Another year, another round of Bell Media layoffs.
BCE Inc. President and CEO Mirko Bibic announced in an open letter on Thursday that 4,800 jobs would be cut and that the company would sell 45 of its radio stations.
“Restructuring decisions are incredibly tough for all of us because it affects the people we work with and care about. We know these decisions are hardest on those leaving Bell,” he wrote.
He added that those impacted will be supported with fair severance packages, career transition services, and continued access to health benefits.
This comes less than a year after Bell Media had its last round of layoffs in June 2023, slashing 1,300 jobs.
Bibic explained that the company’s operating environment has become more complicated, and it faces regulatory challenges in a tough economy.
Canadians have been sounding off on social media with reactions ranging from sadness to frustration.
A majority of the comments pointed out how “ironic” it is that Bell Media layoffs usually happen after its annual mental health campaign, Bell Let’s Talk.
It’s quite ironic how Bell Media does their massive mental health campaign every January and then a few weeks later fires a ton of their staff. This is not the first time either. It’s almost like they don’t give a shit about mental health
Bell Let’s Talk About That https://t.co/di3uViaWUi
— Dude Where’s Makar (@joelthesakic) February 8, 2024
One X user says it has almost become “an annual tradition,” calling the telecom giant a “trash company.”
This is terrible. It’s been almost an annual tradition that Bell Media has massive layoffs right after bells let’s talk day. They’re such a trash company. https://t.co/kygaLFt1ca
— H 🍉 (@heyhalima) February 8, 2024
Others questioned Bibic’s business acumen.
How does Mirko Bibic still have a job?
If you have to fire 4,800 people to make ends meet, the problem is in the board room.
— Lucas Timmons (@lucastimmons) February 8, 2024
And many who had personal experiences and ties with the company expressed solidarity with those losing their jobs.
Solidarity to all the Bell media workers losing their jobs. If you work in this industry, it certainly isn’t for the job security or the money. It’s cause some part of you still believes in what we do. I’m horrified so many colleagues are affected.
— Christopher Curtis (@titocurtis) February 8, 2024
Some listeners are looking on the bright side.
Bell Media announced this morning that they intend to sell 45 radio stations and lay off almost 5000 staff. Unfortunate news, but nice to hear Martime Broadcasting is picking up station(s) from this. The smaller ownership groups excel at local radio and making it work.
— Matt Higgs (@mdhiggs) February 8, 2024
Of the 45 radio stations, 21 are in BC, 12 are in Ontario, seven are in Quebec, and five are in Atlantic Canada. A complete list of them can be found here.
With files from Imaan Sheikh