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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