Rogers cuts staff at News 1130, Jack FM & Breakfast Television


Courtesy of Broadcast Dialogue

November 17, 2020

Rogers Sports & Media has made staff cuts at its radio and television properties in Calgary and Vancouver, cancelling Breakfast Television in those markets, as well as the JACK 96.9 (CJAX-FM) Vancouver morning show.

“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,” Andrea Goldstein, Senior Director of Communications, told Broadcast Dialogue in an email. “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.”

Goldstein said a “small percentage” of Rogers Sports & Media staff across the country are impacted by the staff reductions.

That includes a number of staff associated with the local Citytv Breakfast Television morning shows in Calgary and Vancouver to make way for a new, national version of the show. 

“In early 2021, we will be expanding the Breakfast Television brand and a new BT will air on Citytv in six markets across the country: Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal,” revealed Goldstein. “Decisions like this are never easy, particularly as they are not a reflection of the enormous talent, dedication, and passion displayed by the team members leaving the company.”   

Among the staff impacted at Rogers’ radio stations in Vancouver are News 1130 (CKWX-AM) meteorologist Russ LeCate, who had been with the station for more than two decades; senior managing editor Bruce Claggett, who had been with Rogers since 2003; longtime afternoon news anchor Jim Bennie; weekend anchor/producer Toby Kerr; and web editor/reporter Mike Hall. As part of newsroom restructuring, morning co-anchor John Ackermann will also move to afternoons.



  1. What a loss of talented people, among the best in the business. Jim Bennie! Such a pleasure to listen to. Russ Lacate! Is there a better meteorologist on Vancouver airwaves. These cuts just don’t make sense.

  2. It was rumored last year that a morning show will be broadcasting from Ontario west, and finally a Vancouver radio station get a change

  3. Rogers has the most troubled morning shows in this city. Known in that building for bad management for more than twenty years, lack of advertising revenue, and the pandemic, no surprise. How can Jack and Kiss morning staff continue on with so few listeners and high salaries.

  4. I really like(d) listening to Russ Lacate and I believe that it is a huge loss. I see he has posted a very positive message on Twitter taking the high road when clearly he has been unfairly terminated. I certainly wish him and his family the best. I will miss Jim Bennie’s humour and experience on the afternoon show. The News 1130 afternoon shift needs a reader like Jim or Kurtis Doering. with a pleasant voice. Sadly, I just can’t listen to the current voice that is so high-pitched, it hurts my ears and I change the dial. All the best to Russ and Jim in their future pursuits.

  5. Some very fine people at News 1130 have been cut. Wishing them all the best. As for BT, a “national” show will probably be even less interesting than the (eliminated) local version.

  6. So Rogers plays the Grinch again…with it’s usual lack of Xmas cheer. Very sorry for those fine broadcasters who got beached,and in particular Jim Bennie who I got to know while working in the market. In the words of Stan Rogers “Rise again,Rise again.”

  7. It seems that the ownership of West Coast entities doesnt give a rats ass about the listeners and viewers out here in the uncivilized West.
    Why dont they just pull the plug on all of their local programing. Maybe some Western based politicians might open their eyes to how poorly our confederation is functioning.

  8. I’m on the outside, looking in as it were, trying to imagine the psychological pressure in this industry in recent years, where every day could be your last day, often for no discernible reason. That has to take a toll.

  9. People in the broadcast biz have had years to figure out that these big companies were cutting, and yet, most failed to believe they were vulnerable. That arrogance, coupled with not having prepared Plan B, tells me they’re just not as smart as they think they are. I hope those laid off do in fact have a backup plan. Those who did not, let this be a lesson. As one grizzled, wiley veteran of the radio trenches once told me ‘everyone is valuable, no one is necessary.’

  10. Apparently the wood chipper hit nation wide–layoffs in several markets including Halifax and Ottawa, so it’s not just a western Canadian thing. Although it is true that Toronto based “leaders” have no clue what the west is about. Oh–Bell also put the squeeze on a few stations this week too.

    That said–name an industry that’s not throwing people out the door of late ? Very few jobs/careers have the stability and security we once had . To that, most everyone who has been in a job/industry for any great length of time can generally see the wood chipper coming. Was a time when we’d calculate our retirement date and pension plan. Now we pontificate on our severance
    package and have a future plan in place. There’s always good jobs for good people !!!

  11. Again great radio and television personalities get hit hard when will the media giant’s learn that these cuts effect the loyal listener.Maybe the managers at the top should move on also its a sad day for local radio and TV

  12. Again great radio and television personalities get hit hard when will the media giant’s learn that these cuts effect the loyal listener.Maybe the managers at the top should move on also its a sad day for local radio and TV

  13. I have a suggestion. Why doesn’t Rogers find some old Coaxial Cable somewhere and tie their feet to one of their transmitters. It would sure save on Light Bulbs for the xmas seeaon.
    They should all be fried!!!

  14. Since their sign-on, in 1996, News 1130 has been my go-to radio station. I will truly miss the long term professionalism of both meteorologist, Russ Lacate and announcer, Jim Bennie. Always a joy to listen to.

  15. What if all this talent got together and started their own broadcasting venture? And instead of broadcasting the 4 am drops, which makes CBC/CTV/Global etc indishtinguishable from each other, broadcast some actual truth and interview people who are not going to parrot the narrative.
    ….. I wonder if there is a market for that?

    Sure, it’s too bad, because it’s real people and real families. Just like the real people and real families that have been destroyed by them broadcasting the narrative about the “pandemic” and the like. The very people and families that would justify companies to advertise on the radio and tv stations that no longer can justify to do so and hence the bean counters rush in.

    Funny how that sort of thing is all interconnected.

  16. So they let the high priced talent go. Now they will have some inexperienced people do the job instead and the product will be worse for it. Then Rogers will lose more money and they will have to let more people go. Rinse and repeat.

    It’s not as if Rogers has ever been interested in providing a good product in anything they do.

  17. We will miss our morning team, Paul, Charis and Jeff. They were so relatable and hilarious. Theyd made getting up at 5:00a.m. and getting ready for the day fun! Not sure if a new team will be able to fill their shoes We wish Paul Charis and Jeff all the best and stay safe!

  18. Jeffs post got me thinking. Become a talent agent for radio and TV personalities
    All applicants MUST be a visible minority. Other things were looking for would include but not be limited to sexual disorientation , physical defects, criminal record, recovering (fill in the addiction)

  19. @13 As you know, so-called progressives like to use capitalized-letter terms. I believe what you are looking for is this: BIPOCFUCKUP with respect to what talent agencies are looking for.
    As ever, it will be Old Stock Canadians of every stripe and colour to rebuild things once they have been “woked and broked”

  20. Never listen to Jack again management sucks firing everyone before Christmas hope the lady or man that did this gets fired now Bad choice

  21. Billy Weaver- Mid November firing is not a Christmas firing and your response would have been the same thirty days from now. Its a group decision of managers, maybe two or three who make decisions like this. I think this decision was made a long time ago, as the program was horrible from day one.

  22. Hey Bennie! I’d jet (get it?) over to NW and apply for a job where some of their amateur news readers are pathetic. Emily whatever her name just announced “Thee” again instead of “The.” These types of annoying mistakes happen all the time at the once great NW.

  23. @cephas . I agree. NW has fallen to new lows. Their newscasters are brutal. Like I said, they punt older white males like Schintz. They keep amateurs like lazatin, ubels and the sort. The only reason Gord MacDonald is still there “singing” the news is because of his Pro Trudeau, & Pro BC NDP enthusiasm.

  24. The bastion of balanced reporting Is Simi Sarah filling that role?
    Twice on her program Vaughn Palmer has told her that he feels Horgans early election call has contributed to covid problems
    Today he pointed out 20,000 new cases since the Sept election call. Ms Sarah listens politely. She does not disagree with him she makes a generic non comital reply
    Imagine if Palmer was accusing a BC Liberal? Ill bet Ms Sarah would be screaming for the remained of her show

  25. I’m absolutely devastated. No other morning news show can compare to Breakfast Television and I don’t want to watch one from Toronto! So LOVED Russ Lacate and Thor Daikow and Greg. They were part of the family. We celebrated weddings, births, graduations with these people.
    How very unfeeling and uncaring the management was to let all these amazing people go right before Christmas and in the middle of a pandemic. I have to wonder just how well they are sleeping at night. Very insensitive…

  26. I’m totally disheartened about the loss of Russ Lecate. He had become as much a routine for me in the morning as pulling my socks on. The main reason I would turn on News1130 was to hear his familiar voice giving me the current weather prognostication. He will be sadly missed.

  27. I stopped watching CTV news a few years ago because of the mass firing, which Michael Kuss was a victim of and Jack way before that, Recently I stopped listening to Z95.3 for the same reason. COVID-19 cost me my job because the shareholders needed profit, after 20 years on the job. I see the same has been done to Russ LeCate. I listened to 1130 for the last time this morning. Before Christmas shows how heartless Rogers is. I’m glad I have no tv service or phone registered with this company, and I know I never will.

  28. I quit anything Roger’s in 2010 after 18 years as a cellular phone customer. They stiffed me on a cell bill and thought that I was just bluffing when I said that I would go somewhere else!
    They lost a long term customer for $50.00.
    I went to Koodo and I never looked back.
    All Roger’s cares about is money! They don’t care about customers or staff. It is Roger’s loss.
    I no longer listen to anything Roger’s.

  29. Big surprise. The station should just officially change its name to “All Covid, All the Time!” The new jingles are brutal, the new meteorologist woman’s voice…I don’t even know where to begin. I am turning them off forever. Russ Lecate was the soul of the station.The station no longer has a soul. That smiling voice introducing the station now: “THIS IS…NEWS 1130!” So glib and fake…and those brutal, ill timed Spence Diamond Ads?

  30. I was wondering what happened to Russ and Jim so looked it up and was shocked to find out that they had been terminated.It seems that age-ism is at the core again!!
    Andrea Goldstein, remember what goes around comes around!!
    I am so-o-o sad to support such abusive behaviour so definitely will not be listening to your station

  31. I have wondered why I no longer hear Mr. Lacste I have found why. The wrong people making the wrong decisions. I have found my name on layoff lists. I will find a different news station that to listen to daily. I know it’s not much but, it’s the least I can do


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