Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bell Media Canada cuts 80 more jobs

The logo for Bell Media, owned by BCE Inc., is displayed on a Toronto building in a handout photo. Darren Goldstein/The Canadian Press 
Torstar News Service
Bell Media has cut 80 positions across several departments. It is the second round of reductions the broadcaster has made this year. In June, the company announced a reduction of 120 positions.

“I can confirm that a number of positions were eliminated at Bell Media today. The difficult decision was made as the result of continued financial pressure in relation to the industry-wide challenging advertising market for radio and TV,” wrote Scott Henderson, vice-president, communications, Bell Media in an email.

The affected positions are across a number of departments, including Local Radio and TV; Sales, Research, and Revenue Management; Marketing & Communications; Network Operations; and News.

“It amounts to 80 full-time positions in our national radio and television operations‎, or about 1.3 per cent of Bell Media’s entire workforce,” said Henderson.

In terms of on-air talent, Jacqueline Milczarek, morning anchor on CTV News Channel, is one of the people affected by the cuts. She joined the channel in 2007.

Also on the list to lose their jobs are Amanda Logan, a host on CHUM-FM, and Chitra Nawbatt, a host on BNN.

Just last week, high-profile broadcasters Tanya Kim of eTalk and Teri Hart of The Movie Network were let go, as part of the first round of cuts.

Bell Media is a division of telecom giant BCE, and the company recently reported strong third-quarter financial results in early November. But while chief executive George Cope said Bell Media continued to grow market share, he lamented the high cost of sports programming and HBO content, saying the division is “clearly beginning to be impacted by higher content costs.”

“That’s a conscious strategic investment we will make which will have an impact on the media businesses.”

While talking about the company’s oncoming streaming service, Project Latte, he said: “We’re making an investment on the content side and that revenue will take a while to generate.”

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