Media, including at Kingston’s K-Rock station. According to industry reports, four Kingston staff have been affected by the recent layoffs. Rogers Media also operates Country 93.5 and Kiss 102.7.
Radio show hosts Sideshow, from the “Sideshow, Ozz and Lew Show” and Eilish Sullivan are among those who have been laid off. Sullivan and several Rogers Sports and Media staff across Canada announced their departure on social media.
K-Rock 105.7’s programming appears to have been cut by more than half over the past six months. A web archive of the K-Rock 105.7 website shows their being 12 radio programs in August of 2020. The website now states that their are five radio shows in their programming lineup.
In a series of media rounds, senior director of communications Andrea Goldstein explained that the layoffs are part of a modernization strategy triggered by the global pandemic.
“We are modernizing our business to position us for growth as we face the continued effects of a seismic shift in the media industry from traditional to digital and the challenges of the global pandemic,” Goldstein said. “Today’s changes allow us to prioritize our focus in areas where we have the assets and capabilities to deliver best-in-class multiplatform experiences.”
Halifax radio hosts were especially hit hard, where over half their staff at News 95.7 were cut, including radio show hosts Steve MacArthur and Todd Veinotte. Radio staff were also laid off in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Sudbury and Montreal.
The Rogers Sports and Media Sector among the hardest hit of the Rogers family, an October earning release reveals.
“Our Media results this quarter and year to date have been significantly affected by COVID-19 and reflect the suspension of all major sports leagues from mid-March until the beginning of this quarter,” the earnings release said. “Additionally, our Media segment is affected by seasonal fluctuations, some of which relate to the typical amount of consumer activity and its impact on advertising and related retail cycle.”
As some live sports have returned, the company has been able to recover some of these losses.