Big changes at MTV, Much as Bell Media makes deep cuts to production staff

Shows dropped as part of previously-announced changes

Bell Media is cutting 91 employees from its production staff as it makes big changes to programming, with the brunt of the losses hitting music channels Much, MTV and M3.

The layoffs are part of a previously announced plan for Bell Media, a subsidiary of BCE Inc., to cut 120 jobs from its Toronto workforce due to “financial pressure” in its advertising and subscription TV services.

A notice sent by Bell Media’s human resources department, dated July 9, outlined some of the cuts, which included editors and producers at Much, formerly known as MuchMusic. All of the changes will be made before mid-October, the letter said.

Bell Media spokeswoman Amy Doary confirmed that 72 union jobs were being eliminated and another 19 non-union positions were being cut, affecting channels that include CTV, Space, E!, Much, MTV, and M3, formerly known as MuchMoreMusic.

“This is a result of stopping production on several in-house productions,” Doary said in an emailed statement.

Shows that were scrapped on MTV Canada include 1 Girl, 5 Gays, Losing It, MTV News and After Degrassi, a roundtable discussion that aired after episodes of Degrassi: The Next Generation.

On Much, Video On Trial, The Wedge and Today’s Top 10s received the axe, while the CTV/E! entertainment news series Movie Night was also cancelled.

For several years, executives at Bell have been urging the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission to let them make changes to Much that would scale back its requirements for showing music videos.

They argue that the popularity of YouTube has sapped its viewership as more teenagers log onto their computers for instant access to their favourite artists.

Under its current licence, the speciality channel must show 12 hours of music videos per day. A request filed with the CRTC in 2010 to cut that amount in half was shot down. MTV has a different type of licence and doesn’t air music videos.

Including all of its TV channels and radio stations, Bell Media has about 2,400 employees in the Toronto area and about 6,500 staff across the country.

Media Articles

Toronto Crime Stoppers shed light on contraband tobacco

Public awareness campaign asks citizens to take action

UPDATED: Rogers and Vice Media enter $100-million partnership

Media companies to produce Canadian-focused content for mobile, web and TV

A revisionist’s recent history of TV and internet advertising (Column)

Traditional TV has done a poor job of defending itself against false perceptions that ad spend is shifting dramatically. The danger is these perceptions can lead marketers to invest against that change, making it a reality

Digital magazine readership on the rise: PMB

Digital readership increases by more than 50% in the past year

Nearly half of Canadians read a newspaper each day: NADbank

Digital-only readership is just 11%, but growing among younger demographics

CTV/CMA announce judges for Super Bowl ad challenge

Winning ad will air during CTV’s Feb. 1 telecast of Super Bowl XLIX

TSN unveils online store

New venture isn’t intended to compete with established online merchants, but round out the online experience for TSN.ca users

Shomi announces new content deal with Warner Bros

Includes popular library titles like Veronica Mars, as well as several Kubrick films

Facebook revenue soars thanks to boost in mobile ads

Social media site succeeds in steering advertisers to its mobile platform