Most noon, weekend CTV newscasts cancelled as part of cuts at Bell Media

Almost all local noon and weekend newscasts on CTV will come to an end as part of a massive workforce reduction at Bell announced today that will see 4,800 staff positions eliminated, less than 10% of those within the Bell Media division.

In a memo to the Bell Media news team from Dave Daigle, Vice President, iHeartRadio, Local CTV and Bell Media Studios, and Richard Gray, Vice President, CTV News, staff were told that to make up for annual losses in the news division of more than $40 million, “we are reducing staffing levels and ending a number of news programs to further address the ongoing financial crisis facing our industry.”

Effective immediately, CTV News @ Noon newscasts on all CTV stations except Toronto, are ending, in addition to the 6 p.m. and late night weekend newscasts on all CTV and CTV2 stations except Toronto, Montréal, and Ottawa. CTV newscasts will also end on federal stat holidays on all stations except Toronto.

Within the news division, CTV News Channel programs The Debate, This Hour and Top 3 Tonight are ending, to be replaced by a 6 – 10 p.m. weeknight broadcast, with weekday daytime newscasts on the channel to be extended in length. Weekday daytime programming on BNN Bloomberg will also be streamlined, resulting in fewer separate broadcasts.

Multi-Skilled Journalists will replace reporter/technician teams in Alberta, Manitoba, Québec, and Atlantic Canada “to match newsgathering practices in other provinces and at CTV Local Stations across the country,” with additional correspondent changes to be made in Ottawa.

The network’s flagship investigative series W5 will also evolve from a standalone docuseries to a multi-part, multi-platform investigative reporting unit. That content will be featured across CTV National News and CTV News platforms.

“As you know, the state of Canada’s news business remains one of intense transition as newsrooms across the country seek to become more nimble, multi-platform in their content sharing approach, and cost effective in attempts to address persistent declining advertising revenue and shifting news consumption habits,” the memo stated. “Despite much change and hard work having been done at CTV News, steep financial challenges continue to exist. Losses across our combined news operations remain in excess of $40-million a year. At the same time, we now know the Online News Act will do little to help.”

“Changes that impact the work we do, in which we take so much pride, are never easy, especially for our valued colleagues leaving the organization,” it continued. “The power of CTV News has always come from our collective strength – the combination of impactful national news services, deeply connected local newsrooms, and now a compelling digital news offering that consistently beats any in the country. Despite these changes, the same remains true today. We can and will remain #1 by dedicating ourselves to the continued creation of exceptional news content, while at the same time strategically transforming CTV News.”


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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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