Canada media group ends several TV newscasts after announcing 4,800 layoffs


TORONTO (AP) — Canada’s largest media and telecom company said Thursday it is ending multiple television newscasts and making other programming cuts after its parent company announced 4,800 layoffs and the sale of 45 of its 103 regional radio stations.

In an internal memo to Bell Media employees, it said news stations such as CTV and BNN Bloomberg would be affected immediately.

The radio stations being sold are in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

The memo, signed by Dave Daigle, vice-president of local TV, radio and Bell Media Studios, and Richard Gray, vice-president of news at Bell Media, said weekday noon newscasts at all CTV stations except Toronto would end. It is also scrapping its 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts on weekends at all CTV and CTV2 stations except Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.

Earlier, Bell Media’s parent company BCE Inc. announced it was cutting 9% of its workforce.

The company, in an open letter signed by Chief Executive Mirko Bibic, said 4,800 jobs “at all levels of the company” would be cut. Fewer than 10% of the total job cuts are at Bell Media specifically.

Some employees have already been notified or were to be informed Thursday of being laid off, while the balance will be told by the spring. Bibic said the company will use vacancies and natural attrition to minimize layoffs as much as possible.

The Unifor union said 800 members it represents were laid off in the Bell cuts, around 100 of which from the media sector and the balance from the telecom sector.

CTV’s long-running flagship investigative series “W5” will also cease to exist in its current form. The internal memo sent to Bell Media employees says the award-winning program will “evolve” from a standalone documentary series to become “a multi-part, multiplatform investigative reporting unit.”

Its reports will be featured on CTV National News, the CTV News website and other CTV platforms.

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