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CHUM TV to cut 13 jobs in Alberta

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TORONTO - CHUM Television today announced an organizational restructuring of its Alberta television operations. The Access Media Group television services, which include ACCESS, Canadian Learning Television, BookTelevision and CourtTV Canada, will be integrated with CHUM's recently acquired A-Channel Edmonton, and be co-located in The Bay building at 10212 Jasper Ave.

All production, programming, operations, creative and educational services, sales, promotion, business administration and other related functions for these channels, including "CareersTV" and the popular and instructive daily live evening show, "HELP!tv" will join the A-Channel team and CHUM/Milestone Media's soon-to-be-launched urban radio station in the downtown Edmonton location, forming a concentrated creative media environment.

Master control and traffic for ACCESS, Canadian Learning Television and BookTelevision will be moved to A-Channel Calgary's state-of-the-art operations centre in downtown Calgary, which already also provides master control for A-Channel Edmonton. Master control and traffic for MTV2, currently based in Calgary, and CourtTV Canada, currently based in Edmonton, will move to the CHUM Television facility in Toronto.
The restructuring will result in the addition of four new positions in Calgary and a reduction of 17 full-time positions between Edmonton and Calgary.

"With the acquisition of the A-Channels, it was a logical move to combine and maximize resources in Alberta," said Alan Mayne, chief financial officer, CHUM Limited. "Any decision that results in staff reductions is always difficult, but there are also many positive aspects to these changes. The addition of four television services and the new CHUM/Milestone radio station to downtown Edmonton will further support the on-going efforts to rejuvenate and re-vitalize the downtown core. In addition, ACCESS, the provincial educational broadcast service, will now also have a permanent presence in Calgary."

Ron Keast, president and CEO of Access Media Group added, "This is an exciting opportunity for our television services and talented and creative employees to be part of a new multi media centre in downtown Edmonton, along with our increased presence in Calgary."

The one-time costs associated with these changes will be approximately $440,000 and the net annualized operating cost savings are projected at approximately $900,000. This restructuring will also reduce the company's future capital cost requirements for equipment upgrades and replacements by approximately $2 million. The restructuring is expected to be fully implemented by late July 2005.

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