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Big layoffs at Bell Media

Bell Media is confirming union reports that it is laying off employees at radio and TV stations across Canada.

Spokesman Matthew Garrow says in an email that an unspecified number of employees were told last week their jobs would end due to a reorganization designed in part to address declines in advertising revenue.

He also confirms the company is "phasing out" certain sportscasts and well-known anchors due to "evolving viewer behaviour," without being specific about where or who.

Unifor, the union representing on-air and broadcasting technicians at 17 CTV stations, estimates 50 jobs are being eliminated at Bell Media's TV network alone.

It says CFTO sportscasters Joe Tilley and Lance Brown, along with on-air personalities such as Ottawa CTV 2 hosts Melissa Lamb and Lianne Laing and BNN host Michael Kane, are among the casualties.

The union says the cuts mean the end of local sports broadcasts as of Dec. 27 at CTV's flagship station CFTO in Toronto, a move it says has already been made at CTV stations in Edmonton, Calgary, and Montreal.



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