Lisa LaFlamme, CTV News, and Bad Executive Decisions

Former CTV national anchor
Lisa LaFlamme

There will be no bittersweet on-air goodbye for (now previous) CTV countrywide information anchor Lisa LaFlamme, no ceremonial passing of the baton to the subsequent technology, no broadcast retrospectives lionizing a journalist with a storied and award-profitable occupation. As LaFlamme announced yesterday, CTV’s parent company, Bell Media, has decided to unilaterally stop her contract. (See also the CBC’s reporting of the story below.)

When LaFlamme herself doesn’t make this claim, there was of program instant speculation that the network’s decision has some thing to do with the fact that LaFlamme is a woman of a particular age. LaFlamme is 58, which by Tv criteria is not specifically youthful — apart from when you compare it to the age at which well known adult men who proceeded her have left their respective anchor’s chairs: contemplate Peter Mansbridge (who was 69), and Lloyd Robertson (who was 77).

But an even far more sinister theory is now afoot: rather than mere, shallow misogyny, proof has arisen of not just sexism, but sexism conjoined with corporate interference in newscasting. Two evils for the price tag of one! LaFlamme was fired, claims journalist Jesse Brown, “because she pushed again from a single Bell Media government.” Brown stories insiders as saying that Michael Melling, vice president of information at Bell Media, has bumped heads with LaFlamme a range of instances, and has a record of interfering with news coverage. Brown further experiences that “Melling has continuously demonstrated a absence of regard for women of all ages in senior roles in the newsroom.”

Pointless to say, even if a individual grudge as well as sexism clarify what’s heading on, below, it even now will appear to most as a “foolish final decision,” just one sure to lead to the business complications. Now, I make it a policy not to concern the company savvy of experienced executives in industries I really do not know very well. And I suggest my pupils not to leap to the conclusion that “that was a dumb decision” just because it is 1 they don’t understand. But still, in 2022, it is difficult to envision that the company (or Melling much more exclusively) didn’t see that there would be blowback in this situation. It is just one issue to have disagreements, but it is yet another to unceremoniously dump a beloved and award-profitable female anchor. And it’s bizarre that a senior govt at a news firm would imagine that the truth of the matter would not come out, specified that, soon after all, he’s surrounded by individuals whose job, and own commitment, is to report the news.

And it’s difficult not to suspect that this a less than joyful changeover for LaFlamme’s replacement, Omar Sachedina. Of class, I’m positive he’s happy to get the task. But though Bell Media’s press release quotations Sachedina saying swish items about LaFlamme, definitely he did not want to believe the anchor chair amidst widespread criticism of the changeover. He’s taking on the position beneath a shadow. Possibly the prize is truly worth the cost, but it’s also difficult not to imagine that Sachedina experienced (or now has) some pull, some means to impact that manner of the changeover. I’m not indicating (as some definitely will) that — as an insider who appreciates the serious story — he must have declined the task as ill-gotten gains. But at the pretty the very least, it seems fair to argue that he should really have utilized his influence to shape the changeover. And if the now-senior anchor does not have that variety of influence, we should be fearful indeed about the independence of that function, and of that newsroom.

A remaining, linked notice about authority and governance in advanced businesses. In any reasonably perfectly-ruled organization, the choice to axe a significant, general public-dealing with talent like LaFlamme would need sign-off — or at least tacit approval — from a lot more than one senior govt. This implies that one particular of two items is true. Either Bell Media is not that type of perfectly-ruled group, or a huge selection of folks were being included in, and culpable of, unceremoniously dumping an award-profitable journalist. Which is worse?

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