November 30, 2022

Business School

Business Opening

Lisa LaFlamme, CTV News, and Bad Executive Decisions

Previous 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 up coming generation, no broadcast retrospectives lionizing a journalist with a storied and award-winning profession. As LaFlamme announced yesterday, CTV’s father or mother organization, Bell Media, has made a decision to unilaterally close her agreement. (See also the CBC’s reporting of the tale here.)

Even though LaFlamme herself doesn’t make this claim, there was of system quick speculation that the network’s final decision has a little something to do with the truth that LaFlamme is a lady of a certain age. LaFlamme is 58, which by Tv set benchmarks is not just younger — apart from when you review it to the age at which well known adult males who proceeded her have remaining their respective anchor’s chairs: take into account Peter Mansbridge (who was 69), and Lloyd Robertson (who was 77).

But an even far more sinister principle is now afoot: fairly than mere, shallow misogyny, evidence has arisen of not just sexism, but sexism conjoined with company interference in newscasting. Two evils for the price of one! LaFlamme was fired, says journalist Jesse Brown, “because she pushed again from just one Bell Media executive.” Brown reviews insiders as boasting that Michael Melling, vice president of news at Bell Media, has bumped heads with LaFlamme a amount of times, and has a heritage of interfering with information coverage. Brown further experiences that “Melling has continually shown a lack of regard for gals in senior roles in the newsroom.”

Needless to say, even if a own grudge in addition sexism demonstrate what is heading on, right here, it still will feel to most as a “foolish determination,” 1 positive to lead to the enterprise headaches. Now, I make it a plan not to issue the enterprise savvy of expert executives in industries I don’t know effectively. And I suggest my learners not to leap to the summary that “that was a dumb decision” just mainly because it is a single they don’t have an understanding of. But however, in 2022, it is really hard to consider that the enterprise (or Melling extra particularly) didn’t see that there would be blowback in this circumstance. It’s one issue to have disagreements, but it is a further to unceremoniously dump a beloved and award-profitable female anchor. And it is weird that a senior govt at a information business would consider that the truth would not appear out, specified that, immediately after all, he’s surrounded by individuals whose career, and individual determination, is to report the information.

And it’s hard not to suspect that this a significantly less than content transition for LaFlamme’s substitution, Omar Sachedina. Of program, I’m confident he’s pleased to get the task. But while Bell Media’s press release quotes Sachedina indicating graceful factors about LaFlamme, undoubtedly he did not want to believe the anchor chair amidst popular criticism of the transition. He’s taking on the role less than a shadow. Potentially the prize is worth the rate, but it’s also hard not to visualize that Sachedina had (or now has) some pull, some capacity to influence that way of the changeover. I’m not expressing (as some certainly will) that — as an insider who is familiar with the serious tale — he should have declined the work as ill-gotten gains. But at the quite minimum, it looks reasonable to argue that he need to have utilized his impact to form the transition. And if the now-senior anchor does not have that kind of affect, we should really be fearful in truth about the independence of that function, and of that newsroom.

A final, similar note about authority and governance in complicated corporations. In any moderately well-ruled firm, the choice to axe a big, community-dealing with expertise like LaFlamme would involve indicator-off — or at the very least tacit acceptance — from extra than 1 senior executive. This suggests that just one of two issues is correct. Either Bell Media isn’t that kind of effectively-governed business, or a huge range of individuals ended up associated in, and culpable of, unceremoniously dumping an award-winning journalist. Which is worse?