Corus Entertainment Inc. reported lacklustre fourth-quarter earnings Friday as its CEO pointed to a challenging media industry landscape.
"The environment is so uncertain I describe it as distortions out there,” Doug Murphy told BNN Bloomberg in an interview on Friday.
He pointed to a shaky economic outlook and challenging industry conditions as reasons why the company has decided to use capital to pay off debt and re-focus on internal strategy. 
In particular, Murphy pointed to a strike by Hollywood writers earlier this year as mainly responsible for a drop in profits at his media company, as content production was hindered during the labour action.
"Our outlook was revised to say we’re looking at 15 to 20 per cent declines in revenue for advertising because we simply can’t drive the audiences, because we don’t have the script to content coming in from Hollywood,” he explained.  
Corus Entertainment Inc. has been battling with a decline in advertising revenue alongside a shortage in content, resulting in a disappointing quarter for the company. 

The media company headquartered in Toronto missed analyst exceptions for the fourth quarter and suspended dividends, according to earnings numbers released Friday. 
Investors punished the stock by sending it plunging more than 20 per cent to an all time low of $0.70 during late-morning trading on Friday. 

Corus was recently granted a letter from the CRTC indicating it would approve its request to cut back on Canadian content production.

Eased Canadian content regulations will give Corus more flexibility and better planning around content, Murphy said. 
"When your revenues are down like they were for us, 10 to 11 per cent on the year and the quarter, and your Canadian spending is up, that’s the wrong math for margins,” he said. 

Murphy said Corus is focused on broadening the company beyond traditional television broadcasting.

"Our strategy is to be video first,” he said. “We’re moving from beyond a television broadcast to be an aggregator of premium video across all platforms.”
While there has been meaningful revenue growth from its digital platform strategy, cost cuts have been mandatory to pay off debt and fund future strategy.  
“We’ve been reducing our head count (and) taking out costs across the business," Murphy said as he pointed to the sale of a non core Corus asset Toon Boom for $147.5 million earlier this year. 
"We just need to stay focused on execution," he said.