TORONTO – Bell Media has entered another period of restructuring, Cartt.ca has learned.
There have been scattered reports across the country Monday about cutbacks at the big broadcaster. A few long-time on-air personalities have already made public the fact they’re out of work, such as 40-year CHUM veteran Ingrid Schumacher, CHOM host Heather Backman, and TSN Radio Vancouver play-by-play voices Scott Rintoul and Peter Schaad.
(Update #3): Since Monday, other names have been made public, such as CTV Northern Ontario VP and GM Scott Lund, VP of affiliate sales and distribution marketing Stephen Green, and CTV Vancouver anchor Coleen Christie. (Update #4): According to Barrie Today, the sports department at CTV Two (CKVR) in Barrie has been eliminated as of February 6)
Bell Media spokesman Scott Henderson first confirmed to Cartt.ca that the company is once again cutting staff. Bell Media last downsized in a large way in the fall of 2015, and also cut staff last summer when Canada AM was cancelled.
An email to Cartt.ca stated: “We are undergoing a restructuring at Bell Media that includes local radio and TV stations. The restructuring is the result of the challenges Bell Media and other Canadian media companies are facing due to increasing international competition, the evolution of broadcast technologies, and advertising and regulatory pressure.”
UPDATE #1: While he declined to say how many are being let go or over what time frame, he added the cuts are taking place at "several dozen locations across the country and the positions affected cut across all areas of Bell Media's businesses.
UPDATE #2: When asked this morning if losing revenues from this Sunday's Super Bowl broadcast (thanks to the CRTC's decision to suspend simultaneous substitution regulations for that show) played a part in the job losses, Henderson added in a follow-up email that was a part of it: "There’s definitely been a significant revenue impact from the Super Bowl and other regulatory decisions as well. But the reality is that Bell Media and other Canadian media companies are facing notable change on all fronts, and as a result we need to adjust our business appropriately," he said.
Bell Media has said in the past it estimated it faced a loss of $80 million in revenue if it loses simsub for the final three years of its NFL contract.