Bell Media facing staff cuts as telco parent unveils plan to slash 1,300 jobs

Sullivan’s Crossing

Bell Media in Canada is bracing for job cuts after its telco parent becomes the latest to slash jobs, with 1,300 roles set to be disbanded.

Mirko Bibic, Bell Canada’s president, said the changes – representing a 3% cut across the organisation – were necessary to deal with losses at Bell Media’s news division, which is losing $40m in annual operating losses, a figure he said is increasing.

Wade Oosterman, Bell Media’s president, said in a note to staff that the company was facing the “the ongoing migration of advertising revenue to foreign digital platforms”.

While tech giants such as Google are taking an increasing portion of the advertising pie, Bell has also been hit by streamers such as Disney+ and Netflix increasing their direct-to-consumer reach.

Bell operates a raft of brands, including CTV National News, local news stations and CP24, while general networks include Sullivan’s Crossing network CTV and pay channels such as CTV Comedy.

Around 30% of positions being cut are vacancies that will not be filled, according to local reports, with management roles being trimmed by 6%.

The Canadian group said it would be closing nine radio stations and shifting its approach to news, with a “single newsroom approach across brands, allowing for greater collaboration and efficiency,” according to news chief Richard Gray.

Bibic said content investments would continue, however, pointing to Bell media’s recent deal for Warner Bros. Discovery programming.

TBI yesterday broke news that German broadcast giant ProSiebenSat.1 is preparing to cut around a third of its staff amid ongoing financial pressure.

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