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I bear no malice to Lisa LaFlamme. As far as I know (I've not watched nightly newscasts for over a decade) she is a dedicated professional broadcaster, a strong woman who worked her way to the top of a profession that was dominated by men for most of her career. This decision does seem abrupt and callous. Having said that, and as Kevin Newman points out, we don't know the entire story. I think it likely that CBC or Global will pick her up in short order.

I do think the Canadian media in general overestimates how deeply many Canadians feel about the high profile personalities that read/perform the nightly news on radio and television. The demographics of 'many Canadians' matters a great deal here, in my opinion. I generalize below, but I'd say it's pretty accurate based on what I've noted of viewership statistics for news programs in Canada.

For Baby Boomer and older viewers, I think they do in fact care deeply about these people, to the extent that some of them actually unconsciously feel they know them as friends, which is somewhat disturbing. For this demographic, it was traumatic to lose Lloyd Robertson, Knowlton Nash, Peter Mansbridge, Wendy Mesley, Kevin Newman, Lisa LaFlamme, and many more in local TV and radio across Canada. They truly miss these personalities when they leave to retire, or as in the case of Kevin and Lisa, are unceremoniously dumped. For this generation, I think it's like a friend's death, at least in their own heads. This celebrity adoration tendency of that generation of listeners / viewers may explain the inflated egos of some high profile hosts, though I have no way of knowing this for sure.

For GenX'ers like me, who for the most part have abandoned our parents and grandparents practice of 'appointment' viewing / listening to the news, it's a bit different. While we might miss personalities we've known or grown up (grown old) with, I would generally say it is not even close to the same emotional reaction. It would be more akin to realizing an acquaintance in one's own community, one that we recognized but were not close to in any way, had passed away. It would amount to essentially - 'oh, that's too bad, I'll miss seeing them' with no sense of actual loss.

For Milennials and younger listeners/viewers (I'm sure there are a few), I'm betting they hardly notice at all, and care even less. This is harsh, but having four children of my own and their friends, plus neices, nephews, and children of friends accross the country, I'd defend it as generally accurate. Overwhelmingly, if they do consume news content, they do so from social media influencers and their podcasts. They may see the odd clip from the legacy media on their devices, but that's about the extent they would even be exposed to them.

I did listen to the CBC Radio World Report this morning by announcing 'Good Morning' to my Google Nest Mini hanging in my kitchen. This kicks in a response to play a curated series of a collection of news report podcasts (CBC, BBC World Service, PBS, NPR, and a few others are my choices), each one running between 5 and 10 minutes. I don't listen to these every day - perhaps once or twice a week at most - but I did this morning catch the CBC portion before I headed to work. The Lisa LaFlamme story was the #2 item - and they dedicated at least a minute and a half to the story - CBC Radio 'World Report' would seem to be false advertising, to be kind. Generally, as with most things in Canada, much of the 'World Report' focuses on central Canada and national politics in the US, with rare exceptions. It is a sad commentary as to the state of the news business in Canada today. This is why I subscribe to The Line and other substack writers like Paul Wells and Terry Glavin - I feel like it's possible to actually have a better chance of getting a report on the world, or at least news outside central Canada.

Having said all the above, here I am, commenting on a piece by Kevin Newman on the Lisa LaFlamme story - which I repeat, is not a story to much of Canada's non-retired working population. My point in doing so is how remarkable it is, given the reality of the world we now live in, that it is a story at all. In ten years time, will the next Lisa LaFlamme warrant this much attention? I think it unlikely.

I wish Lisa (and Kevin) all the best in their future endeavours. Perhaps both can become regular contributers to The Line. I'd much rather read their own unflitered thoughts than see them interpret whatever media conglomorates editorial spin is during a telecast / broadcast.

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Your comment has prompted the realization in me that I've never understood the concept of a news anchor.

Having a newsreader makes sense. Having a news show host can make sense. Having some weird combination of the two that's more highly paid than anyone else at the place is...odd.

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There's an interesting discussion about the role of the anchor over at Wikipedia:


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I am appalled that a 58 year old women is so abruptly dismissed. I thought we had moved passed gender biases. And to further confirm their bias, she is being replaced by a younger man. This is misogyny at its worst. As much as it was CTV’s choice to do this brutish act, it is my choice, to do a much gentler act and never watch CTV again.

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Do you have any firm evidence to back your allegations?

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With respect, Ingrid, I don't think this has anything to do with gender bias. From what I can see, newsrooms across most networks have for some time now been giving equal time to men and women. It's true that in many sectors, gender bias (or outright misogyny) is unfortunately still a reality, but I don't think that's the case here.

It's more a matter of a cut-throat industry with shallow, vindictive people in positions of power who know nothing about loyalty or decency. All that matters to them is is the bottom line, and in this particular industry, the hollow pursuit of ratings.

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Very true, though with VP Melling it seems that sacking women might be an extra fillip to his ego. It's not the first time for him.

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VP Melling seems to be an ambitious little sot. Not that's there is anything wrong with that. I look forward to his fall.

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I see Kevin and the Line are examining their belly buttons again. I realize this is your industry and you probably all knew Ms. LaFlamme but for most, TV national news is a commercial package that gives 5 minutes of world news, 5 minutes of Canadian news and the rest spent on BIPOC/LQBTQT2IA stories with a pinch of feel good at the end. Every time I watch its this same formula. They put a question to someone with no credentials or show "demonstrations" with 10's of participants. What crap.

I feel for anyone losing their job, including Ms LaFlame though I feel she'll be better off than so many others who've lost jobs in the last few years.

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Dan! Most? Who are your most? Don't watch if you don't like it but don't assume for a minute that you represent the most, or even many.

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1. Are you saying you don't think the news is a commercial package? Do you disagree that this is the current formula? Do you know Ms. LaFlamme personally and do you think most Canadians do?

2. CTV National News is watched by 1.1 Million Canadians out of 38 Million so MOST Canadians don't watch.

3. I apologize to imply that I speak for most Canadians I was going to say most Canadians did not know Ms. LaFlamme personally but continued on about the National News show. However, the numbers quoted speak volumes.

4. Don't let your animous towards me colour what was being said.


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Of course TV news is a commercial package. Where did I imply it wasn't. Or are you implying that it's a part of the international/monetary/government/entertainment cabal or NWO? Or whatever it's called this week. Nope, it's commercial and it's about whatever it takes for profits, be it called ratings or something else.

What is the formula?

Nope, Never met the woman. I have met a couple of talking heads over the years. In the grocery store. I met Kim Campbell there too. (Should I pitch that to Matt and Jen, Grocery Stores; The Great Equalizers (and people you might meet in the produce section)?) Didn't speak with them because I don't know them so no point. I have no idea how many Canadians know who Ms LaFlamme is but probably a great many do, especially over a certain age. I know you fit in that demo. I never said most. You did, often, as do a lot of others with statements like, "I don't know anyone who...." because they really don't know very many people is the reality so that opinion is useless.

1.1 m watch CTV. That is so definitive I could choke. Those numbers and others could be sliced and diced in so many ways but if that's your hill, you perch on it. The numbers show you still do not understand statistics and how they might apply to real life.

Dan, I have no animus towards you in the slightest. I think of you like a little brother who needs to be thumped up the side of head occasionally.

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I wrote "but for most, TV national news is a commercial package".

You responded with "Dan! Most? Who are your most? Don't watch if you don't like it but don't assume for a minute that you represent the most, or even many".

Now you write: "Of course TV news is a commercial package. Where did I imply it wasn't. "

For goodness sake pick a lane or else read what other write and what you write in your responses. Just like Terry, I have to show where you've written completely contradictory statements.

BTW the CTV number of 1.1M comes from Bell Media -- so could be inflated. Would you please explain why this number is so useless as a statistic.

Also I am a little brother and have been thumped up the side of the head. It would take much better reasoning, writing and logic for you to cause any damage.

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Dan, Dan, Dan...you said "most", not many, not some, but most.

Commercial: making or intended to make a profit; designed principally for financial gain; profit-oriented; concerned with or focused on financial gain; commercial. You are the one who bounced "commercial" from my response of "most".

I don't know what your channel line up looks like but I can access CTV and CBC 24 hours. It's been my background noise during the day while I am up and about. My husband only watched MSNBC and it took a bit to switch to Canadian news (I was amazed to see that CBC STILL has the same talking heads as ever-no one ever gets sacked there(except Evan Solomon)) I don't do news hours, or shows, or evenings. And in a few minutes I'm cancelling the whole pack of it anyway. So many channels, nothing much to watch.

Most, you state is 1.1 million Canadians who watch CTV. OK, slice and dice it. Is this over a 24 hour hour period of just the news at 10 or 11? Does this include the newborn to 12 yo, 12 thru 21, 21 plus? 35 plus. English speakers? only during elections or when some baking show is on? Is this 1.1 m on all platforms or only cable tv or peeking in the neighbours windows? My point, to be clear, is that this stat is so vague as to be useless. Most stats tossed about are.

I too would take Bell's info offerings very very cautiously. But it's an utterly useless number to anyone except Bell and investors and folks that just like to toss numbers about giving them far too much weight. Equally useless would be to compare CTV numbers to CBC or to Global.

I don't see where I have written anything contradictory. Disagreeing with you is not being contradictory. Like where you say I carry an animus towards you when I absolutely do not. Like my little brother, I am quite fond of you. I'm glad you understand the thump reference and I intend no damage, quite the opposite.

I read every comment. Every single one. It's my curse. The threading could be a lot better so if I have missed something out of sequence I apologize in advance.

Just what lane is it you think I belong in?

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Good quip.

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I feel for LaFlamme but is anyone still watching nightly news casts? This is just another nail in the coffin for the kind of media that relies on 2 second sound bites and a lack of good, objective, contextual journalism. LaFlamme, like Wendy Mesley, is probably better for getting out before it gets real bad.

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yeah, I'd love to know the demographics on that. My 70 year old parents still watch the National every night, but aside from that, I don't know anyone who is getting their news from the tv at 10:00 or 11:00 p.m.

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CTV National News is by far the most popular news show in Canada.

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A number of years ago, a legacy company in my backyard was bought out by corporate entity from another Province. One Thursday morning the workforce was gathered and told that structural changes in the administration were taking place. NOW. The unlucky ones who weren’t spared from the purge were escorted to their desks to clear out their possessions and out the door they went. They are reminders that workers are line items on a spreadsheet, and so is Lisa LaFlamme. Dedicated service, loyalty and competency are secondary to the cost efficiencies of doing business.

If set our idol worship aside for someone paid a hefty annual salary to read news items, LaFlamme will come out on the other side with independence to do podcasts, contribute to The Line or have her own Substack storefront. She will do ok. Let’s save our sympathy for the little people who get crushed by accounts and lawyers who don’t give a damn.

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Darcy, your experience is by no means normal. Further such behaviour often augers its own form of retribution--corporate failure. Good employees are mostly greatly valued, not just costly line items on a spreadsheet and perhaps, more than ever, in very short supply.

Remember, though, that "people costs" are often one of the most expensive ones and are the subject of continued evaluation. Employees, not just employers, must continually consider if they are truly "earning their keep". Slackers always have a target on their backsides.

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Wow....in my experience, Darcy has it right. I'm glad you've had that experience, but mine suggests that management views the people actually doing the work as expendable, and that ideas that don't come from managers are to be dismissed out of hand. The people actually doing the job usually have the best ideas how to improve things. They are usually ignored.

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Hi Tom,

You are right that the predatory behaviour in my experience is not normal. Thank goodness for that.

The situation I outlined is corporate raider BS in spades. As mentioned, the local company was a legacy firm that had built up a recognized national brand for a century. This drew the attention of a competitor trying to short circuit the brand process by purchasing one. This will always end badly for those working for the purchased entity because the consolidation of human resources will usually favour the purchaser.

Many that were blindsided by the purge were long time employees and the sudden terminations were a cruel and heartless stunt

for people looking forward to retirement suddenly without an income and poor job prospects.

As I write this, I think about government employees who never missed a paycheque through the pandemic, and many who were able to do their work from home. That seems to be a sheltering of employees from the real cruel forces of the workplace.

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Darcy, a certain, very high profile coffee outfit demonstrated some of that extraordinarily short-term thinking you described.

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Modern MBA theory...employees are nothing. But perhaps more concerning than this nonsensical decision, is that it's another credible source of information gone, and with it, a large amount of credibility for CTV. The national hasn't recovered from the end of Knowlton Nash. Lisa's departure will drive more people to far less credible sources, and national ignorance will increase. It's almost like the "Stupid" they're trying to breed in the US is also coming to Canada. Ignorance is not bliss.

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Sadly, I've too much experience "moving" inappropriate employees "on their way". However, the process is always fraught with mutual pain. The object is always to seek mutual respect.

This firing was inexcusably inept. No respect for LaFlamme. Significant loss of respect for CTV/Bell.

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I do have some sympathy for how this was handled butI doubt the slanted liberal propaganda will subdue with Sachadina at the helm. CTV and CBC are digging their own graves with the hard far left garbage that is constantly spewed. Their own opinions seem to be the theme right now. Enough. We don’t watch state run propaganda and these shows are tanking.

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I re-discovered newscasts when I went to over-the-air TV a few years ago; they do make a nice, quick summary of the top stories, and the often feel-good story to wind up the show is often needed after the horrors of the news.

Condolences to the team and their loss, but I gotta say, the "horror of the news" a bit over a year back was over 200 CTV news staff being laid off in a single swipe. They all had teams, too. Kenney handed the Alberta oilpatch billions, and they took it and laid off tens of thousands anyway.

A celebrity loss like this should be seen as emblematic, mentally multiplied by tens of thousands of people, who are all just lines on a spreadsheet to those who are the, um, gatekeepers to a steady paycheque.

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One potential explanation for LaFlamme's dismissal could simply be trying to cut costs by bringing in a younger, cheaper replacement. Network and cable news are in grim shape with dwindling audiences. You only have to watch the ads they're carrying to realize that they're catering to an aging demographic that's less lucrative for advertisers. I can barely remember the last time I watched TV news - probably on the TV over the dentist's chair when I go in for a cleaning, or when I would visit my elderly father and he'd have the TV on in his study. I'm not a typical TV viewer - I cancelled my cable in 2011 and have never looked back - but I think it's a dying medium and corporations are just trying squeeze what revenue they can before it expires.

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Aug 16, 2022·edited Aug 16, 2022

The bottom line is MSM is suffering and they keep changing their formats and personalities in an attempt to increase viewership. Most often these changes don't help. In today's world, few jobs have any security. I find TV news superficial as I need a deeper dive into the important topics, and I have no interest in the 'feel good' sound bites.

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The back story to the LaFlamme dismissal is that CTV News wants to try news things and move in a different direction. In other words Omar doesn’t inherit a mantle of solid news ratings and a team of competent players who produce the product every night, but will get a chance to build on the successful format and do his own thing. That’s a risky proposition in such a fragmented media market.

When Peter Mansbridge left The National, any thinking person knew there was zero chance that he would be replaced by another older, bald white dude. CBC News decided to dump The National in Lake Ontario and rebrand it with a carousel of anchors working out of a barn. A billion dollar enterprise, but no budget for chairs and everyone has to stand up in front of giant screen TVs with the newest woke stories to put us to sleep. My CBC brand loyalty ended with the Mansbridge retirement and I have a funny feeling that CTV News will become a fading memory too.

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Aug 16, 2022·edited Aug 16, 2022

Disappointing. I thought The Line was not going to be just another place where journalists exalt other journalists. My director friend worked in that same newsroom for Lloyd and Sandi, and then Lisa. He died two weeks ago after taking stress leave. There is a real story about what that newsroom has become, but journalists instead are writing obituary-like praise columns for someone who's 'great suffering" is an un-renewed contract. I'm sure she's socked away some of her exorbitant salary for a rainy day. Should any of us shed one tear about this?

Doubly disappointing is that a story that Frank Magazine has already documented is lost on the journalists working there! I'm not sure what that says about their journalistic prowess when the story is sitting right under their collective noses and all they can do is sigh about injustice to on-air talent.

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I'm sorry for your loss.

Of course the story is what the newsroom has become. Maybe someone will write another book about it. Attached to LaFlamme's story is also many other's stories. Did you miss that?

Everyone knows who Lisa LaFlamme is, even if you have to mention her hair to nudge some to remember. So of course the woman who spoke the news becomes the news, for a little while. If she'd been permitted to step down gracefully there would be virtually no noise at all. But a guy named Melling snapped his fingers and if the stories are too be believed, it's not the first time he's done so. LaFlamme has known for 6 weeks or so and never let on to her viewers or co-workers what was going down. She showed CTV/Bell far more respect than they showed her. Any employee anywhere deserves respect. Even her Twitter announcement was delivered with style. I also noticed there that on April 4th she was awarded Best News Anchor, National, by the Canadian Screen Awards. Interesting that 3 months later she's given the boot (and don't tell anyone).

I leave the news, CTV, CBC, or MSNBC, on in the background while I go about my day. I know people who have the weather channel on but that never made sense to me. In BC, by me, it's either raining or it's not. Usually it's raining. I have an old 5 kazillion lb tv set that has become a point of pride to hang on to it until it dies. The last one lasted over 20 years and this one is 19. I probably wont replace it when it goes. I have lots of other options. This past while I've been thinking that I really don't need all the channels I have access to. And the dumping, so rudely, of Ms LaFlamme simply encourages me to dump the lot of them. And I'll save some $.

Why is it that you (and many others) assume that Lisa LaFlamme made an exorbitant salary and are sure "she socked some of it away for a rainy day?" Maybe we should talk sports salaries?

What Frank Mag story?

And again, I fail to understand why the people who think that every piece, offered by The Line that is personally "disappointing", that J&M should stop it or something. Have there been many dead journo obits? I've not noticed. I'm sure that if you (and others) make a list of all the things you don't want The Line to offer, they will take close note of each and every item and behave appropriately.

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I said that I was disappointed that The Line has published a journalist exalting journalist piece. I did not say The Line should't publish it, or suggest The Line should be cancelled because it published it. My understanding is that the power of substack is its diversity of thought. I like that there are pieces I don't agree with. It gives me comfort to know that the world I grew up in -- where people tolerated everything except intolerance -- still exists.

Debate is how we frame the boundaries of what we find acceptable in society. Journalists have a lot of agency, something that regular folk don't. So, just like we need to hold politicians to account; we need to monitor how news people use their agency to forward their cause.

You asked about the Frank Magazine story:


TV newsrooms are huge places with lots of workers. Only a very few are on-air talent. I tend to be old-fashioned in my ways. I judge people by how they treat waitstaff in restaurants.

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Frank is what? Cute trash? Entertainment? Misogynist drivel? Maybe if you like that sort of thing. Information it is not. Frank "documented" the "real story?" I'm glad you think you have the inside line on real. Happy for you, really, I am.

Words are more important than boundaries and it funny that you think "Frank" is part of a debate or even particularly acceptable in society except that trashy gossip has always been out there. "Chief bingo-caller; estrogen fueled; wimmin's rights; fart catcher" and so much more brilliant commentary. Obviously the title of the magazine is lost on the writer.

You didn't say a lot of things in your original post so I didn't respond to them. Diversity of thought means just that and your disappointment of what The Line publishes was clear.

Thank you though. Frank is crap and I need not pay any attention to it.

I suspect you don't treat waitstaff or tip as well as you think you do.

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I knew nothing of Frank until I was pointed to this series of articles by people who work in that newsroom. Apparently

they felt there was sufficient overlap to their own experiences there to find it worthwhile.

True, I don’t work there, but I also don’t blindly accept the spin put out by 1 percenters, or corporations. I look at lots of sources, and blindly follow nobody.

CTV and Laflamme now seem equally unhappy so it’s feeling like they all got their just desserts.

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Fair enough. And I don't blindly accept a gossip piece as gospel. I would hope you wouldn't either. Any halfway legitimate piece would at least treat the subject matter with some respect. Frank is at the level of mean girls in middle school.

You claim you knew nothing of Frank (is that important?) but you link to it fast enough as it clearly impressed you. Apparently you don't know the people who work there, and if you do, so what? Anyone can claim "sources" (do your research) but it should be immediately obvious who those are faking it. You don't follow blindly but you are blind.

Do you accept the Frank article on LaFlamme as valid simply because it's not "1% or Corps"? That's a very low bar to aspire to. And if everyone is unhappy that's a good conclusion? Can't you read something, anything, and judge how pertinent it is based on the information, not the corp or the 1% or the masthead? I'm glad you understand that you are the 99% whatever that means to you.

The LaFlamme thing can be over as far as I'm concerned. Those, like you, who seem delighted by the more sordid aspects are thrilled that a successful woman was sacked but who cares because it's MSM and she has lots of money and anything else is spin.

Sorry Jack, you are shallow and easily led. Stand on your hind legs and declare your independence from the real world. Unfortunately you have company.

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Thank you for the psychoanalysis. You've saved me years of paying big dollars for a path of self discovery. I could only hope to know everything like you do. Your friends must love your endless and valuable insights!

I'm stopping here with a joke, sent to me by a journalist friend from the maritimes:

"I think my favourite thing that's ever happened to me on the internet is the time a guy said "people change their minds when you show them facts" and I said "actually studies show that's not true" and linked TWO sources and he said "yeah well I still think it works"

-- Catherine na Nollag

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Aug 16, 2022·edited Aug 17, 2022

I have every sympathy with Mr. Newman and Ms. LaFlamme in their skirmishes with unresponsive executives and villainous HR departments. But, "...at a time when trust in journalism is already ebbing??" Trust in journalism evaporated years ago, for far more substantive reasons than any considered in this article. The article describes accurately enough an experience all too common in many workplaces; but its sense of perspective (or lack thereof) makes you wonder anew just how hermetically sealed the silo is that corporate media personnel apparently live in. Are they allowed internet access? From the point of view of supposedly wronged "viewers," are the news anchors and their colleagues (the presumed good guys in this account) any less remote and input-averse than the executives?

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Thank you Kevin for this insider view. Tbh, I had never heard of Melling. But now that I have, I kinda don’t like him. It will be quite awhile before I can watch Omar. Directive or not, his performance yesterday was douchey.

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Lisa was a good reporter at one time. But over the years she became a diva who had to be everywhere a big story was happening, even when there were good reporters already on the scene. If the rumour about asking for a bigger budget are true, she may have just signed her own firing.

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