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 news anchor Lisa LaFlamme, no ceremonial passing of the baton to the subsequent generation, no broadcast retrospectives lionizing a journalist with a storied and award-profitable career. As LaFlamme introduced yesterday, CTV’s dad or mum company, Bell Media, has determined to unilaterally conclusion her deal. (See also the CBC’s reporting of the tale in this article.)

When LaFlamme herself doesn’t make this claim, there was of program fast speculation that the network’s determination has anything to do with the fact that LaFlamme is a lady of a specific age. LaFlamme is 58, which by Television set standards is not accurately youthful — other than when you assess it to the age at which well known 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 a lot more sinister idea 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 particular! LaFlamme was fired, suggests journalist Jesse Brown, “because she pushed back from a person Bell Media executive.” Brown studies insiders as professing that Michael Melling, vice president of information at Bell Media, has bumped heads with LaFlamme a variety of times, and has a history of interfering with news protection. Brown even further reports that “Melling has consistently demonstrated a absence of respect for women in senior roles in the newsroom.”

Unnecessary to say, even if a own grudge as well as sexism clarify what’s going on, below, it nevertheless will appear to most as a “foolish decision,” one particular certain to cause the firm head aches. Now, I make it a coverage not to problem the company savvy of knowledgeable executives in industries I never know properly. And I recommend my college students not to leap to the summary that “that was a dumb decision” just because it’s a single they really do not fully grasp. But nonetheless, in 2022, it is really hard to consider that the business (or Melling additional especially) did not see that there would be blowback in this scenario. It’s one factor to have disagreements, but it is one more to unceremoniously dump a beloved and award-successful female anchor. And it’s bizarre that a senior government at a information corporation would believe that the real truth would not appear out, supplied that, following all, he’s surrounded by persons whose task, and personalized determination, is to report the news.

And it is hard not to suspect that this a a lot less than pleased transition for LaFlamme’s substitute, Omar Sachedina. Of class, I’m certain he’s happy to get the task. But though Bell Media’s push launch offers Sachedina stating sleek matters about LaFlamme, surely he did not want to think the anchor chair amidst common criticism of the changeover. He’s having on the role less than a shadow. Perhaps the prize is really worth the selling price, but it is also challenging not to think about that Sachedina had (or now has) some pull, some capacity to affect that way of the transition. I’m not declaring (as some undoubtedly will) that — as an insider who is familiar with the serious tale — he really should have declined the position as ill-gotten gains. But at the really the very least, it appears to be honest to argue that he should really have used his affect to form the transition. And if the now-senior anchor doesn’t have that sort of influence, we should be apprehensive indeed about the independence of that job, and of that newsroom.

A ultimate, connected be aware about authority and governance in complex corporations. In any moderately perfectly-ruled corporation, the conclusion to axe a key, general public-experiencing talent like LaFlamme would demand signal-off — or at least tacit acceptance — from a lot more than a person senior govt. This suggests that a single of two factors is legitimate. Either Bell Media is not that variety of perfectly-ruled business, or a massive amount of persons ended up concerned in, and culpable of, unceremoniously dumping an award-winning journalist. Which is worse?

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