10/06/2024

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Lisa LaFlamme, CTV News, and Bad Executive Decisions

Lisa LaFlamme, CTV News, and Bad Executive Decisions

Lisa LaFlamme, CTV News, and Bad Executive Decisions
Former CTV national anchor
Lisa LaFlamme

There will be no bittersweet on-air goodbye for (now former) CTV nationwide information anchor Lisa LaFlamme, no ceremonial passing of the baton to the following generation, no broadcast retrospectives lionizing a journalist with a storied and award-successful occupation. As LaFlamme introduced yesterday, CTV’s guardian business, Bell Media, has made the decision to unilaterally finish her deal. (See also the CBC’s reporting of the tale below.)

Whilst LaFlamme herself doesn’t make this assert, there was of training course quick speculation that the network’s final decision has one thing to do with the truth that LaFlamme is a girl of a sure age. LaFlamme is 58, which by Tv set criteria is not precisely younger — other than when you compare it to the age at which popular males who proceeded her have left their respective anchor’s chairs: take into account Peter Mansbridge (who was 69), and Lloyd Robertson (who was 77).

But an even much more sinister idea is now afoot: relatively than mere, shallow misogyny, proof has arisen of not just sexism, but sexism conjoined with corporate interference in newscasting. Two evils for the cost of a single! LaFlamme was fired, claims journalist Jesse Brown, “because she pushed back in opposition to one Bell Media government.” Brown reports insiders as declaring that Michael Melling, vice president of information at Bell Media, has bumped heads with LaFlamme a variety of situations, and has a historical past of interfering with news coverage. Brown further more reviews that “Melling has consistently demonstrated a lack of respect for women in senior roles in the newsroom.”

Useless to say, even if a private grudge as well as sexism make clear what’s heading on, right here, it nonetheless will appear to be to most as a “foolish selection,” a single certain to trigger the firm problems. Now, I make it a plan not to problem the enterprise savvy of experienced executives in industries I really don’t know nicely. And I recommend my learners not to leap to the summary that “that was a dumb decision” just since it is just one they really don’t recognize. But however, in 2022, it is really hard to think about that the business (or Melling extra especially) did not see that there would be blowback in this case. It is one particular factor to have disagreements, but it is a different to unceremoniously dump a beloved and award-winning girl anchor. And it is bizarre that a senior executive at a information organization would think that the real truth would not arrive out, provided that, after all, he’s surrounded by persons whose occupation, and personal dedication, is to report the information.

And it is really hard not to suspect that this a a lot less than joyful changeover for LaFlamme’s alternative, Omar Sachedina. Of system, I’m sure he’s satisfied to get the job. But when Bell Media’s press launch quotations Sachedina stating sleek items about LaFlamme, absolutely he didn’t want to suppose the anchor chair amidst widespread criticism of the transition. He’s taking on the position beneath a shadow. Probably the prize is worth the value, but it is also really hard not to envision that Sachedina had (or now has) some pull, some skill to affect that manner of the changeover. I’m not stating (as some definitely will) that — as an insider who understands the serious tale — he should have declined the career as ill-gotten gains. But at the very the very least, it appears truthful to argue that he ought to have made use of his impact to shape the transition. And if the now-senior anchor does not have that variety of affect, we must be anxious in fact about the independence of that function, and of that newsroom.

A final, similar be aware about authority and governance in elaborate corporations. In any moderately properly-governed group, the selection to axe a key, public-facing talent like LaFlamme would involve indication-off — or at least tacit acceptance — from additional than 1 senior government. This suggests that a person of two things is real. Possibly Bell Media isn’t that variety of properly-ruled group, or a massive selection of men and women were involved in, and culpable of, unceremoniously dumping an award-successful journalist. Which is even worse?