More job cuts hit Bell Media

The director of original programming, factual and reality has been let go, on top of 210 cuts across departments in the Toronto area.
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Another round of layoffs has seen another member of Bell Media’s leadership team depart.

Media in Canada sister-site Playback Daily has learned that Robin Johnston, director, original programming, factual and reality, has left the company. Johnston declined to comment but updated her Linkedin status to “Freelance” this evening.

The news comes after reports of 210 job cuts, including 100 from within the media company’s Toronto TV newsroom, according to representatives from Unifor Local 87M, which represents staff across several of Bell Media’s departments. Some of the layoffs, namely those among support staff, are expected to be temporarily due to certain production functions not being done in-house during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A spokesperson for Bell said the company could not comment on any specific departures, but gave the following response to the layoffs: “There have been further changes to reflect Bell Media’s streamlined operating structure and our focus on making it easier and more efficient to do business with us at every level. This includes a limited number of staff reductions, many of them changes in on-air broadcast roles due to programming decisions by Bell Media radio brands.”

The statement was similar to the one offered earlier this week when Bell laid off most of the remaining news staff at radio station CJAD in Montreal. The company has had several rounds of layoffs already in 2021, the first of which hit several executive roles and the second including the head of Discovery Canada, the sales lead for Western Canada and the head of podcasting strategy.

Before her departure, Johnston oversaw the production of unscripted products for Bell Media’s linear and streaming platforms, including Canada’s Drag Race, The Amazing Race Canada and Masterchef Canada.

A version of this story previously appeared on Playback.