Bell Media has reduce employees and lowered on-air broadcasting roles as a part of a “streamlined working construction” that may influence a number of of its staple information shops throughout Canada.
On Tuesday, Bell spokesperson Marc Choma confirmed the corporate has made “programming adjustments” that have an effect on some on-air positions at stations together with Toronto’s Newstalk 1010 and Montreal’s CJAD 800.
“There are additional adjustments in roles, together with some departures, reflecting Bell Media’s streamlined working construction,” Choma informed the Star in an e mail.
“Because the media trade evolves, we’re centered on funding in new content material and know-how alternatives whereas additionally guaranteeing our firm is as agile, environment friendly and straightforward to work with as doable.”
Bell Media has not indicated what number of positions have been reduce. Nonetheless, in line with Cartt.ca, a Canadian telecom commerce publication, 210 workers can be laid off in Toronto alone.
Claude Feig, a sports-media broadcaster with Newstalk 1010, introduced his departure over social media on Tuesday, noting he was one among “many radio and TV folks” let go in Toronto. Lucas Meyer, a reporter and anchor with Newstalk 1010, additionally indicated he was leaving the corporate.
The cuts have an effect on not simply journalists however members of the public-relations and digital-marketing groups as nicely.
“To be trustworthy, loads of the workers are nonetheless at the hours of darkness concerning the particulars,” stated one worker affected by the cuts, who wished to stay nameless.
Bell says it’s Canada’s largest radio broadcaster, streaming 215 music channels and working 109 licensed radio stations in 58 markets throughout Canada. It additionally owns a swath of Canada’s most seen tv stations together with TSN, CTV, BNN Bloomberg, CP24 and extra.
The corporate was not too long ago criticized by members of parliament for taking $122 million in pandemic-related labour subsidies whereas growing dividend payouts to its shareholders.
Nate Erskine-Smith, Liberal MP for Seashores-East York in Toronto, not too long ago famous that BCE Inc., Bell Media’s dad or mum firm, had $5.2 billion in obtainable liquidity on the finish of Q3 in 2020, in addition to 10 per cent development in web income and 4 per cent development in year-to-date money movement from working actions.
“As a substitute of accessing that obtainable liquidity or maybe not growing that dividend, you thought it finest to entry public funds?” Erskine-Smith requested Robert Malcolmson, Bell’s chief authorized and regulatory officer, in a current parliamentary listening to.
The cuts additionally comply with the current appointment of Bell Media’s new president, Wade Oosterman. A number of senior executives have additionally left the corporate within the time since Oosterman took the helm in January.
At Queen’s Park on Tuesday, Premier Doug Ford known as the cuts “heartbreaking.”
“I simply need to let you know, preserve your chin up. You’re going to come back again. You’re going to get again in your ft,” the premier stated.
“Possibly you’ll discover a profession inside the media otherwise you would possibly discover it exterior the media.”