February 22nd, 2024

Trudeau says he’s furious over Bell Media layoffs, calling it a ‘garbage decision’

By The Canadian Press on February 9, 2024.

Experts say BCE Inc.'s announcement of widespread layoffs at Bell Media will lead to further deterioration of local newsrooms and journalism that is less contextual. BCE Inc. headquarters is seen in Montreal on Thursday August 3, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christinne Muschi

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is trash-talking BCE Inc.’s widespread layoffs, calling the cuts a “garbage decision.”

Trudeau says he’s furious over Bell Media’s decision to end multiple television newscasts and that the corporation should know better.

The outlet made program cuts Thursday after its parent company announced job reductions and the sale of 45 of its 103 regional radio stations.

Trudeau says large corporations have bought up radio stations, small community newspapers and local outlets, only to lay off journalists and change the quality of their offerings.

He says when readership and viewership then decline, corporations sell off outlets and say they’re not profitable, eroding local journalism and Canada’s democracy.

Chief executive Mirko Bibic says Bell Media’s advertising revenues declined by $140 million in 2023 compared with the year before, and the company’s news division is seeing more than $40 million in annual operating losses.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 9, 2024.

Companies in this story: (TSX: BCE)

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