TORONTO—An expert report released today by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters paints a grim future for Canadian democracy, predicting more newsrooms to close as broadcasters bleed revenue to foreign giants such as Facebook, Netflix and Google.

“The COVID-recession is poised to kill off more media jobs at TV and radio stations, and it’s time for urgent action by the federal government, which we have been saying for years,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “Our newspapers are already in a downward spiral, so the question is who is going to be left watching the politicians and the powerful to preserve our democracy.”

The detailed report prepared by respected media expert Ken Goldstein found the COVID crisis may vapourize $1 billion in broadcasters’ expected ad revenue in the next two years. He projects the continuation of massive business losses leading to closures of radio and TV stations across the country. Rural stations and independently owned news organizations are especially at risk according to the report. Radio stations have experienced revenue drops of 63% while television ad revenue is down 44% as advertisers conserve cash due to the pandemic.

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