Bell Media: A look behind Layoffs

Bell Media layoffs hundreds of employees in Toronto area; half from newsrooms (Courtesy: Bell Media)

Why the big cut?

Bell Media, one of Canada's largest radio, TV and broadcast operators, has cut hundreds of jobs in another wave of layoffs to transition to 'streamline operations' that would aim to focus more on technology and other content investments.

Approximately more than 210 employees have been laid off due to the company shifting media landscapes and the urgent need for a "streamlined operating structure." This push for the structure allows companies and businesses to eliminate unnecessary work-related tasks to improve processes.

Predominantly affected jobs across Canada 

Bell Media layoffs extended to radio news stations where countless employees were laid off and news stations closed. (Courtesy: Bell Media/TSN Radio)

Affected union members range from field camera operators where the hardest hit job cuts are popular local AM radio stations like Toronto's CFRB 1010. All of the station's workers were laid off.  Bell also targeted members working in radio stations. Bell Media

has eliminated various radio stations: Hamilton's TSN 1150, Vancouver's TSN 1040 and Winnipeg's TSN 1290. Members and people affected by the cut had turned to their social media platforms to address media organizations' problems, not given workers' a heads up when it came to letting them go. Most have not been told about the closer before the public announcement creating more controversy between employees and the various organizations.

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) has condemned Bell Media to cut jobs without proper notice affecting many people during crucial times. Over just the span of a week, jobs and support staff in radio and television have been declining even for those working in the industry for 20 years or more with their organization.

Cutting jobs during a pandemic has also been the topic of focus for many accurate and reliable information is so critical to the public. Despite there being wage subsidies, many people in and out of their organizations argue that the media industry should have taken a different approach.

Benefits for Bell Media Employees 

In the wake of these layoffs, Bell Media employees who aren't unionized should receive full severance pay after being terminated without proper notice and cause. This payment is calculated over various factors such as age, seniority, position, salary and benefits. Employees can receive this payment for up to 24 months.

As to answering the questions surrounding the immediate layoffs, Bell Media says, "there concentrating on investing in new content and technology while ensuring that the company is as simple to work with as possible."

Employees will be supported by retirement or severance packages and career transition assistance to continue moving forward.

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