The wave of job cuts sweeping Canada finally hit Montreal today, with the first big names on the list of those getting the axe: Elliott Price, co-host of the morning show on TSN Radio 690, and Abe Hefter, host of the weekend morning show.
I lay out the news in this story in the Montreal Gazette.
“Unfortunately, I can confirm that Elliott Price departed the company as part of the ongoing restructuring at Bell Media,” was the official comment from Bell Media spokesperson Olivier Racette.
Bell Media isn’t offering much comment on departures, and program director Chris Bury referred all comment to Racette.
Price didn’t respond to a request for comment and hasn’t said anything on Twitter, but he did change his Twitter biography:
Price’s departure leaves the morning show in the hands of Shaun Starr and Rick Moffat, along with their contributors.
Price has been a fixture on Montreal radio since 1982, notably as a voice of the Montreal Expos.
Hefter, host of The Locker Room, is also gone, Mitch Melnick announced today on the air.
Other confirmed on-air cuts:
- Virgin Radio 96 overnight host Mike Dall (aka Mike D)
- CHOM weekend host Rob Kemp
- CHOM overnight host Ron MacKinnon (aka Ronny Mack)
- CJAD reporter Patrick Lejtenyi
- CJAD morning show weather specialist Suzanne Desautels
The fact that both Virgin and CHOM have ditched their overnight hosts suggests to me that they might try going announcerless overnight. We’ll see.
There are also several behind-the-scenes jobs at these stations that have been cut. Producers, marketing and promotions people and others.
At CTV Montreal, the cuts have been more modest. No anchors or reporters have lost their jobs yet, though they will be filling the vacant Quebec City reporter position internally instead of hiring someone new, according to union local president Susan Lea.
Five positions are gone, all in operations (i.e. off-air jobs), of which one was a voluntary departure with a severance package to protect the job of a younger employee, Lea said.
“We’re expecting a couple more” jobs to be cut, she said.
Lea said CTV Montreal was probably spared more severe cuts like we’ve seen elsewhere because of more severe cuts that happened a year ago. The station is down to about 100 people.
I haven’t heard about on-air cuts at RDS or other French-language properties in Montreal yet.