February 21st, 2024

CTV’s flagship investigative series ‘W5’ among programs hit by Bell Media cuts

By The Canadian Press on February 8, 2024.

CTV's long-running flagship investigative series "W5" will cease to exist in its current form after Bell Media announced widespread layoffs and the sale of 45 of its 103 regional radio stations. The CTV logo outside their studios in Halifax on Friday, Sept. 10, 2010.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

CTV’s long-running flagship investigative series “W5” will cease to exist in its current form after parent company BCE Inc. announced widespread layoffs.

An internal memo sent to Bell Media employees says the award-winning program will “evolve” from a standalone documentary series to become “a multi-part, multiplatform investigative reporting unit.”

Its reports will be featured on CTV National News, the CTV News website and other CTV platforms.

Bell Media did not immediately respond to a request for details about the changes at “W5,” including whether they involved staff cuts.

“W5,” which launched in 1966 and is in its 58th season, took an in-depth look at cold case murders, political scandals, sexual abuse coverups, overseas drug lords and money laundering schemes, among many other topics.

Its hosts and contributors have included well-known faces in Canadian journalism such as Lloyd Robertson, Kevin Newman and Lisa LaFlamme.

The Bell memo also said Thursday that other programming at CTV and BNN Bloomberg, including a range of local newscasts, would be affected immediately by the cuts.

BCE Inc. said it was cutting nine per cent of its workforce. An open letter signed by chief executive Mirko Bibic said 4,800 jobs “at all levels of the company” would be cut, with fewer than 10 per cent of those cuts happening at Bell Media specifically.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 8, 2024

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