List of GTA On-Air Talent Laid Off This Month

As Bell Media continues to make cuts across this country, I thought I would put together a list of GTA on-air talent who have been advised their services are no longer required.

I've already written about Joe Tilley and Lance Brown at CTV Toronto, and Paulie Morris at 97.7 HTZ FM, but here's the full list of names familiar to Torontonians. Several of these people have a history at their respective stations going back to the 70s and 80s.

  • Joe Tilley - CTV Toronto
  • Lance Brown - CTV Toronto
  • Paul Morris - 97.7 HTZ FM
  • Brittany Anastacio - 97.7 HTZ FM
  • Michael Kane - BNN
  • Amber Payie - CP24 / CHUM
  • Bob Summers - CP24 / CHUM
  • Jeff Howatt - CHUM FM / Newstalk 1010

Many behind-the-scenes people have also been let go, but I'll only maintain this list of on-air people as I learn more names.


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Comments (47 - click here to join in!)

bsmntdwllr73

@Mike
And the winner for 2017's Best Corporate Personification of Ebenezer Scrooge goes
to Bell! Can't wait to hate-watch CTV's new awful American Idol/The Voice ripoff, The
Launch! The likes of Boy George and Fergie are real relevant musical mentors for 2018!!!

November 23, 2017 @ 11:54 AM

Matt

Bob Summers got let go? He's been around forever. Thats corporate for you today. I feel for media people. Its a matter of when not if you get canned it seems.

November 23, 2017 @ 2:26 PM

Tim

Build a career and lose your job to some young punk who just graduated. Not to mention the whole affirmative action hiring policy, we all know these media outlets employ and it is a sad time to be a journalist in the city

November 23, 2017 @ 4:37 PM

dale

@Tim
Not only the media industry but also the printing industry. Restructuring overall, eliminate those who have worked so hard for many years & given a severance package. I was let go 2 months ago after 38 years of dedication & extra hrs. at the same co. Many others with long tenure also let go.
Downsizing from over 150 people to 70. Feel sorry for those that are left as I've heard environment is not good with extra duties given to them. 2 new young hires in last 2 months in other capacity & both quit within a week as couldn't handle the pressure.
It's been a difficult at times with this change of lifestyle but at least I can sleep in.

November 23, 2017 @ 6:20 PM

Tim

I feel for you my man. I do not work in the field but graduated with a post grad diploma in journalism. Two of the people who I went to school with have been downsized, laid off and relocated. It is a scary time for you guys that is for sure. Good luck and keep writing

November 23, 2017 @ 6:51 PM

Aidan

First of all, I'm surprised Lance waited so long to make an announcement. It may be true that he's examined his finances and went "I don't need to work full-time for the rest of my life" or has decided not to actively look for another job or on-air career. But I wonder if Lance was given a similar choice that Christine did "If you promise to go peacefully and say on-air that's you've retired that's OK, if not than you're out the door." The union did publicly say that Lance and Joe have been laid off and I'm sure if that weren't true, it would have been corrected by now. News organizations are supposed to be all about truth and accuracy gawd knows when a politician spins the truth that news outlet is milking it. So why is it OK for them to lie about themselves when the truth is already out there? And why do some on-air people get to say goodbye and not others? Christine Bentley was only given a few days. The norm is not to let people say goodbye like Suneel Joshi or Bill Hutchison.

November 23, 2017 @ 7:46 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

In ep 199 with Christine Bentley, she spoke of how CTV told her she had two choices:
1. get walked out by security with a box
2. lie and say you're retiring - this option comes with cake

This is the blueprint.

Here's the audio: https://t.co/HeUBItyWUq#realtalk

— Toronto Mike (@torontomike) November 24, 2017

Some get this choice, some don't. Christine Bentley got this choice, Kate Wheeler did not. Lance Brown got this choice, Paul Morris did not.

November 23, 2017 @ 7:49 PM

Aidan

But why do some get the choice and not others?

November 23, 2017 @ 7:52 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Aidan

I think if you're of a certain age, and have been with the station for a certain number of years, and if they think it will look better on them (PR-wise), they extend that option.

The risk to the talent, of course, is that people think you've chosen to retire and it can be tough to land another gig.

November 23, 2017 @ 7:55 PM

Rick C in Oakville

Even a guy like Jeff Howatt pulling double duty news on CHUM and NEWSTALK still gets gassed. Which they would let Jerry Agar go quietly.

November 23, 2017 @ 11:13 PM

Rick C in Oakville

Wish is the word

November 23, 2017 @ 11:14 PM

WCI

Sorry If I'm about to sound callous over this but....

The writing has been on the wall for a decade or more. Many of these broadcasters know that and yet, hung on refusing to find a new source of income. THEN, when their source of income is gone, they at least have a platform to complain about it. And the rest of society is supposed to feel sad for them. Oh no, you make 100 grand a year as a broadcaster and got fired....

Yet, there is a whole world out there who, if they miss a single shift, will suffer financially and deal with the after effects for weeks or months. Well I missed a shift so I can either buy diapers or pay my power bill (or hydro as you call it)

But some advice to the moderator. You champion yourself as the voice of the average person yet they get far less "space" than your media buddies do. I'm online talking to a friend of mine who just got laid off. Her job is "running a gas bar". She has no savings, no severance, no nothing. She has no voice. She can't go on Toronto Mike and say "please help me".

Just something to think about there Mike...the voice of the common man.

November 24, 2017 @ 12:00 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@WCI

Feeling sorry for these people is completely optional. The fallacy of relative privation and all that...

I share this info for awareness purposes. Someone who enjoyed getting traffic updates from Bob and Amber will now understand they're not on a long vacation.

November 24, 2017 @ 8:05 AM

Sandra

Thanks for posting this. I wasn’t aware that Amber was caught in this round of layoffs..more to come I am sure. As mentioned by another commentator the writing has been on the wall regarding broadcast and print journalism jobs for some time yet Colleges and Univerities still keep turning out hundreds of journalism graduates each year to an industry where the jobs are non existent.

November 24, 2017 @ 8:40 AM

bsmntdwllr73

@Mike
Bit chilly on here in the comments section this morning!!

November 24, 2017 @ 9:17 AM

NeckZit

Another round of layoffs and yet, Mika Midolo still lives on. WTF!!!

November 24, 2017 @ 9:24 AM

Aidan

@Sandra

To the best of my knowledge (through a family member), journalism schools aren't giving the skills to their grads either. There are programs if you want to be a journalist (aka writer/reporter) and then there are completely separate programs for people who want to technical positions (like editing and camera work). Yes journalism schools give you a little bit of experience doing this but they're not adapting at the rate of mainstream media. CityNews is now hiring journalists who know how to report, shoot, and edit their own stories. Unfortunately journalism schools aren't teaching students how to it to that degree. Toronto area journalism schools are graduating hundreds of students a year. On one hand students are being "Your first job is going to be in some small town" well those small town media outlets are quickly closing up and the big media outlets are turning to automation. Media isn't producing jobs at the rate that journalism schools are producing grads. You can't make a career out of freelancing either.

November 24, 2017 @ 11:49 AM

WCI


Well Aidan, perhaps those students should take the initiative to learn editing and camera work. You spend 1 hour a day learning Premiere Pro and you'll get the basics down. Read books, take Udemy courses, get out and learn versus expecting an employer or college to hold your hand.

I've been involved in technology for nearly 20 years. I'm very fluent in Linux, I didn't take that in school, I learned it by spending time every day reading and doing labs. Two decades into the tech business, whether forensics or plain old fashion work, and I still clock in 40 hours a month in learning. All if it funded by myself.

And no, you can't make a career out of freelancing but it can be a springboard into you meeting people and getting contracts. Maybe colleges need to start teaching people how to manage their careers instead of having big brother, colleges or the government guide them.

November 24, 2017 @ 12:32 PM

Rick C in Oakville

I am only a casual observer of the media profession, and my only experience with any new grads are the ones who show up on Humble and Fred.
I have to say some sound eager and promising, while others just can't get out of bed or come up with any content, suggesting this may have been just a fall back career . Acouple of interns have found positions in the remote markets, so there still is some possibility of a career.

November 24, 2017 @ 2:22 PM

Wayne

With the firing of Brittany Anastacio, HTZ FM now has no female on-air personalities. The Guy who took her time slot Drew Hayes has the annoying habit of talking about superhero movies ad nauseam. It's strange because Brittany and Drew are roughly the same age, so it's not like they were ousting older more expensive talent and replacing it with younger and cheaper

November 24, 2017 @ 5:36 PM

JJ

But they recycle the same faces over at CBC. The new National is pathetic. Its so contrived that you think these are holograms & are being programmed what to say. When your business model is made of the Cdn taxpayer how can you go wrong.

Internet news is fresh, regardless of how you feel about its accuracy it makes you think & its up to you to decipher the truth.

November 25, 2017 @ 2:38 PM

Axll

Wish they would let John Moore go to Rick from Oakville

November 26, 2017 @ 12:06 AM

Newzee

A couple of observations from the inside...

Media schools across the country graduate hundreds of 'dreamers' every year. Let's face it, tuition is very important to these schools.

Sadly, most of those grads will leave the industry within a few years, assuming of course they even get their foot in the door out there in 'medialand'.

Those entry level jobs in Frozen Groin, Saskatchewan were plentiful decades ago. Today not so much. Add a family to the mix and suddenly the economics of a media career don't compute.

There will be exceptions. A small number will succeed despite the challenges they face at every turn, but talent and determination only go so far. Winning the lotto isn't the only thing requiring luck!

Some say the lucky ones get a gig at the 'Mother Corp'. The CBC'S​ union shop means salary, benefits and pension considerations not available to those on the outside.

The only certainty in media today is change. Staying a step ahead of that change is impossible.

November 26, 2017 @ 10:56 AM

Jai

Remember with Bell you are just a number.Question who are the persons
that actually runs Bell..Because they are invisible it is much easier to make
their cuts with out any real backlash.Ever since they got into the print and
broadcast sectors it has been cuts and more cuts.

November 26, 2017 @ 12:26 PM

Aidan

@ Newzee

I know from my family member who went to journalism school, a lot of the instructors were former full-time employees of CBC (for 20-30 years) or continued to work at CBC 1-2 days a week (mostly on weekends). It was drilled into my family member's brain that CBC was the 'be all and end all' of journalism. If you wanted to succeed than CBC is where its at. My family member said there was a lot more respect for students who professed their love for CBC and wanted a lifelong career there.

November 26, 2017 @ 1:05 PM

Jason from Sudbury

Writing on the wall or not, it still sucks to see someone lose their jobs. Whether they work at McDicks, the grocery store, Walmart, the media industry, the mining industry, etc...you never want to see someone lose their jobs. Especially those who do live paycheck to paycheck and struggle to get by.
What I will say though is that those who can afford it, should be smart enough to save up for the rainy days. If you're making 100k a year, there's no reason why you can't save up a little bit every month, especially if you're in an industry where your future is uncertain. If the writing is on the wall, try to plan accordingly.

November 26, 2017 @ 8:23 PM

Aidan

@ Jason from Sudbury

I agree with you, especially with the media being so volatile the past 10 years ago. I'd be very scared to be a full-time reporter right now. Anne Mroczkowski was really unlucky when she was let go from City due to her now ex-husband handling the finances.

November 26, 2017 @ 10:32 PM

WCI

@JJ

You had me until you mentioned the Canadian taxpayer. I then immediately categorized you as nothing but an angry white old man.

The CBC chose not to have a "star" for the National because 'star power' has less influence than it did 10 years ago. They're all replaceable. They are aware the writing is on the wall which is a mile ahead of their private competitors.

@NewZee. "frozen groin, Sask". While you're mocking Saskatchewan let's keep in mind they're a "have" province that supports your "have not" province. And hey, I'll take a dude from "frozen groin" over some puffball Easterner that tells me to "put on a jacket when it's cold. Just remember where your money comes from.

November 26, 2017 @ 11:59 PM

Frozen Groin, Saskatchewan

Q: Since WCI detests Toronto & the east so much, one wonders why he torments himself by being here?

A: Frozen Groin, Saskatchewan couldn't stand him either.

November 27, 2017 @ 1:09 AM

Beatts

Finally!

When I first joined here I wanted my posting name to be "Frozen Groin, Saskatchewan" and was very upset when told the name had already been taken. I figured Toronto Mike was just playing a cruel trick on me but alas, it exists.

November 27, 2017 @ 8:14 AM

bsmntdwllr73

@Beatts
Frozen Groin would make a great name for an Icelandic Death Metal band. Props to the clever
genius who came up with that handle! Don't think that Turgid Nutsack is taken, however!!

November 27, 2017 @ 9:15 AM

The (Not) Urban Ghost

Frozen Groin (Great ID) another possibility for you very valid comment re WCI...

It's a very so-called "Progressive" trait these days...

There are truly good Progressives and those who think they are the smartest people in the room. There are morte whop think they are the smartest ones. WCI is likely in that group.

November 27, 2017 @ 6:34 PM

The (Not) Urban Ghost

Apologies for the speeling meestokes (funny guy) in my last post.

Should have been "there are more who"

Tiny phone.... Large fingers.

BTW... Sad to see so many names I liked and listened to for such a long time gone.

I have actually found another morning station to listen to since dear Ma Bell executed (appropriate choice of words I think) their latest set of executions.

November 27, 2017 @ 6:42 PM

Gary M

It's not that we want to see anyone lose their jobs. I like all the people on that layoff list. But if someone loses their job after 38 years, the more in-touch-with-reality sentiment is "Holy cow, that's so great that they had the same job for 38 years!" as opposed to "What a devastating tragedy."

November 27, 2017 @ 6:56 PM

jj

the sad thing about people being laid off - you don't know if they're ready for this forced retirement. like what if they have kids in school?!?! it's entirely possible, along with so many options.

it's worse because they can't get other jobs in their field :(

November 28, 2017 @ 9:12 PM

ian

They have replacements fo Bob and Amber. How is this cutting back?

December 8, 2017 @ 10:45 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@ian

It's cutting back if the replacements make a third of what Bob and Amber were making.

December 8, 2017 @ 10:57 AM

john

And look who they replaced Bob and Amber with on TRAFFIC SURPRISE SURPRISE!

December 19, 2017 @ 4:48 PM

Jay

@john

Who????

December 19, 2017 @ 7:10 PM

H.o.E.

@bsmntdwllr73
The thought moving to Frozen-Groin, Saskatchewan may leave you cold, but it might be preferable to accepting an entry-level position in Bumfükton, Manitoba.

December 30, 2017 @ 7:21 PM

H.o.E.

^ "thought of moving"

December 30, 2017 @ 7:26 PM

the brother

@Jay

It's a 'who's who' of traffic cast offs from other Toronto outlets now in the Bell farm such as Corrine, Nataly and Adjoa. They came from Rogers/Corus/Skywords so they know their way around the traffic camera switcher thingy.

If you listened to chumfm mornings or afternoon drive your news guy, traffic guy/gal who have been the voice for years were given the Santa Sendoff. Not sure if Roger or Marilyn discussed the departures on-air. The talent will be missed.

January 4, 2018 @ 4:46 PM

the brother

The above post should have read *Lisa (not Nataly) Morales

January 4, 2018 @ 4:57 PM

Jay Brown

Completely disgusted with the Layoffs of Lance and Joe. Absolutely disgusting.

January 8, 2018 @ 7:04 PM

News Junkie

Very sad to see Joe and Lance and Amber get laid off. However it's a tough business and there's enough experience still out there. They're not all wet behind the ears. George Lagoganis (sp?) Is a mainstay and CTV still has Ken and Michelle. CBC has Suhana and many others. The subsidiaries like CTV Barrie or Kitchener never seem to hire new blood , maybe one or two per decade lol. And guys like Cam Woolley ( isn't he collecting a good police pension) seem to be untouchable. Doesn't bode well for the new grads that's for sure

May 4, 2018 @ 10:04 AM

News Junkie

Very sad to see Joe and Lance and Amber get laid off. However it's a tough business and there's enough experience still out there. They're not all wet behind the ears. George Lagoganis (sp?) Is a mainstay and CTV still has Ken and Michelle. CBC has Suhana and many others. The subsidiaries like CTV Barrie or Kitchener never seem to hire new blood , maybe one or two per decade lol. And guys like Cam Woolley ( isn't he collecting a good police pension) seem to be untouchable. Doesn't bode well for the new grads that's for sure

May 4, 2018 @ 10:04 AM

Glenn

I thought that gurdeep guy would be gone, he's about as Sharp as a sock full of soup. BRING BACK STEVE ANTHONY!

October 16, 2018 @ 3:47 PM

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