Bell Media has cut 210 jobs in the Toronto area, confirmed the union representing some workers.
A Unifor representative confirmed to Global News on Tuesday hundreds of jobs were related to Toronto television newsrooms were axed.
According to Unifor media section director, Howard Law, he says roughly 100 employees laid off are union members that worked in TV newsrooms in Toronto.
Other staff cuts included positions in administration and sales, along with field camera operators. On-air TV reporters were not affected, but Law did not get into specifics, emphasizing some may not have been notified of the cuts yet.
Support staff are also being temporarily laid off due to COVID-19, as some local TV shows are no longer being made in-house.
“They’re laying off camera operators which has to mean less news coverage, unless they expect everybody else to work twice as hard,” said Law.
News of the media position layoffs resulted in a strong reaction on social media.
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— Emma McIntosh (@EmmaMci) February 2, 2021
So, Bell Media layoffs. The parent company took $122M in COVID wage subsidies. They have $5.2 billion in "available liquidity." They're upping their Q4 dividend. That social media hashtag for mental health is a crock: they care nothing for people, never mind media or democracy.
— @scratchingpost (@scratchingpost) February 2, 2021
Pivot. We’ve heard that a lot from people and businesses lately. Now it’s time for me to pivot. After 23 years with TSN my time has come to an end. Thank you all for watching and listening. I will miss you. Be kind to one another.
— Brent Wallace (@tsn_wally) February 3, 2021
Bell spokesperson Marc Choma told The Star on Tuesday it had made “programming changes”, affecting on-air jobs at radio stations such as Toronto’s Newstalk 1010 and Montreal’s CJAD 800.
“There are further changes in roles, including some departures, reflecting Bell Media’s streamlined operating structure,” said Choma.
“As the media industry evolves, we’re focused on investment in new content and technology opportunities while also ensuring our company is as agile, efficient and easy to work with as possible,” added the Bell spokesperson.