Bell Media cuts claim high-profile people at TSN, CTV

A fresh round of job cuts at Bell Media is claiming some high profile casualties, including TSN sports show Off the Record and TSN reporter Sheri Forde.

TSN's Off the Record cancelled, CTV's Carol Anne Meehan, Amanda Blitz lose jobs in round of layoffs

Long-running sports show Off The Record has been cancelled. Host Michael Landsberg will now produce shorter segments for TSN. (Jonathan Hayward/ Canadian Press)

A fresh round of job cuts at Bell Media is claiming some high-profile casualties, including TSN sports show Off the Record and TSN reporter Sheri Forde.

Bell Media announced on Nov. 5 it would cut 380 positions. The layoffs have been rolling out for weeks, with an early round affecting operations in Toronto and Montreal,

Tuesday's cuts affected CTV, TSN and radio operations in Ottawa, Vancouver and across the country. Bell did not release the number of jobs that were cut.

Among the personalities who lost their jobs:

  • CTV News Ottawa co-anchor Carol Anne Meehan.
  • Ottawa sports reporter Carolyn Waldo.
  • CTV Morning Live Ottawa's Lois Lee.
  • Canucks hockey host Jeff Paterson.
  • Vancouver television anchor Perry Solkowski.
  • Meteorologist Michael Kuss
  • CTV News Channel anchor Amanda Blitz.
  • Toronto CFRB-Newstalk 1010 personality Mike Toth.
  • TSN co-host David Bastl.
"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," the company said in a statement.
CTV News Ottawa co-anchor Carol Anne Meehan was laid off by Bell Media on Tuesday. (Facebook)

Sports interview and talk show Off the Record (OTR) is one of Canada's longest-running sports shows. Host Michael Landsberg remains with TSN and will produce shorter Off the Record segments for the network's flagship news show SportsCentre and online.

"After more than 18 seasons I believe the time is right for both me and the show to evolve," said Landsberg in a statement on TSN.ca.

"OTR has been Canadian sports TV's most polarizing show," he added, pledging to maintain that approach in a new format.

Bell Media, which owns CTV, the CP24 cable news channel and Business News Network, as well as TSN, Much, MTV and M3, also laid off dozens of people behind the scenes.

On Nov. 4, BCE said in its latest quarterly report that its Bell Media division had an adjusted profit of $183 million, up about $1 million from last year. Revenues at Bell Media grew 4.1 per cent to $692 million, helped by better sales with advertisers and increased subscriber revenues from CraveTV, its streaming video service which competes with Netflix and Shomi.

With files from the Canadian Press

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