News anchor Lisa LaFlamme 'shocked' after CTV replaces her with Omar Sachedina

spaminator

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Oct 26, 2009
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Lisa LaFlamme was no newsroom rebel or troublemaker in my experience
The CTV national news anchor was likely canned because she got old, which is stupid, because the millions who watched her on TV are also getting old

Author of the article:Warren Kinsella
Publishing date:Sep 03, 2022 • 10 hours ago • 3 minute read • 22 Comments

Okay, here’s my Lisa LaFlamme story.


And, in my defence, you shouldn’t get mad at me for adding to the towering pile of stories and opinion columns about the former CTV News anchor and her employer. I mean, everyone else has kept this prototypical Summertime scandal alive for week after week, so why can’t Yours Truly have some fun, too?


So here goes.

Years ago, for years, I was on Canada AM every week. Jean Chretien was still (blessedly) running things, so I was still (remarkably) a Liberal. I was the Liberal on Canada AM and lots of the other political stuff they did. It was fun.

The person who ran the CTV political panel stuff, in those days, was Lisa LaFlamme. She didn’t have so much grey hair, then, and neither did I. LaFlamme was capable, and ambitious in a good way.


The panel was fun, as TV political panels always are. There’s lots of good-natured jousting, and reciting of talking points, and competing for airtime — and the occasional burst of bona fide passion. People in Ottawa think these panels are a super big deal, but in Timmins or Red Deer, nobody really gives a rat’s ass what a bunch of hacks think. Ottawa talking about Ottawa, etc.

Anyway. One time, we Liberals were doing some gun thing. I don’t remember what it was, but you can be reasonably assured it was carefully designed to prompt an overreaction by Conservatives, and thereby alienate female suburban voters in droves. (It works, every time.) So Lisa wanted to talk about that, and the opposition to it.

At one point, I disclosed that I am a gun owner, as I always do because I am. And then I referred to the spit-flecked histrionics coming from the gun lobby as a lot of screeching and braying from “gun nuts.” Quote unquote.


Well, holy moly Mother Cannoli, it was like I relieved myself in the middle of the CTV green room (met my pal Gene Simmons there one morning, but that’s an X-rated story for another day). Or that I’d taken Lloyd Robertson’s parking spot out front (he’s such a nice guy, he wouldn’t have cared).

I digress, as usual. Anyway, I was on live TV, but I could hear a bit of a kerfuffle all around me in the studio. Someone rushed up and handed Lisa LaFlamme a piece of paper.

I’d like to say she read it like she was a hostage, but she didn’t. She read it like she meant it. Like she agreed.

“CTV News,” she intoned, “wishes to state that we do not condone or agree with what Warren Kinsella said about lawful gun owners.”

That’s not word-for-word. I was on TV, after all, and I wasn’t taking notes for use in a years-later opinion column. All I said was: “Wow.” What I wanted to say was: “Well, look who is the corporate toady, now.”


And that’s the point, many years later. The notion that Lisa LaFlamme was flamed by CTV because she was a rebel or a troublemaker is, to me, just plain wrong. In my own direct, personal experience, Lisa LaFlamme was highly attuned to the whims of the folks up in the executive suite.

Which almost certainly means that she really, truly did get canned for the worst of reasons: that she was getting older. That she was going gray.

Was sexism in the mix? Probably, because her (now doomed) successor is a guy. Was it something else, something we don’t know about? Possibly. In the media business, you can go from hero to zero pretty darn fast.

But the notion that Lisa LaFlamme walked the plank because she was a valiant newsroom resistance fighter? Based on my experience, not a chance. You don’t get to be prime minister by being stupid, and you don’t get to be a national news anchor without polishing a few derrieres along the way.

Nope. Lisa LaFlamme was canned because she got old.

Which is stupid, because the millions of folks who watched her on TV? They’re getting old, too. And they don’t want to be discriminated against because of it.

Just like Lisa LaFlamme.
 

The_Foxer

Council Member
Aug 9, 2022
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Kinsella is often a half bubble off center, but this was really bad.

She read something someone handed to her on air once, so she's never been a demanding person to work with or demanding about the direction of her show. Despite large numbers of people who worked on it pointing out she absolutely was.

It's idiotic.

Nobody in broadcast news cans someone who's high in the ratings because they're getting older. If they're high in the ratings - that's all they care about as far as that goes. She was canned because they wanted to take the show in a different direction and she didn't want to. And she's obviously not the easiest person to work with.
 

spaminator

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Oct 26, 2009
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Petition to reinstate Lisa LaFlamme at CTV hits record high
Author of the article:Mark Daniell
Publishing date:Sep 07, 2022 • 19 hours ago • 4 minute read • 38 Comments

An online petition calling on CTV to reinstate Lisa LaFlamme as its Chief News Anchor has racked up more than 200,000 signatures.


Miles MacMillan from North Bay, Ont., launched the campaign last month after Bell Media announced it was parting ways with the longtime journalist saying in a press release the company was “recognizing changing viewer habits” as it moved “the role of its Chief News Anchor in a different direction” with Omar Sachedina.


“I think Bell Media is making a huge mistake by taking Lisa LaFlamme off of the air and I think they need to reconsider this decision and reinstate her as Chief News Anchor,” MacMillan says. “I am asking everyone who agrees with me to please sign this petition.”

In a Twitter post on Aug. 15, LaFlamme, 58, said she was informed June 29 that her contract was not going to be renewed and it was a “business decision.”


“I was blindsided and I’m still shocked and saddened by Bell Media’s decision,” LaFlamme said. “I was also asked to keep this confidential from my colleagues and the public until the specifics of my exit could be resolved.”

On social media, LaFlamme’s departure was met with a mixture of anger and sadness.

“This is a shocker,” Global National’s Dawna Friesen tweeted. “None of us last in these gigs forever, but seems to me you deserve better than this.”

Former TSN personality Dan O’Toole added, “Just brutal. Lisa, we should talk!”

LaFlamme’s predecessor Lloyd Robertson also weighed in on her firing during a panel discussion entitled Staging Democracy at the Stratford Festival’s Tom Patterson Theatre. “You don’t go laying off that person the way you laid off Lisa LaFlamme,” Robertson said, according to Guelph Today.


In the weeks since LaFlamme’s departure was made public, her split with the broadcaster has been met with more anger coast-to-coast, with Michael Melling, the vice-president of news for Bell Media, announcing a leave of absence from the company late last month.

Bell Media has also been forced to contend with claims that LaFlamme was ousted because of her grey hair with a number CTV News journalists asserting that her firing was based “more on personal malice than any business-related reasons.”

An open letter was published in the Globe and Mail and signed by notable Canadians including Sarah McLachlan, Anne Murray, Jann Arden and Romeo Dallaire, pointedly asked Bell to “make things right.”



“Bell Media’s ‘business decision’ to fire CTV National News anchor Lisa LaFlamme, in the very prime of her career…struck at the heart of not only who we are as Canadians, but who we aspire to be,” said the letter addressed to the board of directors and management of BCE and Bell Canada.

“In making their ‘business decision,’ Bell confirmed one sad truth: even after all the progress women have made, they continue to face sexism and ageism at work everyday in a way which is unacceptable.”

The truth appears to be that LaFlamme’s departure from the anchor chair of Canada’s most watched television newscast was due to a number of complex reasons.

Since announcing her departure, LaFlamme has garnered support from mainstream businesses. Wendy’s, Dove and Sports Illustrated all waded into the fray backing the journalist.

Wendy’s changed its red-headed mascot’s hair to grey, while Dove pledged to donate $100,000 to a Canadian organization that helps build better workplaces for women.


Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated retweeted a cover that featured 74-year-old model Maye Musk.

Signees of MacMillan’s petition added their own supportive comments as well.

“I believe that what Bell Media did to Ms LaFlamme was sexist and ageist, not to mention blatantly disrespectful to end her career in this fashion. Yes, she should be reinstated, but maybe they don’t deserve her,” one person wrote, with another adding, “Her dismissal was simply wrong. It’s up to Bell to correct a very bad decision.”

MacMillan credited his petition for leading to Melling’s leave of absence.

“It looks like the petition might be showing some positive effects,” he wrote.

Following its announcement that it is replacing LaFlamme with Sachedina, Bell Media said in a statement it “regrets” the way in which LaFlamme’s departure was handled.


Sachedina addressed the drama after taking over from LaFlamme this week.



“It is important for me to acknowledge the inspiration and mentor that Lisa LaFlamme has been to me over the years,” Sachedina told viewers. “Lisa, thank you for everything. Like many of you, I really wish Lisa’s goodbye could have been from here.”

He continued, “I know welcoming me into your homes every night is not a right, it’s a privilege. I will work hard with our team to earn and build your trust for that continued privilege. That’s my commitment to you and that’s our commitment to you.”

mdaniell@postmedia.com

 

The_Foxer

Council Member
Aug 9, 2022
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This is just beyond stupid. She wasn't fired, they just didn't renew her contract. If an employer doesn't want to renew someone's contract, that's the way it is.

The best thing bell can do right now is shut up about it and never speak about it or answer a question about it again. And be sure never to hire a woman anchor - if you ever want to let them go, they're going to do everything they can to torpedo your business.
 

spaminator

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Oct 26, 2009
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Tie a silver ribbon for Lisa LaFlamme!
Author of the article:Brian Lilley
Publishing date:Sep 08, 2022 • 17 hours ago • 3 minute read • 14 Comments

Omar Sachedina might be reading the news at CTV, but Lisa LaFlamme is still making the news. As Sachedina took the big chair at Canada’s most-watched newscast there was little fanfare and continued calls for LaFlamme to be reinstated.


It’s not just the more than 200,000 who have signed a petition calling for LaFlamme’s return, some top on-air personalities at the network have discussed organizing a campaign. There’s even talk of wearing a silver ribbon, like a poppy it was described, in support of LaFlamme and her grey hair.


Screenshots of group chats among groups of current and former CTV colleagues of LaFlamme’s show lots of support for the ousted anchor in one group and jubilation at her departure among others.

Among those supportive of LaFlamme there was also a discussion about sending letters of support for LaFlamme’s longtime producer, Rosa Hwang. One participant described reporting on Hwang and her behavior as a “smear campaign.”

There has been precious little reporting on Hwang, aside from columns I’ve written and most media outlets have shown little curiosity in the totality of the LaFlamme story beyond reporting on her age or hair colour. Most have ignored claims of a toxic work environment at CTV National News, claims that didn’t come from management at CTV or Bell Media but from longtime colleagues of Hwang and LaFlamme.


Source after source, most of them women, described a work environment where belittling, grudges and internal smear campaigns were common. Words like “psychotic” were used to describe the way some staff were treated.

A penchant for getting gifts …
Multiple people who have worked with Hwang described how she expected gifts from reporters in order to get the best trips or assignments. Hwang declined to comment when asked about the claims of a gift policy as did CTV and several Bell executives.

While most current and former co-workers I’ve spoken to claim that Hwang was responsible for what they called a toxic workplace and that LaFlamme just gave silent approval, others claimed LaFlamme was an equal partner. Neither woman has responded to requests for comment on these claims.


The screenshots of one group chat made up of current and former employees also take aim at Bell Media in general. Claims of a callous attitude toward employees, a demoralizing environment that one called “psychologically devastating.”

“Nothing to see here, though, it’s all atoned for with the hypocrisy of ‘Let’s Talk Day,’” one participant said referring to Bell’s annual Let’s Talk campaign to raise awareness and funds for mental health.

The company has promised a thorough internal investigation.

“We have always taken matters regarding any discrimination very seriously and are committed to a safe, inclusive and respectful work environment for all our employees, devoid of any toxic behaviour,” the company said in a statement last month.



While initially thought to be focused on Michael Melling, the vice president of news, and his role and impact on the workplace culture, multiple sources have confirmed that review is wider in scope and will include the accusations that precede his time overseeing the news division. Melling, currently on leave after the disastrous firing of LaFlamme, took over the news division in January.

There have been reports that he and LaFlamme were butting heads over various issues from travel to budgets to how news should be covered.

Bottom line, people still can’t stop talking about LaFlamme and her firing three weeks after it happened. That’s not good for Bell and it’s not good for Sachedina who has taken over the top spot in Canadian broadcast news under a cloud.
 

Dixie Cup

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Sep 16, 2006
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Lisa LaFlamme was no newsroom rebel or troublemaker in my experience
The CTV national news anchor was likely canned because she got old, which is stupid, because the millions who watched her on TV are also getting old

Author of the article:Warren Kinsella
Publishing date:Sep 03, 2022 • 10 hours ago • 3 minute read • 22 Comments

Okay, here’s my Lisa LaFlamme story.


And, in my defence, you shouldn’t get mad at me for adding to the towering pile of stories and opinion columns about the former CTV News anchor and her employer. I mean, everyone else has kept this prototypical Summertime scandal alive for week after week, so why can’t Yours Truly have some fun, too?


So here goes.

Years ago, for years, I was on Canada AM every week. Jean Chretien was still (blessedly) running things, so I was still (remarkably) a Liberal. I was the Liberal on Canada AM and lots of the other political stuff they did. It was fun.

The person who ran the CTV political panel stuff, in those days, was Lisa LaFlamme. She didn’t have so much grey hair, then, and neither did I. LaFlamme was capable, and ambitious in a good way.


The panel was fun, as TV political panels always are. There’s lots of good-natured jousting, and reciting of talking points, and competing for airtime — and the occasional burst of bona fide passion. People in Ottawa think these panels are a super big deal, but in Timmins or Red Deer, nobody really gives a rat’s ass what a bunch of hacks think. Ottawa talking about Ottawa, etc.

Anyway. One time, we Liberals were doing some gun thing. I don’t remember what it was, but you can be reasonably assured it was carefully designed to prompt an overreaction by Conservatives, and thereby alienate female suburban voters in droves. (It works, every time.) So Lisa wanted to talk about that, and the opposition to it.

At one point, I disclosed that I am a gun owner, as I always do because I am. And then I referred to the spit-flecked histrionics coming from the gun lobby as a lot of screeching and braying from “gun nuts.” Quote unquote.


Well, holy moly Mother Cannoli, it was like I relieved myself in the middle of the CTV green room (met my pal Gene Simmons there one morning, but that’s an X-rated story for another day). Or that I’d taken Lloyd Robertson’s parking spot out front (he’s such a nice guy, he wouldn’t have cared).

I digress, as usual. Anyway, I was on live TV, but I could hear a bit of a kerfuffle all around me in the studio. Someone rushed up and handed Lisa LaFlamme a piece of paper.

I’d like to say she read it like she was a hostage, but she didn’t. She read it like she meant it. Like she agreed.

“CTV News,” she intoned, “wishes to state that we do not condone or agree with what Warren Kinsella said about lawful gun owners.”

That’s not word-for-word. I was on TV, after all, and I wasn’t taking notes for use in a years-later opinion column. All I said was: “Wow.” What I wanted to say was: “Well, look who is the corporate toady, now.”


And that’s the point, many years later. The notion that Lisa LaFlamme was flamed by CTV because she was a rebel or a troublemaker is, to me, just plain wrong. In my own direct, personal experience, Lisa LaFlamme was highly attuned to the whims of the folks up in the executive suite.

Which almost certainly means that she really, truly did get canned for the worst of reasons: that she was getting older. That she was going gray.

Was sexism in the mix? Probably, because her (now doomed) successor is a guy. Was it something else, something we don’t know about? Possibly. In the media business, you can go from hero to zero pretty darn fast.

But the notion that Lisa LaFlamme walked the plank because she was a valiant newsroom resistance fighter? Based on my experience, not a chance. You don’t get to be prime minister by being stupid, and you don’t get to be a national news anchor without polishing a few derrieres along the way.

Nope. Lisa LaFlamme was canned because she got old.

Which is stupid, because the millions of folks who watched her on TV? They’re getting old, too. And they don’t want to be discriminated against because of it.

Just like Lisa LaFlamme.
She likely did what thousands if not millions of women did during Covid - went without going to their local hair salon. I know I did because they were CLOSED!!! Maybe she decided to say "screw it" and keep it as it was, like I did. Saved myself a lot of money, that's for sure. You can still look stylish even if your hair is grey/white!!! While I'm not big on the MSM, I did like Lisa. She should not have lost her job over the color of her hair (if that's what happened). We actually don't really know - just speculation so far.

I've come to the conclusion that women are being attacked from every which way and not a feminist in sight!

Between aborting babies, Trans sports issues, age issues - where does it all stop? That's why progressivism is actually regressive. We're going backwards with insisting racism is on the rise, that men can get pregnant, and women can be men; that there is no difference biologically between the two sexes (oh sorry, it's what, 70+ sexes (which is in and of itself is absurd). It's ridiculous & inhumane.
 

pgs

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She likely did what thousands if not millions of women did during Covid - went without going to their local hair salon. I know I did because they were CLOSED!!! Maybe she decided to say "screw it" and keep it as it was, like I did. Saved myself a lot of money, that's for sure. You can still look stylish even if your hair is grey/white!!! While I'm not big on the MSM, I did like Lisa. She should not have lost her job over the color of her hair (if that's what happened). We actually don't really know - just speculation so far.

I've come to the conclusion that women are being attacked from every which way and not a feminist in sight!

Between aborting babies, Trans sports issues, age issues - where does it all stop? That's why progressivism is actually regressive. We're going backwards with insisting racism is on the rise, that men can get pregnant, and women can be men; that there is no difference biologically between the two sexes (oh sorry, it's what, 70+ sexes (which is in and of itself is absurd). It's ridiculous & inhumane.
The guy checked more of the diversity boxes , white women no longer are the top of the woo is me bunch .
 
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harrylee

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I have ever really watched Ms LaFlamme before. I am sure she is a fine journalist. I have seen her a bit with her covering the queens death. She is looking a bit long in the tooth, to be expected at her age. Just sayin'