Canada's Bell Media Cuts More Than 380 Jobs

Bell Media has cut more than 380 jobs in the mass media company's latest round of layoffs that began in late August under the new president Mary Ann Turcke.

Matthew Garrow, director, news, radio & factual communications and community investment, at Bell Media would not provide additional information on the numbers of staff affected or how many from radio or music-related positions had been dismissed. He did provide a statement, however, that has been given to multiple outlets.

"While it is very difficult to part ways with valued colleagues, the changes are an essential step in ensuring that Bell Media's cost structure reflect the realities of revenue performance in media and broadcasting, and that we remain leaders in a fast-changing industry."

Some of the higher-profile people let go are television news anchors, sports commentators, and meteorologists.  CBC reports that Mike Toth from Toronto talk radio station CFRB is one of the casualties and FYI Music added Virgin Radio MD Bob Willette's name.

A major blow to the television landscape is the cancellation of the 18-year-old TSN daily sports-talk show Off The Record, which often had musicians as guests (host Michael Landsberg will remain at the station).  As well, TSN Radio senior producer Todd Hayes and co-host David Bastl were reportedly given their walking papers.

Many of the casualties -- including 270 people in Toronto, 110 in Montreal, and a number in Ottawa and Vancouver -- were behind the scenes, such as sound technicians, camera operators, receptionists and producers.

The Ottawa Sun reported the departure of CFRA morning show host Steve Madely, Lunch Brunch host Rick Gibbons and On Target Ottawa host Shelley McLean, who co-hosted Steve's Madely in the Morning.

Among its assets, Bell Media owns 30 local television stations led by CTV, Canada's No. 1 television network; 34 specialty channels, including TSN, MTV and Much (formerly MuchMusic); and is the country's largest radio broadcaster, with 106 licensed radio stations in 54 markets across Canada. Bell Media also operates more than 200 websites.