Supper-hour news co-anchor Carol Anne Meehan and sports reporter Carolyn Waldo were among several people laid off at CTV News Ottawa and CFRA on Tuesday by Bell Media, which owns both stations.
Anchor Graham Richardson hosted the 6 o'clock news himself on Tuesday and read a short statement about the cuts.
"As you may have heard it's been a very difficult day here at Bell Media Ottawa. A number of positions at CFRA, CTV Ottawa and CTV Two were eliminated, including ... several well-known on-air people, including our own Carol Anne Meehan and Carolyn Waldo," Richardson said.
"This is the result of an ever-changing media landscape and declining revenues in the broadcast media business."
A number of off-air support staff were also laid off, he said.
Bell Media won't confirm how many positions were eliminated in Ottawa or elsewhere in the country, spokesperson Matthew Garrow wrote in an email Tuesday.
"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 reflects the realities of revenue performance in media and broadcasting, and that we remain leaders in a fast-changing industry," Garrow wrote.
Petition seeks Carol Anne Meehan's return
An online petition was started Tuesday calling on Bell Media to hire Meehan back, and by early Wednesday morning it had garnered almost 4,000 signatures and a few thousand comments.
Meehan began hosting the news at CJOH in 1989 with Max Keeping, who died earlier this year.
Richardson came on as anchor in 2010. Waldo, a former Olympic gold medalist in synchronized swimming, became a sports reporter after retiring from swimming in 1988.