CTV Montreal cancels local sportscasts, lays off Randy Tieman, Brian Wilde, Sean Coleman

Last updated July 2 with videos of Tieman and Wilde from Impact game.

Staff at CTV Montreal were informed this morning that there will be no more locally-produced sportscasts at the station, and that long-time anchor Randy Tieman, reporter Brian Wilde and weekend anchor Sean Coleman have been laid off, effective immediately.

“We can confirm we’ve made an editorial decision to transition sports coverage from sportscasters to news anchors in response to evolving viewer behaviour. As a result, three positions have been impacted at CTV Montreal. Our viewers can continue to rely on CTV News to keep them informed about local and professional sports,” reads the statement from Bell Media.

According to Stéphane Giroux, who heads the station’s union local, the staff were informed of the cut at 11am Tuesday, an hour after Coleman and Tieman were informed of the decision in a brief, matter-of-fact meeting with HR. (Wilde was on the road and was informed by telephone.) There was no sports at noon on Tuesday, and there wasn’t one at 6pm either. Paul Karwatsky broke the news to viewers during the 6pm newscast (the 30-minute mark of the video, or 40 minutes into the newscast on TV):

Welcome back. Now a note to share with you tonight about our newscast and how we’ll be covering sports from now on. We’ll still be reporting on the sports beat with stories from Montreal and beyond. But we’ll now be doing it as part of our overall news coverage, in other words we’ll no longer have a separate sportscast. This was announced today and this also means very, very unfortunately that Randy Tieman, Brian Wilde and Sean Coleman are no longer with CTV. We want to thank them of course for their dedication and their excellent contribution to this station and this community that will of course be very sorely missed.

Lori Graham and Paul Karwatsky pay tribute to their former sports colleagues at the end of Tuesday’s newscast.

Karwatsky and Lori Graham also paid tribute to their departed colleagues at the end of the newscast:

Karwatsky: I guess we should address it, it hasn’t been an amazing day here at CTV Montreal. In fact all across the network sportscasts have been cancelled and that means unfortunately, very unfortunately we’re losing Randy, Brian and Sean. And we just wanted to take some time to tell you guys how much you’ll be missed.

Graham: That’s right. We’d like to definitely honour our colleagues, Randy Tieman, Brian Wilde and Sean Coleman. Not only were they great to work with, but they are really great guys, and we’re definitely going to miss your talent, we’re going to miss your wit and your humour and we wish you all the best.

Karwatsky: In the meantime we’ll carry on and we hope you continue tuning in.

Karwatsky gave a slightly shorter version of the announcement during the late-night newscast around 11:55pm (18-minute mark in the video).

Similar cuts to local sports have happened at other CTV stations (Barrie, Kitchener, London, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Victoria and Windsor have all been reported) to the point where the national Unifor union blew the whistle on the cuts to local news.

So Giroux said the union saw this one coming, but they were still surprised that such a popular newscast would cut such popular on-air personalities, describing Tieman and Wilde as “living legends” and Coleman as “such a promising sportscaster”.

“It made us realize nothing is untouchable in this business,” he said.

CTV Montreal news director Jed Kahane declined to comment, referring me to Bell Media.

Randy Tieman at the St. Patrick’s Parade this year.

Tieman: “I’m basically a retired guy”

“I didn’t think they’d close the whole department, I thought I would get (cut),” Tieman told me on the phone today. At 63 years old, and with a severance package he described as generous, he has the luxury of not needing to find another job off the bat, and could simply end his career there. “I’m basically a retired guy unless somebody makes me an offer I can’t refuse,” he said.

Though he took the news of his own layoff with calm acceptance, his thoughts were with his younger coworkers who have bigger worries.

Tieman has been with CFCF for 34 years, and “I have nothing but great things to say about the whole run,” he said.

And while he doesn’t have regrets, he did find it sad that he didn’t have a chance to say goodbye, alongside Mutsumi Takahashi, Paul Karwatsky and Lori Graham. “I would have loved to have done one more show,” he said.

But things don’t work like that in the broadcasting industry. Once the decision has been made, the employees are told to pack up their desks and leave the building. You don’t allow someone you’ve just fired to get in front of a live microphone or camera.

It’s unclear if CTV will address the layoffs during its 6pm newscast. I can say nobody who works there is happy about the news. The decision was made in Toronto.

The news comes just days after CTV Montreal held its annual upfront presentation to advertisers. Tieman, along with Graham, were the go-to presenters for these kinds of events. This year, they proudly announced they would be adding a new 5pm local newscast on weekdays, which would increase their output of local news and probably mean some additional hires (Giroux said the union still hasn’t been given any details about how this affects personnel).

It’s also two days before the Alouettes begin their season at home. Tieman was the station’s CFL reporter, and on-site during Alouettes home games. I asked him whether this means he’ll have to start buying tickets to them now since he won’t be representing an accredited media.

“Either that or I’ll have to make up a fake blog or something,” he quipped.

But it’s far too early to know what’s next for him. “I’m sitting next to my wife and she’s saying what are you gonna do now,” he said, “and I’m thinking ‘gee, I gotta cut the grass.'”

Coleman: Keeping the Champagne on ice

Coleman was the most recently hired of the three, and he’s no stranger to these kinds of cuts. He got his job doing weekend sports at CTV two years ago after City Montreal cut reporters from its local sports magazine show.

“I’m not even at my 26th birthday and I’ve been with two sports departments that have been entirely canned,” Coleman told me over the phone.

He combined his part-time work at CTV with part-time work at TSN 690 and CJAD. And he said it’s his understanding that he can continue with the radio work, even though it’s for the same parent company (and in offices across the street). But “I’m not really sure where it leaves me in terms of managing a full-time salary,” he said. Despite some wishful thinking on the part of fans, there isn’t exactly a limitless supply of jobs at TSN 690 (just ask Elliott Price or Ted Bird).

The news had pretty awful timing for Coleman. He and girlfriend Kelly Greig (who was just recently hired by CTV) moved into a new apartment on Tuesday. And now he has to worry about how to pay the rent. A bottle of wine, meant to celebrate the occasion, is staying unopened in the fridge, he said.

“I think today is just a day of licking the wounds,” he told me with an uncharacteristically sombre tone in his voice. Tomorrow he’ll worry about looking for another job and what to do with his career.

But though Coleman is talented and charismatic and will probably find work somewhere, it will be difficult to find something as rewarding and fun for him as this job was.

“This is the job I loved the most,” he said. “It’s a job that if I did the same thing for the next 40 years, I’d find something new to love every weekend. I knew that eventually local news and sports coverage would go their separate ways, but I didn’t think it would be this early.”

Frustratingly, his dismissal had nothing to do with his performance on the job. It was merely a decision by suits in Toronto that local sportscasts at CTV stations had to go.

“It’s entirely demoralizing,” Coleman said. “You show up every day and you give it your 100% and in two years forces beyond your control rip it from under your feet.”

The job also connected Coleman with viewers in a way he hadn’t experienced before. “I was always amazed when I talked to people how much they cared about local news,” he said. “It always meant a lot to me that people remembered (how you covered stories and what you said on the air) and it mattered to them.”

After getting the news, Coleman said Tieman took him out for coffee to commiserate about what had just happened. “I think it’s a shame that a legend like that goes out on these terms,” Coleman said.

Wilde: Laying low

Wilde isn’t in the talking mood yet, but he posted a thank-you message on Twitter and told Pat Hickey that “It’s the nature of business. I’m sure I’ll land somewhere.” Wilde has become a star for the station in his own right with his Canadiens coverage, his 25,000 Twitter followers and his Call of the Wilde takes on the team. He’s made a name for himself as a voice of reason among the insane hordes of people who think they’d make a better general manager.

Wilde was part of the team doing play-by-play for Impact games on TSN 690 (the only sports team he allows himself to be an actual fan of). It’s unclear (even to him) whether he will still get to do so.

In the meantime, he’s changed his Twitter handle.

Not many options

Speculation is already brewing on social media about where they could go. TSN 690? Wilde and Coleman were already very present on that station, but it’s owned by the same company and it doesn’t exactly have unlimited full-time jobs to give away. One possibility would be the new Rogers CityNews local newscasts to start next year. But that’s only if they decide they want to do local sports. It’s more likely they’ll use Sportsnet for sports segments, similar to what Breakfast Television does and what CTV plans to do. Global doesn’t do local sports in Montreal, and CBC already has Doug Gelevan and Andie Bennett.

Sportsnet or TSN could be looking to beef up their reporting staff in Montreal. Or maybe some other news or sports outlet might be looking to establish a Montreal presence. But people aren’t lining up the hire Montreal anglophone sports journalists, as anyone graduating from Concordia’s journalism department with an interest in sports will tell you. One or more of them could move to another city, but besides Toronto, the same problem is repeated across the country.

Viewers outraged

Not only is the station losing important local journalism, presumably to be replaced at some later point by content provided by TSN, but the newscast is losing big personalities, people with good humour, good news judgment and good heart who helped build the kind of strong relationship with viewers that has made CTV by far the most popular local newscast in anglo Montreal.

Those viewers are already expressing their outrage on social media, and though it will eventually die down, it won’t go away and it won’t be forgotten.

For those wondering where to vent their outrage, sending obscenities to the CTV Montreal Twitter account won’t do much good. Local staff are just as upset as the fans are. This decision was made in Toronto, and though no one at Bell Media has shown the courage to step up and take responsibility for the move, the executives directly linked would be Nikki Moffat, President of Local Radio and TV and Vice-President Finance, and Wendy Freeman, President of CTV News. Bell Media emails are firstname.lastname@bellmedia.ca.

But even complaining to the top probably won’t do much good. These decisions are rarely reversed, especially when they happen on a national scale. Even decisions to boycott CTV and its local newscasts won’t see any results for months, and might do more harm than good, putting more local jobs at risk as revenues continue to drop. (Besides, there were boycotts called for when CJAD, TSN 690, CHOM, Virgin Radio, Q92/The Beat and Global made major cuts in the past, and those haven’t gone anywhere.)

But for Tieman, Wilde and Coleman, knowing how upset their viewers are to see them treated this way brings a little comfort.

Other coverage

Meanwhile, Global News was crowing Tuesday about how their “multi-market content” system, whereby local newscasts in markets including Montreal are anchored out of Toronto, just won an innovation award by the RTDNA.

TIeman, Wilde honoured at Impact game

Wilde and Tieman were invited to rink the 1642 MTL group’s bell at the Impact game on Saturday, July 1.

Here’s what that looked like when the Impact scored one of their goals:

Wilde and Tieman also got a chant in their honour:

On June 30, Tieman was interviewed for 15 minutes on the Ted Bird morning show on Jewel 106.7:

88 thoughts on “CTV Montreal cancels local sportscasts, lays off Randy Tieman, Brian Wilde, Sean Coleman

  1. Lance Campeau

    … and I’m sure advertisers are lining up to spend money on this idea… Wow… talk about getting it wrong. Leave it to Bell to kill off one of the few locally produced segments worth watching on anglo TV in Montreal. While we are talking about mistakes… I’m sure a 5 PM newscast will be the other “blunder of the year”. In case CTV hasn’t noticed, most people in Montreal are stuck in traffic until after 6 PM. Who will be watching news on a TV at 5pm? Nobody.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      Who will be watching news on a TV at 5pm? Nobody.

      Local 5pm newscasts are pretty popular. When CBC started its newscast at 5, the 5 and 5:30 half-hours had much higher ratings than 6pm. Much of that was probably because they weren’t competing with the CTV juggernaut. Similarly, Global’s viewership has risen since the evening news was moved back to 5:30pm.

      1. Brett

        I was always wishing Montreal had a 5pm news cast.

        News without local sportscast is a sad day for local news. Going to miss the sports team.

        1. Anonymous

          As Lance said, who is able to watch news at 5pm when trying to conquer the orange cones throughout the island. And given this latest news of letting these three gentlemen go, bye bye CTV ! Bye bye Bell for my tv viewing, internet service and lan line.

  2. Sandy

    And the evisceration of local content and talent continues. Clearly, history is meaningless, especially when Toronto gets to dominate. It looks more and more that CTV doesn’t mind portraying the same disconnection with this market that Global perpetrated with their own embarrassing “local” newscasts.
    Wait; what’s that? CBC news pulling up from the rear of the pack? Randy, hold onto your Rolodex. Your contacts and experience will put any Toronto-inserted sportscasters in their place.

  3. Media Man

    I’m upset really.. This is a sad day for local programming, and local newscasts.. And this terrible awesome news continues to support my astute thinking that the biggest mistake was allowing Bell to get bigger than they should..

    This supports my theory that broadcast outlets should be run by broadcaster dedicated people I.e. Allan Watters, Geoff Stirling, the Slaights, etc. You get my drift..

    I wonder if Global, CBC and especially Rogers -City might try and take advantage of this major brainless screwup by telephone people at Bell

    1. Dolores Huard

      I’m with you Bob! When the sports news comes on I’ll be out of there! Are you people out of your minds?!!!!I don’t even have TSN in my Videotron package so why would I want to watch their sports news?!! Happy retirement Randy, we will miss you very much. Brian who knew their sports better than you? Someone will be glad to pick you up. And ditto for Sean! :(

  4. dilbert

    Always fun to watch Bell do pretty much as I said they would.

    CTV news has been the top rated news program in Anglo Montreal since, well forever, or at least since they poached Andrew Marquis from CBC. Seriously though, Montreal news has been a one horse deal for a very long time, and everyone else trying has failed.

    So why mess with success? CTV news advertising is always sold out, it’s just about the only local programming created by what was once the CFCF production powerhouse. Cutting the sports out of that and replacing it with a national package is truly nutty on so many levels, that it’s hard to know where to start.

    First and foremost, you lose the local touch. The last thing any Montrealer wants is a Toronto-centric sports package that mentions the Canadians in passing and ignores every other local sport. All of that local coverage, the in depth in local coverage of the second and third tier sporting in Montreal is gone. More Blue Jays, less Canadiennes.

    Second you break up the single most succesful newscast in Montreal, and possibly one of the most reliable money makers in Canada to save some bucks on the bottom line. It shows Bell as not only heartless, but also self defeating.

    Third, it’s another horrible move to gut out local stations. This is pretty much unavoidable, and one of the tragic results of the Blais CRTC era. Bell should never have been allowed to get into this position to start with. A vertically integrated company can only move in one direction to make it’s bottom line better, and that is more integration.

    My prediction after this: The 5PM news will be a step down the road to kill off the local news as a stand alone unit entirely. Local reporters will feed the big machine in Toronto, and a “Montreal flavor” generic news show will result. When that works well enough (give it 6 months or so) the 6 PM news will get replaced by a version of the 5PM cast. Getting rid of sports today is just a step towards Bell’s perfect future where everything is vertically integrated and they only have one source for news, one for weather, and one for sports.

    Mitsumi and Lori would be doing themselves a favor by getting ready for the end. Mits woudl probably do herself a favor by working out a retirement package, and leaving on her own terms and being able to say goodbye on air.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      Bell should never have been allowed to get into this position to start with. A vertically integrated company can only move in one direction to make it’s bottom line better, and that is more integration.

      The merits of allowing Bell to buy CTV can be debated (and no doubt will) forever, but I don’t see why anyone would think that if CTV were a pure broadcaster it wouldn’t be going the same route with centralization. This isn’t about vertical integration, it’s about horizontal integration. Just like Corus is doing with Global and Postmedia and Transcontinental did with its newspapers.

      1. Mchael Black

        The real shift was when the network bought CFCF. That’s when the station lost most of its personality. The newscast became more “CTV” while the on air people doing it were elevated because they were the only sense of local people. It’s a long time since Magic Tom and Jonny Jellybean, but now it’s also a long time since programming diverged from the network, and there was all the movies programmed overnight and there was local programming. If the only local content is news that means the news people go out to the events, when in the past the stations had “celebrities” from other shows.

        This is just the next step, it started before Bell bought the network.


      2. dilbert

        I think that without TSN and without “sources” for the material that Bell brings to the table with their other broadcasting assets, CTV likely wouldn’t be making exactly the same choices.

        As a broadcaster (as opposed to a bottom line oriented mega-conglomerate monopoly minded company) you may approach things in a different manner. First and foremost, it would be a question of competition – if TSN was competition instead of being owned by the same company, perhaps the approach would be different.

        I can agree and understand they would likely centralize as much as they can. But broadcasters know that you are only as good as what is on the air, and when it comes to news, sports, and weather, it’s the people who present it that go a long way to making it good. Bell clearly does not understand or care for that.

        The Canadian broadcast universe would work much differently if CTV was independently owned – or better yet, a series of locally owned affiliates.

        Thanks to Blais for making this one possible. The door can’t hit him in the ass fast enough.

        1. Fagstein Post author

          I think that without TSN and without “sources” for the material that Bell brings to the table with their other broadcasting assets, CTV likely wouldn’t be making exactly the same choices.

          Probably true, but CTV owned TSN before Bell stepped in.

          The Canadian broadcast universe would work much differently if CTV was independently owned – or better yet, a series of locally owned affiliates.

          Maybe. But that presents its own set of problems. Conventional television isn’t very profitable in Canada, so how do you find enough independent businesspeople to own stations to fill an entire network?

          1. dilbert

            I think that convention TV is not very profitable in part because of thr structures put in place by the big companies to pull the money away from local and instead move towards a national program.

            The higher the percentage of a local channel’s airtime that is sold at a national level, the lower their income generally will be. National sales won’t give up all of the income, and the price paid will generally be lower per minute than would be paid in the individual marketplace.

            When programming decisions are made on a national rather than local level (all CTV station have pretty much the same daytime roster, example), are served by the national mothership, and are out of the hands of the local market, then you will find the locals are less profitable.

            Honestly, based on the current setups, it’s almost impossible to tell if the local stations would be profitable or not, so much of the income never makes it local, so few of the decisions are made locally, and outside of news the local stations really have none of their own content or people to work with. So we are left with whatever a company like Bell decides the local station is doing, and making them look weak at this point is very much in their interest.

            1. Jo Anne Kelly

              I am sick and devastated – this decision is absolutely terrible – bad bad bad
              I”ll go to CBC
              for my news and sports effective immediately.
              Inasmuch as I really like Paul K and I will miss him I will not tune into this station any longer.

  5. Lorne

    I really enjoyed watching these guys do the sports, especially Randy Tieman and Brian Wilde. I think this is a bad mistake they have made.

    1. Dolores Huard

      Already have! My last service with Bell was my telephone service which I switched over to Videotron last year after being with Bell all my life! This is unforgivable what they have done! Videotron has it way over them anyhow with Internet service, TV, etc.! Good luck to Randy, Brian and Sean. We will miss you but know with your expertise you will do ok!

  6. Nissar

    Bell is one of the worst managed companies. When will they learn that true success comes from treating your employees like people and not numbers. Another stupid decision from Toronto

  7. Debbie

    Forgive me if I am mistaken, but is this not the same gang of idiots who got rid of the Canada AM team and replaced them with that crappy your morning show?

  8. Stick

    Wtf? I have to deal with ET and Kim Kardashian but no local sports report? Who made this moronic decision? Wow, wtf…

  9. Marc

    What a massive screw-up and proves Bell doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the peons below. What’s the point of a 5pm newscast then?

    $$$$$$ is the only thing Bell cares about. The quality of the product on TV? Meh.

    Though if advertisers bow out….nah, who am I kidding? Bell would probably welcome that do they cancel the newscast entirely saving more $$$$.

    1. Brett

      I agree with you. Last night I made the decision to switch to the CBC 6pm newscast. Not only that I removed TSN 690 and CJAD 800 from my radio dial. I replaced it with 88.5 CBC Radio One and 93.5 CBC Radio 2.

  10. raymond maynard

    pm will never be the sameare a bunch of idiots, firing such a classy group of sports broadcasters. ctv news at 6 and 11.30

  11. Neil Richardet

    The boardroom decision sounds good on paper but in reality it is self defeating – I no longer have a good reason to watch CTV so I will simply switch any one of the other stations. Congratulations you have joined the ranks of Bad Decision Makers who take a good buisness and destroy it just like Dunkin Donuts who have basically disappeared in Quebec.

  12. Doug

    I am sad and will miss the personal touch. Unfortunately the truth is my eighteen year old son has not watched local tv ever and neither of none of his friends. These great broadcasters will re invent themselves just like the industry is trying to bo and they will do it better.

  13. Greg B

    Been watching CTV Montreal (Pulse) for over 40 years as it represented the English society here well, whether it was local news or local sports . Now the geniuses at Bell media have put yet another nail in the Anglo communities coffin.Time for us as viewers to move on as well. Hope future ratings will reflect what a poor corporate citizen Bell really is…all about the money. Hopefully other local stations can fill in the void for us.
    Moving on…

  14. Joanne Donato

    Very poor decision! As a viewer, I am very disappointed in the laying off of the very popular sportscasters! Sigh…..added upon the other poor sports decisions in this city – this one tops the list! In the future, I will watch which ever broadcast has the intelligence to hire Randy, Brian or Sean for not only sports but for the daily news!

  15. Mario

    Explain me this Bell. How will this decision help generate more advertising revenue? It’s a slow death nail to locally produced news programming.

  16. Brian McCarthy

    This is what happens when the CRTC allows bell (lowercase by design) to monopolize production and delivery across the entire country. B media have succeeded in pissing me off with this decision and as God is my judge I will make the f&&kers pay. Good people lose their jobs while Looking for Bigfoot continues. Goes to show that a college education can’t fix STUPID!?


    How do you spell Bell…..G-R-E-E-D-Y. A major city like Montreal without a sports dept.
    I can guarantee you one thing…….not gonna happen in Toronto

  18. A. L.

    Bye Bye Montreal CTV news. Going forward my TV will be on another channel or watching something on the PVR while having supper. No more Randy… no more watching!!!!

  19. Anonymous

    Bell media… not surprised! I’ve been a loyal customer for over 30 years.. the best thing of ever did was drop them 3 years ago. Best decision ever made… Now it’s time to move on to another station… CBC or Global….

  20. This isn't a sports town

    Sad news but the minor complaints will end quickly.
    Sports fans like to make noise but there just are not many of them. You can look at the ratings for TSN radio, and I’m sure the ratings for CTV also show the audience vanishes when it is time for sports.
    If Randy and the gang were bringing in viewers and selling ads, they’d still be here

    1. Fagstein Post author

      If Randy and the gang were bringing in viewers and selling ads, they’d still be here

      Ratings didn’t matter. Sports has been cut at CTV stations across the country.

    2. Rob Reid

      I would have to respectfully disagree. Montreal IS a sports town. How can you say that when hockey is a religion in this city? Granted, baseball is no longer here, but we have football, and soccer is gaining in popularity exponentially. I know many friends and colleagues who tuned into CTV News specifically for their sports update.

  21. Dina Diogo

    I’m truly disappointed with Bell Media’s decision? I have been watching CTV Montreal all of my adult life and the reason was the team, so I’m confused as to why they thought this was the way to go…I do not want another hour of news but I do want that team back together. Montreal CTV news is about our city and should include our sports journalists not clips from TSN???? so angry…I will have to watch the other local news and hope they do not make the same mistake!

  22. Andy Dodge

    Just another blow to the anglo community of Montreal and Quebec, all thanks to Toronto which has again shown that it really doesn’t care. Sports is one of the unifying factors in society and trivializing it is a big mistake. Thank all of you guys for holding us together!

  23. Apple IIGS

    Over the years Bell has unfortunately transformed CFCF-12 from a local gem, with unique programming and shows, into a mere repeat broadcaster of other Bell Media-owned CTV stations. Literally! Go compare the schedule, apart from ads, its programming and scheduling is bit for bit identical to CTV Toronto, or CTV Ottawa.

    The last bastion of hope was our local news (nee Pulse News), but even that has been slowly eroding away over the years. In recent years they took away the 6 AM morning broadcast, they laid off most of the old anchors (Herb Luft, Debra Arbec, Catherine Sherriffs, among others) canceled unique segments (remember “Randy’s Rookies”?), and even changed the opening video and music to match other CTV news stations. They even got rid of the Telethon of Stars back in 2009 (hosted by local news staff), which ran for 4 decades! And now this, the entire sports department and its staff, gone, just like that in a blink of an eye.

    How many local CTV Montreal anchors and reports are left? And I don’t think this is the end of it; I believe, as was mentioned above, the introduction of a 5 PM newscast will mean even more layoffs in the near future.

    I’m not a sports fan, but it’s quite a shock when a BIG chunk of local content and faces are suddenly cut from the station. Randy, Brian and Sean are going to leave quite a void. At what point will it all vanish and the only local content left will be ads?

    1. Fagstein Post author

      In recent years they took away the 6 AM morning broadcast, they laid off most of the old anchors (Herb Luft, Debra Arbec, Catherine Sherriffs, among others)

      None of those three were laid off. Luft retired after the 6am show was cancelled, Arbec resigned to take the job at CBC, and Sherriffs decided to leave rather than be shuffled into a new position.

      1. Apple IIGS

        These anchors were well settled in and quite content as part of the Montreal CTV News team. Had it not been for these forced changes by Bell Media, they would likely still be there today. I almost see their departures as constructive dismissals. Let’s just say they were not amicable departures from the station, anymore than Tieman, Wilde or Coleman.

        Looking at the big picture here, these decisions by Bell aren’t in the best interest of the public and viewers in general, just their own. Yes, they’re a business and making money is the bottom line, but there is a line between being profitable and just total disregard for your customers and local TV viewers.

        1. Fagstein Post author

          I almost see their departures as constructive dismissals.

          A constructive dismissal is when you change someone’s working conditions enough that they decide to leave. These were explicit dismissals.

          1. Apple IIGS

            I said, “I ALMOST see their departures as constructive dismissals”; not in the straight literal sense. In the case of Catherine Sherriffs, her anchor position was cut while she was away on maternity leave. And you even said she rather leave, than be shuffled into a new position.

            Luft was essentially forced into retirement by Bell, it wasn’t a planned choice on his part.

            At any rate, I expect to see more long time staff disappear in the coming months, as Bell goes further towards eliminating local programming.

  24. Mario

    Maybe CRTC should step in and further define their definition of news and how much is locally produced in their supper hour news.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      Maybe CRTC should step in and further define their definition of news and how much is locally produced in their supper hour news.

      They did exactly that in their recent TV policy and licence renewal process. Local TV stations are now required to produce a minimum amount of locally reflective news, whereas before the quota was simply local programming. But the commission has decided that the technical production of newscasts, including how they’re anchored, is up to the broadcaster. So long as it has the local news it requires, it can be produced however and from wherever they want.

  25. A.T.

    They will be missed. I am not surprised by this announcement and I am surprised it had not happened sooner. My kids never watch TV – the stream everything. I could see Sean Coleman returning to that flailing Sports show on City – he is a rising star. As for Randy, thanks for the wonderful memories over years. Good luck to you Brian. Fingers crossed my friend.

  26. Helle Pold

    When CTV got rid of Frank the weather man, I followed him to CBC news and I’m very happy. I’ll see the sports there now too

      1. Dolores Huard

        I never got over that either Frank! You were funny, delightful, entertaining (handsome!) and who could forget your zucchini segment?!! For the life of me I still can’t figure out why someone made that decision! Whatshername is ok but every time I see her I think of you! lol! :)

        1. Frank Cavallaro

          Dolores, To big companies we are just numbers. No matter how well you do you job and are loyal to the station and the city you work in, when it’s time to cut, they don’t care. I’m glad I was able to put a smile on your face while working at CTV for 17 years. Come over to CBC sometime.

  27. Anonymous

    For a market as big as Montreal, you would think that CTV would need more than just John Lu to cover the market. They will probably leverage the radio guys like Noel Butler. To me, its disappointing that local events will have imports from Toronto to cover, like for F1 or Tennis,

  28. Rob Reid

    Unbelievable. Once again, decisions being made by people who don’t know the business. This is a sports city … to cut a dedicated, talented, reliable crew is unfathomable … and frankly unforgivable. I love the CTV crew as a whole, and I have always tuned in every weeknight to get my hours worth of news. But this move leads me to believe I’ve watched my last CTV news broadcast. Shame on Bell Media.

  29. Dorothy Lipovenko

    Good thing CFCF’s Johnny Jellybean was on in the 1960s. What would have happened if it became known some of us couldn’t hang in until the end of the lunchtime show without risking being late getting back to school?

  30. J

    About a week ago, there was speculation here about possible new positions for CFCF since CTV had decided to add a 5pm newscast. This week a department is gutted. So, we can see from all of this what type of 5pm newscast they are considering. Pre-packed out of market (from Toronto) segments for the newscast. It would have been better if they had announced nothing about a 5pm newscast.

    The CRTC needs to look at the main networks (CTV, Global, CITY) not owning and operating the majority of the stations in their networks. And look at encouraging more station affiliates and allowing these stations to easily offer sub-channels on their channels.

    What Bell Media has done to the once mighty CFCF 12 is shocking. This one station alone is enough of a case study to support the argument that the networks should not be allowed to own the majority of their stations.

    For now, I usually rely on CBMT 6 (CBC) for local news. And my second go to is CKMI 15 (Global), but only when they do the actual newscast with Montreal people. That out of market newscast CKMI has at 11pm is another example of garbage.

  31. Irwin Block

    Whatever some might say, I am boycotting local CTV News in protest, in the hope that others will follow suit and help persuade Bell Media to curtail its downsizing of local TV News .

  32. Frank Cavallaro

    I’m not surprised. It happened to me in 2008 and it happens again. When will it stop ? Bell made over $800 million in profit last year. I guess that was not enough. It doesn’t matter how good you are or how many years you put in for a company, we are just numbers. Good luck to Randy, Brian & Sean.

  33. Ian Howarth

    This is just flat out a tragedy. Tieman with his CFL reports and the post-Habs game comments of Brian Wilde and Francois Gagnon are (were) key components of CTV’s sports broadcasts. This is really hard to fathom. I feel for each of them, who when they wake up tomorrow, will feel an emptiness that will make it difficult for them to have a reason to drag their asses out of bed. These are guys you felt you knew.

  34. Jean-Francois Berube

    What’s the use of a CTV station in Montreal anyway? If they won’t do local stuff they should bring their licence back to the CRTC.

  35. Mario D.

    Cannot disagree with the anglophone market debacle theory but it’s not really better on the french side.
    But man ! What a slaughter being done by Bell ! Heading even more (as if it was possible) for exclusively Toronto based content . You see if the CRTC was not an outrageous and worthless country club ,they would regulate things like this . I mean it looks like a cat, meows like a cat ,must be… But the CRTC closes it’ s eyes and pours another Martini soooooo…

    Will personally not miss Wilde because he is anything but a sports reporter but then again ,the fact that so many pros left MTL gave opportunities to career media personalities who will pretend to be able to do anything and do the job for less…

    Sad for Coleman though. Really like the new kids on the block that TSN radio made us discover especially the feminine voices. I find that they have a fresher look at sports and do not look at the past with too much nostalgia as older folks tend to do.

    Someone who wants and sometimes needs his little dose of sports should not have to be forced to switch (subscribe) to a specialty channel a la TSN. The brand of broadcasting we found on CTV (CFCF) had a special tone and a familiar feel to it that made it a relaxing and welcomed part of an otherwise more and more heavy news cast.

    1. dilbert

      Part of the problem with the CRTC is that in order to address the problem, they would first have to admit that the CRTC has made a series of serious errors.

      We can’t blame it all on Blais, he’s only had 5 years at the top job to rubber stamp Bell purchases, but Konrad von Finckenstein before him was a real low key guy who was at the helm when the CRTC approved the purchase of CTVGlobemedia in 2010 / 2011. This is something that should never, ever of happened. Then again, Bell also should not have been allowed to keep on going by buying Astral, but that is another story.

      When you have media concentration, you lose competition, and you lose many of the reasons why more than one channel offers sports, weather, news, and such. CTV local stations can ditch their sports department because Bell has this thing called TSN that can create the sports news. It’s the same reason why CJAD has no more sports people on staff.

      The lack of competition means they don’t have to be better, it’s acceptable to just be all the same and not worry.

  36. Allan Katz

    At a time where news, weather and sports information can be obtained from just about anywhere, anytime and on any electronic device why is it so hard for corporate media planners to realize that it is relationship between viewers and on-air personalities that influence decisions on what to watch?

    Best to Randy Tieman, Brian Wilde and Sean Coleman.

    1. A.T.

      Bell, Rogers, Corus care more about data consumption than they do content. In all fairness – as much as I support, watch, love, feel attached to CTV Montreal , they do very little to engage younger viewers. I look forward to see how this new 5pm will change it up. Global Montreal is much of the same, CBC Montreal is too thin to have much impact on the Anglo side, and City TV Montreal lacks semblance.

    2. Dorothy Lipovenko

      What you say about an audience’s relationship with media personalities (be it print or electronic) is 110% true. And that predates the internet and 24/7 blitz from multiple media now.
      A print or broadcast reporter, news reader, radio host or print columnist cultivates a following, which relies on, but is not exclusive to, style of writing, on-air delivery/personality, and interviewing style. As media consumers, we gravitate to those in the media who reflect our political and cultural biases, but at the end of the day, their key draw is whether they ‘click’ with each member of the audience.
      Case in point: Friday afternoons is when I cook for the weekend, with the radio on in the kitchen. Until last fall, I always had it tuned to a certain anglo station but found myself moving the dial.
      I ended up at a sports station, where the content was all gibberish to me. But I stayed with that sports show because I was amused and entertained by the banter and the lively host, who I gather once played for the Habs and has one of those great Boston accents.
      Go figure that I still tune in to this show while chopping onions and making a kugel even though subject matter interests me not in the least.


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