michael melling

Bell Media exec who fired Lisa LaFlamme has been removed from CTV

It's been months since the abrupt termination of longtime CTV anchor Lisa LaFlamme, and a new internal memo reveals that former vice president of news at Bell Media, Michael Melling, has been permanently replaced. 

"Michael Melling has been reassigned to VP Shared Services, and will not be returning to CTV's news operations," reads an internal memo from Bell Media seen by blogTO. 

The internal memo stated that Richard Gray, Interim VP, News will be assigned to the role on a permanent basis. 

Since LaFlamme's ouster in August, Melling has received considerable backlash and been accused of orchestrating the dismissal after "butting heads" with the 35-year-long CTV journalist

Just a few days after the journalist herself revealed that she'd been "blindsided" by the cancellation of her contract, Bell Canada CEO Mirko Bibic issued a statement on LinkedIn stating that Melling was "on leave effective immediately, pending the outcome of the workplace review that is proceeding." 

An independent third-party review of the CTV National newsroom was initiated in late August and conducted by leading employment lawyer, Sarah Crossley, according to the memo. 

Crossley, along with a fellow associate conducted interviews with more than 100 members of the CTV National News team. 

"The goal of this review was to gather information about the culture, environment and practices in the CTV National newsroom, with a view to identifying any issues, concerns or areas for improvement so that we could then work to address them," reads the statement. 

With the review now complete, Bell Media stated their commitment to developing an actionable, clear and timely plan. 

Some key themes identified in the independent review include: 

  • A culture where people are sometimes afraid to raise concerns for fear of reprisal or inaction
  • A need for greater civility and respect in the newsroom 
  • A desire to improve working conditions 
  • A need to continuously share a clear vision for the future of CTV National News and engage staff in the long-term strategy for the newsroom 
  • A need for greater dialogue regarding changing news consumption habits and the economic realities of broadcast news 
  • A need for strong human resources support 

The memo also listed several action plan objectives to address the key themes, through increasing trust, valuing the work, and improving transparency and engagement. 

Some of the key actions listed to deliver on these objectives include: 

  • A new approach to working hours for all newsroom employees and implementing a new overtime policy 
  • The status of freelance staff will be reviewed, with some potentially converted to full-time permanent staff where warranted 
  • Assigning a dedicated HR team to work directly with the CTV News team 
  • Communication regularly to ensure all team members are aware of what support channels are available to appropriately handle workplace complaints 
  • Continue to enhance and promote the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) to ensure employees know about how to access free, confidential counselling, coaching services, online support and wellness resources 
  • Mandatory in-person training for team members on respect and civility in the newsroom 
Lead photo by

Bell Media

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