Former CTV Ottawa anchor Carol Anne Meehan shares story on All In A Day
Veteran newswoman among local journalists who lost job in November after Bell Media cuts
After 27 years on the air, news anchor Carol Anne Meehan didn't even get a chance to say a television goodbye to her viewers.
"It was like a kick in the head," Meehan told CBC Ottawa's All In A Day on Thursday, speaking publicly for the first time since she was let go as the co-anchor of CTV News Ottawa's 6 p.m. newscast in November.
Meehan was one of a number of CTV News Ottawa and CFRA employees who were laid off after Bell Media announced last month they would be cutting 380 positions across the country.
- Carol Anne Meehan, Carolyn Waldo laid off from CTV News Ottawa
- More names emerge as Bell Media cut details filter out
On Nov. 17, Meehan's co-anchor Graham Richardson revealed during CTV's 6 p.m. newscast that she'd been laid off.
Viewers reacted to the news with anger, and a petition calling on Bell Media to hire Meehan back quickly erupted online, garnering thousands of comments and signatures within only a few days.
After being laid off, Meehan left a short, brief message on Twitter.
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ottnews?src=hash">#ottnews</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ctvottawa?src=hash">#ctvottawa</a>. Thank you Ottawa.—@MeehanCarolAnne
Thursday, however, was the first day she spoke at length about her sudden dismissal.
"I found out actually the night before," Meehan told All In A Day host Alan Neal. "I'd just checked my email before I turned in and there was an email from my boss saying, 'Meet me tomorrow morning.'"
At that meeting, she was told she'd no longer be part of CTV Ottawa, effective immediately.
"I honest-to-God didn't see this coming," said Meehan. "You just go cold. I didn't process much after that, quite frankly."
Started hosting in 1989
Meehan began hosting the news at CJOH in 1989 with Max Keeping, who died earlier this year.
Along with Meehan, CTV Ottawa sports reporter Carolyn Waldo and CFRA radio host Rick Gibbons were among the other local names who lost their on-air jobs after the cuts were announced.
Meehan said she had no real indication that she was going to lose her job — especially given that CTV was going through their ratings season at the time.
As for the reason why, she said she and the "slew of good people" who also were laid off still don't have any real answers.
"I loved people stories. I've loved news my whole life. And I loved what I did. I loved anchoring and I loved meeting people. And that's no longer there," Meehan said.
"So what are the emotions? A little bit of resentment, because they've ended my career. I wish I had known before it was my final newscast."