Lisa LaFlamme with her award for best National News Anchor at the Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto on March 9, 2014. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press)
TORONTO—The head of Bell Media’s parent company says the decision to end Lisa LaFlamme’s contract had nothing to do with her age, gender or grey hair.
Mirko Bibic, president and CEO of BCE Inc. & Bell Canada, says removing the longtime CTV National News anchor instead reflects massive changes to traditional broadcasting in Canada.
In a LinkedIn post, he says the days when viewers wait until 11 p.m. to get their news are gone and that change is necessary to ensure Bell Media can provide its journalists with the resources they need across all platforms where news is consumed.
His post caps a week of growing fallout from LaFlamme’s ouster that saw Bell Media vice−president of news Michael Melling take a leave from his job.
Bibic says Melling has been the subject of “various allegations” and is on leave pending the outcome of a workplace review.
A list of high−profile Canadians issued an open letter on Saturday condemning LaFlamme’s abrupt dismissal, saying the decision highlights the sexism and ageism women continue to face in the workplace.