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.

Sol Boxenbaum

Montreal

(1) comment

Paperboy

Bell Media Inc., a Canadian media conglomerate that is the mass media subsidiary of BCE Inc., is a business first, foremost and always in a capitalist market economy in a so-called democracy.

I'm also a member of the embittered English-speaking community of Montreal which allows a regiment of storm-trooping French language police and citizen spies.

My heart bleeds for what has happened and what is happening to our community and our institutions and, in particular, the many assaults against my craft and industry.

We usually get it where it hurts from the public with shouts of FAKE News, and the penny-pinching "suits" on the other.

And, yet, we continue to survive here and there in democratic and totalitarian societies. We expose and protest this and that to many of our viewers who are too simple-minded to explore the meaning of what we do and how we do it, and why some of my brothers and sisters end their lives on the killing fields.

Freedom of the press and freedom of expression comes with a price tag very few of us are willing to pay, especially during this global pandemic and those mutants in our society who prefer violence and destruction to intelligence, imagination, reason, logic, understanding and compassion.

Of course, this has been a never-ending tragedy since we emeged from the caves to watch Jeopardy and CTV from the comforts of our condos in downtown Montreal.

The suits in Bell Media Inc. are simply doing their jobs to make a profit to pay the salaries of more than 5,000 employees.

If the moneychangers and policy makers don't follow the rules, we're usually looking through the keyhole, aren't we?

Sometimes.

After all, it makes good copy.

We're doing our jobs: We like paywalls, fluff pieces, cute images of cats and dogs, advertorials, restaurant reviews, I-me-myself slush columns, byline paranoia, yellow journalism and read one paragraph only to pay for the rest of the story.

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, newspapers used to crusade with Front Page yarns written by muckrakers who would like to change the way we think, and the way we act.

Today, too many voices spoil the editorial brew.

$$$$ ...

It's all about money, the 'Ol Man said. The rest is conversation.

Stu Lowndes

2165 Tupper

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

514-445-4993

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