Bell Fires CTV News Anchor Lisa LaFlamme: ‘I Was Blindsided’
On Monday, Bell Media announced veteran CTV news anchor, Lisa LaFlamme was being let go by the company.
Coinciding with Bell’s announcement, LaFlamme broke her silence in a final “sign off” on Twitter, a video that has since racked up 3.8 million views. Her firing has made international headlines in the past 24 hours.
LaFlamme, a news veteran of 35 years, said Bell Media explained the cancellation of her contract as a “business decision”, as explained to her on June 29. She said she was “blindsided” by Bell and is still “shocked and saddened.”
She explains her firing was to be kept confidential until the decision was made public by Bell Media, about one and a half months later. LaFlamme went on to say she was “forever grateful to loyal viewers,” adding at age 58 she thought “I’d still have more time,” but now she departs CTV “humbled by the people who put their faith in me.”
The veteran CTV national news anchor said it was “crushing” to be leaving her post, in a manner that was not her choice.
I have some news… pic.twitter.com/lTe3Rs0kOA
— Lisa LaFlamme (@LisaLaFlamme_) August 15, 2022
Bell Media issued a press release on Monday saying, “recognizing changing viewer habits, CTV recently advised LaFlamme that it had made the business decision to move its acclaimed news show, CTV National News, and the role of its Chief News Anchor in a different direction.”
“A trusted broadcaster and distinguished voice in Canadian news, Lisa has been on the front line of the world’s biggest headlines,” said Karine Moses, Senior Vice President, Content Development & News, Bell Media and Vice Chair, Québec, Bell, in a statement. “With an unfailing commitment to delivering the stories that matter most to Canadians as part of Canada’s leading news team, Lisa has deftly guided viewers through both turbulent times and celebration, and we wish her nothing but the best as she begins a new chapter.”
According to Canadaland, Michael Melling, vice president of news at Bell Media, was allegedly responsible for firing LaFlamme, after clashing heads with the veteran anchor on multiple issues.
This isn’t the first time Bell Media has let go of key staff and high-profile journalists. Back in March, Bell Media suddenly cut TV anchors and radio hosts in Vancouver, while similarly taking various TSN radio stations across Canada offline in February 2021, with no warning at all.
LaFlamme will be replaced by Omar Sachedina, now taking over as Chief News Anchor and Senior Editor of CTV National News, a role set to begin on September 5, 2022.