Cuts to Bell Media felt in the Okanagan

Bell Media cuts some well known Okanagan news people

  • Feb. 2, 2017 8:00 p.m.

Cuts to Bell Media

The Okanagan lost decades of news expertise this week, as Bell Media layoffs made their way west.

Among those who were laid off were CTV’s Kent Molgat and cameraman Barry Fontaine.

Sun FM program director Mark Burley  and Janet Burley were also let go.

Further down the valley, Gord Leighton who had been working in Vernon was also cut.

“Bell sent me packing just three-days short of my 53rd anniversary in broadcasting,” Leighton said in an email to Puget Sound Radio, adding that he is 71 years old.

Some higher profile radio and TV hosts across the country also lost their jobs in this round of cuts.

TSN Vancouver hosts Peter Schaad and Scott Rintoul, CHUM FM Radio’s Ingrid Schumacher, CTV Vancouver’s Coleen Christie are among those affected.

The company is not disclosing the number of people who will lose their jobs, but news of the cuts keep coming out from more than two dozen Bell Media locations across the country.

Restructuring is being blamed on increasing international competition, the evolution of broadcast technology, and advertising and regulatory pressure.

Regulatory decisions, like the CRTC banning Bell Media from substituting Canadian ads with American ones during the Super Bowl this year, have had a significant effect on revenue.

BCE Inc. will report its fourth-quarter earnings later Thursday.

Last quarter, Bell Media reported revenue gains of 3.5 per cent to $716 million. That was attributed to The Movie Network, its Crave TV streaming service and TV Everywhere.

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