CTV Vancouver has experienced another round of layoffs resulting in the loss of several long-serving behind-the-scenes employees.
Bell Media communications confirmed the job cuts without disclosing how many employees or which departments were affected.
“CTV News is expanding its digital operations to ensure we remain a leader across both digital and linear platforms,” reads a statement provided to Broadcast Dialogue. “While some traditional roles have been impacted by the expansion, we are also creating a substantial number of new digital news positions.”
Among those impacted are ENG/SNG flight camera operator Murray Titus, who had been with CTV since 1997. In addition to working in News Gathering Helicopter Operations with CTV Vancouver, Titus had worked with CTV Olympic Consortium Helicopter Operations for the 2010 Winter Olympics and 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin. More recently, he led SNG Operations for CTV Network coverage of the Southern Alberta floods.
“Well ol’ Choppermurman has taken his last flight,” Titus wrote in a Twitter post. “It’s been an honour and although it stings just a bit at the moment, I choose to celebrate a career that gave me 15 years of flight chasing news. Murman Out.”
David Alexander, who had been ENG Operations Manager since 1998, was also a casualty of the layoffs, in addition to crew chief/floor director Jim Walsh, who had been with CTV for more than 21 years. In total, about a dozen staff were let go, primarily in editing and camera positions.
According to Unifor, which represents local TV news staff across the CTV chain, Bell told journalists and field technicians back in May to expect a mix of retraining, layoffs, and new digital jobs, with a net reduction in staffing. At that time, the union said cameramen and reporters were told they must reapply for new classifications involving a mix of duties, or take severance packages (reportedly equivalent to 66 weeks). Editors and cameramen in other bureaus were issued layoff notices or severance packages.
Well ol’ Choppermurman has taken his last flight. It’s been an honour and although it stings just a bit at the moment, I choose to celebrate a career that gave me 15 years of flight chasing news. Murman Out. https://t.co/cUHpE2fvWp
— Murray Titus (@Choppermurman) July 25, 2019
A lot of really good, talented people were laid off at CTV Vancouver today. Thinking of all my former colleagues navigating this change.
(This is a very sanitized version of what I want to tweet but here we are…)
— Breanna Karstens-Smith (@Breanna_KS) July 25, 2019
CTV Vancouver has changed the work done by people in the news dept. Journailsts & camera ops all trained to shoot, write and edit for TV and web! All of us succeeded but apparently that was not enough to save our jobs.i suspect we are only the first wave of layoffs
— von adler (@adler_von65) July 25, 2019
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