Sachedina addresses CTV network controversy on first night as Chief Anchor

Omar Sachedina assumed the role of Chief Anchor and Senior Editor of CTV National News on Monday, Sept. 5.

Omar Sachedina assumed his role on the CTV National News anchor desk Monday night addressing the controversy around Lisa LaFlamme’s exit from the network head on.

On his first night succeeding LaFlamme as Chief Anchor and Senior Editor, Sachedina told viewers “we typically cover the news, but lately we have become the subject of it.”

“Over the past few weeks, Canadians have been having important subjects about ageism, sexism and racism. The fact that we can have these conversations and learn from them is one of the hallmarks of this great country and reminds us of the role we all have in making it even better,” Sachedina began.

“Half a century after my parents were expelled from Uganda and welcomed by compassionate and generous Canadians from coast to coast to coast, starting this journey tonight means a great deal to me. And it validates the promise of possibility,” he continued.”

“Finally, it is important for me to acknowledge the inspiration and mentor that Lisa LaFlamme has been to me over the years. Lisa, thank you for everything. Like many of you, I really wish Lisa’s goodbye could have been from here.”

“I know that welcoming me into your homes every night is not a right, it’s a privilege. I will work hard with our team to work to build your trust for that continued privilege. That’s my commitment to you and that is our commitment to you,” he asserted.

Sachedina found himself the target of public backlash as Bell Media rushed to name him as LaFlamme’s replacement following the veteran anchor’s revelation that her contract had been terminated prematurely after 35 years with CTV.

Prior to assuming his new role, Sachedina was the network’s National Affairs Correspondent and has been with CTV since 2009.

With the controversy continuing to make headlines weeks later and allegations from within the network of internal newsroom strife, CTV VP of News Michael Melling was placed on leave on Aug. 26 pending the outcome of an internal third-party workplace review announced earlier in the month.

Longtime anchor Sandie Rinaldo, who had been filling in on the late night anchor desk in the interim, told viewers as she signed off on Friday evening to welcome Sachedina into their homes.

“The past three weeks have been challenging to say the least, but we have 60 years of tradition at CTV National News sustaining us and an ongoing responsibility to you that we take very seriously,” said Rinaldo. “On Monday, Omar Sachedina moves into this chair as Chief Anchor inspired by Harvey Kirk, Lloyd Robertson and Lisa LaFlamme. Welcome him into your homes.”

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