It’s Déjà vu. When Bell Media finds ways to increase revenue, they leap into action. The “suits” at the head office do not consider the damage they are doing to the lives of their loyal employees, many of whom have been out covering breaking news and risking their lives for years. I have been listening to Richard Deschamps reading the news on the hour every weekday and in the day when I was doing the overnight shift, he often worked weekends as well. Shuyee Lee, who spent 28 years at the station, has been let go as well. Weekday evening shows Nightside, hosted by Jon Pole, and Passion with Dr. Laurie Betito have also been cut from the schedule.
According to Michael Nguyen, president of the Federation professionelle des journalistes du Quebec, the job reductions underscore the erosion of local advertising revenue. I beg to differ as I find the hourly newscasts on CJAD are always one or two minutes late as we are bombarded with a medley of commercials. The reason for the firings, in my view, is the employees with longevity are being paid on a higher level than some of the interns who are being hired right out of journalism school. Let’s face it, the dollars saved in operations leave more for the “suits” to take home, and if the collateral damage includes a few people whose lives will be impacted by this, so be it. Therein lays the problem of living in a city where one corporation the size of Bell Media can control your destiny.