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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Bell Media planning cuts to CTV, BNN Bloomberg following BCE layoffs, sale of 45 radio stations

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BCE Inc., the parent company of Bell Media, is undergoing significant restructuring, including the sale of 45 radio stations out of 103 regional stations and the dismissal of 4,800 employees, accounting for 9% of the company’s total workforce.

The affected radio stations are located in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada.

The layoffs are taking place at all levels within the company as part of a larger effort to adapt to market dynamics and financial pressures.

This marks BCE’s largest round of layoffs in nearly 30 years, and the company plans to divest the 45 radio stations to 7 buyers.

CTV and BNN Bloomberg will be immediately impacted, with changes such as discontinuing weekday noon newscasts on all CTV stations except Toronto and eliminating weekend newscasts on many CTV and CTV2 stations.

The company aims to replace news reporters and technicians with multi-skilled journalists in certain regions.

Financial analysts attribute these actions to an imbalance in dividend policies and the need for increased free cash flow.

Bell Media’s shift to digital transformation faces escalating challenges due to delayed government support for media companies and legal barriers.

The company’s advertising revenue has decreased, and its news division operates with an annual loss of over $40 million.

BCE may further reduce investments in the network amid disagreements with regulatory agencies.

Despite continuous cuts, Bell emphasizes efforts to manage its business operations sensibly and adapt to industry development dynamics.

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