Bell Media, despite a strong financial performance and recently having received $122 million in pandemic-related labour subsidies, exacted what some are calling a jobs “bloodbath” at radio station CJAD.
Without notice, Bell Media decimated the CJAD newsroom. Shuyee Lee, who has been with the station since 1993, confirmed her departure on Twitter and added that she had been in the midst of preparing a major news story when she suddenly received the word.
Richard Deschamps and Elizabeth Zogalis also confirmed that they are no longer with CJAD.
The Quebec Community Groups Network reacted.
“The QCGN is appalled to learn that Bell Media is gutting its newsrooms,” says a Twitter statement. “Our minority English-language community cannot afford to lose strong media voices as it heads into a period of uncertainty over language.”
The move by Bell Media also resulted in the end of the 7 p.m. show Nightside with Jon Pole and the long-running 10 p.m. sex and relationships discussion show Passion with Dr. Laurie Betito. This week, their time was filled with highlights of CJAD shows from earlier in the day.
News personnel from CTV, also owned by Bell Media, will be providing news reports for CJAD.
From the newsroom, Trudie Mason and Jason Mayoff will remain. The CJAD talk shows hosted by Andrew Carter, Elias Makos, Natasha Hall and Aaron Rand are not affected by the changes.
On the television side, CTV will no longer have a Quebec City bureau chief. Reporters will work in Quebec City on a rotating basis when the Assembly is in session.
Bell Media has made major cuts on a regular basis, which has affected numerous CTV and CJAD personalities and journalists in recent years including the elimination of CTV Montreal’s sports reporters and cutting camera personnel, forcing many reporters to film and report.