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Bloomberg TV Canada slashes its two original shows

Bloomberg TV Canada is eliminating its two original in-house Canadian business programs, including its marquee evening interview show, in a move that sees more than 20 people lose their jobs.

The about-turn for Bloomberg TV Canada comes roughly 19 months after the station's highprofile roll-out that saw it snag anchors such as Amanda Lang, formerly of the CBC, and Pat Kiernan, a well-known Canadianborn but New York-based TV personality.

Twenty-two people involved in making two in-house shows will lose their jobs as a result.

"Bloomberg TV Canada is grateful for the dedication and hard work demonstrated by those involved in the production of these shows and wish them the best going forward," said a statement Thursday from Nick Bannard, a spokesperson for Channel Zero, the owner of the station, which has a partnership with Bloomberg LP.

In the same statement, Channel Zero said it will be "changing the focus" of its programming effective Sept. 1.

Mr. Bannard declined to comment on the details of any new programming other than stating that Bloomberg TV Canada will "continue to be a business news and information channel," and that "reporting from the different Bloomberg studios and offices around the world, including the Canadian locations, will continue."

On Thursday, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved a new licence that requires the station to run Canadian programming 35 per cent of the time as of Sept. 1, up from the current 25 per cent. It is unclear how Bloomberg TV Canada will fulfill those content requirements.

While Bloomberg Television in the United States is owned and operated by media colossus Bloomberg LP, Bloomberg TV Canada is owned and operated by independent Canadian media company Channel Zero.

Bloomberg TV Canada launched in November, 2015, and competes with BNN, which is owned by Bell Media, a division of BCE Inc. BNN was founded in 1999 and broadcasts live content throughout the business day. In the most recent figures available, it made a pretax profit of $11.1million in 2015, down from its recent high-water mark of $14million in 2013, according to data from the CRTC.

BNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Financials for Bloomberg TV Canada were not available and Mr. Bannard did not respond to an inquiry for details.

© The Globe and Mail

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