Bell Media layoffs hit television hardest thus far

The extent of job losses at Bell Media is becoming clearer as parent company BCE proceeds with the layoff of 4,800 employees. Thus far, it appears the majority of job cuts in the media division have come at the expense of those working at its television properties, spanning CTV and CTV News Channel, BNN Bloomberg and TSN. Fewer than 10 per cent of the workforce reduction is said to come from within Bell Media.

Ramneek Gill

Among those impacted in Bell’s Toronto newsroom is Ramneek Gill, General Manager, CP24 & CTV News Toronto, who had been with the network since 2013.

Others caught up in this round of layoffs include CTV News Channel anchors Lois Lee and Angie Seth, CTV National News assignment editor Candy Chan, and CTV National News senior producer Allan Black and producer Johanna James and Tim Reed, as well as national editor Joseph Amato.

Jill Macyshon

Jill Macyshon, Winnipeg Bureau Chief for CTV National News, who had been with the network since 1998, is also a casualty, as are Montreal-based CTV National News reporter Vanessa Lee and Edmonton-based CTV National News journalist Bill Fortier, who had been with the network for more than 16 years, in addition to Alberta ENG technician Jay Rosove, and Edmonton production assistant Gary Mochoruk.

In the Parliament Hill bureau, reporter Kevin Gallagher, and producer Pam MacKenzie.

On the digital side, CTV Toronto digital writers and producers Noushin Ziafati and Tom Yun, and web writers Natasha O’Neill and Alexandra Mae Jones are impacted.

At BNN Bloomberg, Western Bureau Chief Tara Weber, News Director Alicia Harvey, Managing Digital Producer Holly McKenzie-Sutter, The Close host Jacqueline Hanson, and financial markets reporter and fill-in anchor Kumutha Ramanathan are among those laid off.

Cory Woron

At TSN, Sportscentre host Cory Woron, who had been with the network for 24 years, is out.

In Ottawa, Leslie Ann “L.A.” Barrett, a senior makeup artist who had been with CTV for 26 years, was also a casualty of Thursday’s job cuts.

Radio casualties include longtime CHUM Toronto morning show producer Caitlin Green and on-air personality Richie Favalaro, in addition to The Toby & Warren Show with Toby Johnston and Warren Barris on Edmonton’s 100.3 The Bear (CFBR-FM). Johnston had been in afternoons there since 2017 and Barris with the station since 2012 when he started as street teamer.

Unifor, which represents about 800 of the 4,800 Bell workers impacted (about 100 of those in the media sector), condemned the mass layoff in a statement Thursday, with its president Lana Payne saying the fact that the company is eliminating jobs while increasing its dividend adds insult to injury.

“Executives and shareholders are doing just fine while our members are being thrown out of work, including once again in the media. Our union does not accept the use of government policy changes as a smokescreen to justify the company’s actions,” said Payne.

This is the second major layoff at Bell Media since June, when it announced a workforce reduction of six per cent, amounting to 1,300 positions.

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Connie Thiessen
Connie Thiessenhttps://broadcastdialogue.com
Connie has worked coast-to-coast as a reporter, editor, anchor and host at CKNW and News 1130 in Vancouver, News 95.7 and CBC in Halifax, and CFCW Edmonton, among other stations. With a passion for music, film and community service, she led News 95.7 to a 2013 Atlantic Journalism Award and regional RTDNA award for Best Radio Newscast. More recently, she was nominated for Music Journalist of the Year at Canadian Music Week 2019. To report a typo or error please email - corrections@broadcastdialogue.com

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