There will be no more weekend regional newscasts in Quebec City on TVA.

Citing the "devastating effects of the current media reality," Québecor announced Friday that it will cease production of its two weekend newscasts in the capital city as of June 19, in two weeks.

However, the media giant has pledged to keep its reporting teams on the ground on Saturdays and Sundays and to add their content to TVA's Montreal newscasts and LCN.

Québecor President and CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau blames "fierce competition from the web giants and Radio-Canada, significant declines in advertising revenues and a costly and unfair regulatory framework."


In a press release, the company explains that "in order to ensure the long-term viability of our activities, TVA Group must now make some difficult decisions." TVA Group points out that the end-of-day newscast in Quebec City was lengthened by 30 minutes in February 2021 to ensure 60 minutes of local coverage from Monday to Friday, a decision that is being upheld.

Quoted in the press release, Péladeau states that "producing news and programming that reflects the different regions of Quebec requires significant investment, and in the current economic and competitive context, we find it impossible to maintain the status quo. This measure is therefore not being taken lightly, but is intended to maintain the high quality and range of news that we are proud to produce in Quebec City."


The company complains that it is "the only one to be subject to such demanding conditions in terms of programming and local news, compared to competing media, including the public broadcaster Radio-Canada."

Quebecor accuses Radio-Canada of competing "unfairly with private broadcasters by profiting from colossal sums of public money, instead of adequately fulfilling its mandate, which is precisely to inform and enlighten the Canadian public, while taking regional diversity into account."

Quoting Péladeau again, the press release states that "it is imperative that government and regulatory bodies act quickly to implement the new Continuous Online Broadcasting Act (C-11) and to adopt Bill C-18, and to do so in order to provide more regulatory flexibility and fair treatment for the benefit of Canadian broadcasting undertakings."


The same arguments were made in mid-February, when TVA Group announced the elimination of 240 jobs—140 of them directly at TVA Group, with the remainder distributed among other Québecor entities—during the presentation of the company's annual results.

In May, following the publication of the company's first-quarter results, Péladeau said in an interview with Radio-Canada that he did not rule out the possibility of further cuts. At the time, TVA Group posted an $8.4 million drop in revenues.

TVA Group declined to be interviewed by The Canadian Press in connection with Friday's announcement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on June 2, 2023.