Company owns 30 television stations and 105 licensed radio stations
courtesy The Canadian Press and CBC News Posted: Nov 20, 2017 2:56 PM MT
Bell Media is confirming union reports that it is laying off employees at radio and TV stations across Canada, including “phasing out” certain sportscasts and well-known anchors. (Darren Goldstein-Bell Media/The Canadian Press)
Bell Media is laying off employees, including prominent on-air personalities, at radio and TV stations across Canada.
However, the company won’t say how many, who or where.
Unifor, the union representing on-air and broadcasting technicians at 17 CTV stations, estimates 50 jobs are being eliminated at Bell Media’s TV network alone in the latest round.
It says CFTO sportscasters Joe Tilley and Lance Brown, along with on-air personalities such as BNN host Michael Kane and Ottawa CTV 2 hosts Melissa Lamb and Lianne Laing, are among those affected.
The union said the cuts mean the end of local sports broadcasts as of Dec. 27 at CTV’s flagship station CFTO in Toronto, a move it claims has already been made at CTV stations in Edmonton, Calgary and Montreal.
In an email sent Monday, Bell Media spokesman Matthew Garrow confirmed a union report that a number of employees were told last week their jobs would end due to a reorganization designed in part to address declines in advertising revenue.
“Like other Canadian broadcasters, we are confronting rapid change in the media marketplace including new broadcast technologies and viewing options and fast-growing international competition,” he said.
“As the media marketplace evolves, local radio and TV stations are facing significant declines in advertising, their only source of revenue. We need to reorganize and reduce costs to manage the impact.”
Garrow said Bell is cutting its local sports presence but will continue to have sports in its local newscasts.
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What this means, at least in Edmonton, is that the pathetic 11 minutes of local “news” in a 60 minute “news” cast is further reduced as we now have to sit through stories on the Eskimos and Oilers – stories that used to appear in the sportscast – when we should be finding out about fires and accidents. Shameful! Note to reporters: we really don’t care about what the neighbours think when something happens in the house down the street. Give us the facts and let us make up our own minds. We don’t need uninformed opinions and gossip from people who know even less than we do about what happened.
With each cut in on-air personalities, the pinheads who run media companies must learn that viewers/listeners go elsewhere.
Fewer viewers/listeners equals lower advertising rates, which equals lower corporate earnings…meaning fewer pinheads required at head office.
The stock price might edge up, but overall, has the company been strengthened by the layoffs?
Remember “the good old days?” when radio/TV stations were owned and run by families? I worked for some really fantastic employers back then, they treated me and my fellow workers like members of their family. They handed out great bonuses at Christmas time, threw wonderful parties for employees and their wives, summer bbq’s….you name it, we had it. They really expressed their appreciation for all that we, as employees, did to help make their stations a success….we loved our jobs.
Then, along came the corporations, buying out the family owned and operated radio stations, cutting costs, hiring more bean counters, firing really great and talented on-air personnel, left, right and centre.
The listeners began to hate what they were hearing….no personality, nothing innovative, they all started to sound the same….a bunch “narrow casting” stations with few redeeming qualities. As the listeners left, the ratings began to sag…people began to turn to other sources for their music, news and information. They were tired of being treated like an afterthought, in favour of more, more, more advertising being sold-off at ever decreasing rates….anything to make a buck.
Then, those big corporations began to blame everything/everyone else for their woes….demanding more and more for less and less from employees, advertisers, the regulators and their ever-diminishing audiences.
One local Victoria newscaster posted, words to the effect “that he bore no animosity having had a great run in the industry”….many colleagues from all over BC called it a “class act,” I say “perhaps,” but if I were still a part of that dying industry I’d be mad as hell at the treatment these long-suffering, hard-working, long-lasting pros have received.
I say “the hell with Bell” because I think they have proven themselves to be the most “inhumane” corporation to ever exist in this once proud and fertile industry. They’ve stripped it down to its bare bones and, mark my words, soon their assets will be sold-off, either little by little, piece by piece, or lock, stock and barrel, as they grab the last few pennies they can for their shareholders. The execs, of course, will benefit from all of this…..probably receiving huge bonuses, “golden handshakes” for enriching the bank accounts of all involved….except the hard working people who were treated like slaves and paid not much more.
It’s a sad, pathetic commentary on the demise and death of local radio as we once knew, and loved it.
Great post, Steve
I’m really sorry to say, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see Bell closed down the ctv vancouver island station, and simulcast on ctv vancouver. It was done back in the 60’s, when the majority of programming at CHEK Victoria, was done in Victoria, then CHAN bought them, and 80% of staff were laid off. This move left Victoria with no local news, something that was changed in later years. However there was the Noon Show, Club Six and Wrestling from the CHEK Studios on Epsom Drive out in Saanich. As for CFAX and KOOL, I’d love to see them become locally owned and operated once again. Am I really a Dreamer?
Here’s an message to the people that make decisions in the media business:
“The more you cut, the less I’ll watch or listen.” When you take away the quality, you reduce value. We’ve reduced the amount of money our business spends on local media, because it’s become irrelevant to our clients.
Show us quality, we’ll show you the money…
60 min of news has declined to 10 min of actual news, which is then re-hashed and supposedly served as an additional course. Weather news is over-played. Who cares about Northern weather in Toronto and GTA. Local opinions, less facts and “old stories” ( read “history”) have made us turn to 680 news on the radio. At least there, we get the “news” and if we miss it we have the opportunity to catch it later.
Shame on the new “news” format delivered by CTV. CBC isn’t much better with their new revised programs. Two stories do not equal what’s going on Nationally, locacally or internationally. If this keeps up, Canadians will be reduced to a bunch of myopic dummies.