A memo from the Bell executive in charge of news says CTV Chief Anchor and Senior Editor Lisa LaFlamme was given the opportunity for a formal goodbye from the desk, but turned it down.
LaFlamme, 58, announced she’d been released from her contract with the network on Monday in a video posted to Twitter, saying she’d been “blindsided” by the company and asked to keep her termination quiet. The network issued its own release, saying it had made a “business decision to move its acclaimed news show, CTV National News, and the role of its Chief News Anchor in a different direction.”
Karine Moses, Bell’s Senior Vice President, Content Development and News, issued a memo to Bell Media news team members on Thursday morning “setting the record straight” on the details of LaFlamme’s departure.
Moses oversees programming across Bell’s English and French language TV, radio and digital platforms, including Crave and local and national news.
In the memo, she laments media coverage “filled with false narratives” asserting that “as a female leader at Bell Media with many years of service, I also want you to know that my experiences have always been consistent with a positive, collaborative, and inclusive environment.”
“I also want to specifically address accusations that Lisa LaFlamme was not given the opportunity to come back into the studio and have her career at CTV be appropriately celebrated,” wrote Moses. “I have the utmost respect for the contributions that Lisa has made over the last 35 years, and we all wanted to follow the customary practice you have seen in the past of giving proper on air send-off highlighting her major career achievements…she opted not to say goodbye to the public during a CTV National Newscast. While I wish things had been different I also respect her decision.”
The memo indicates that following being given notice on June 29 that her contract was being terminated, LaFlamme continued to work, covering the papal visit and anchoring during the week of July 25.
Moses also expressed her support for VP of News Michael Melling, who it’s been widely suggested had clashed with LaFlamme since his appointment to the role in January.
“Michael is a career journalist and has been a dynamic presence at CTV, leading the growth and digital transformation of CTV News Toronto, CP24 and BNN Bloomberg,” asserted Moses. “He continues to be instrumental in developing our multi-platform approach, paving the way for the future of news in Canada.”
Sandie Rinaldo will step in on the national anchor desk until Omar Sachedina takes up LaFlamme’s former role on Sept. 5.
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