By David Farrell
Bell Media has nothing to talk about.
The August 15 firing of CTV National News anchor Lisa LaFlamme has Bell Media circling its wagons as a crescendo of public figures blast the network and mothership Bell Inc. for dismissing her, with as much as two years left in her contract, according to the Globe and Mail. In a Twitter video, she said she was informed on June 29 that she would be let go and was asked to keep the details mum “until the specifics of my exit could be resolved.”
This raises two questions: one–how was it that she claims she was blindsided by the decision to remove her, and two–the theory that her termination was for budgetary reasons now rings false as she would surely have worked out a package that carried forward until the end of her contract.
None the less, everyone from Lloyd Robertson to General Roméo Dallaire has been critical of the way her dismissal was handled, and even Bell Media has had to bow to public and media outrage by saying Friday Aug. 19 that it “regrets” the way in which her departure was handled. The network also now says it will launch a workplace review to be conducted by an independent party.
It’s the same defensive move that Corus Entertainment used to quell controversy of a different kind when Q-107 morning show host John Derringer left his top-ranked show and, presumably, the Corus ranks, amid allegation that heated an inflamed controversy.
It’s hard to guess what’s behind the mess that has become of LaFlamme’s dismissal. She helmed the nation’s top-rated evening TV news show, had earned high marks from her peer group, outwardly it seems the newsroom team were behind her, and the fallout from the PR debacle is likely going to cost the network rating points and that means ad dollars–plus a stinging kick to the company’s prestige.
Maybe it was because she didn’t want to see the show’s budget curtailed. Maybe it was because some didn’t like to have a strong woman countering management decisions. Maybe grey hair was a contributing factor. It’s doubtful we’ll ever know what really happened, at least not for a long time to come.
Meantime, retired CHFI personality Erin Davis shared her own thoughts about the mess on her social media platform, Erin’s Vlog.
Weeks after a chaotic Rogers network outage sent Toronto and much of Canada back to the dark ages, the media and telecommunications giant has released a video promising $20 billion in investments to make sure we never have to miss another notification or phone call again. In a video released across multiple platforms on Tuesday afternoon, Rogers pledged to invest $20 billion to prevent such a catastrophe from occurring in the future — double the amount the corporation stated they would spend on upgrades just a month earlier. – Jack Landau, blogTo
A Board nominated honour, the Ontario Hall of Fame is presented to individuals who have spent most of their careers working for private broadcasters and demonstrated a commitment to the highest standards of broadcast excellence.
Evanov founded and was President of Evanov Communications Inc., but started out owning minority shares in one radio station in Toronto in 1983 and expanded it to 19 across the country in 2020. In a news release, the OAB stated: “He stood firm and bucked the trend during an age when independent radio ownership had drastically declined, and where consolidation and concentration of ownership made the large broadcasters larger. It is one thing to operate radio stations, it is another to be successful, especially in major markets where competition is fierce.”