Bell Media hit with third round of job cuts

Among the third wave of departures is Robin Johnston, director, original programming, factual and reality.
February 3, 2021

A third round of layoffs has seen another member of Bell Media’s leadership team depart.

Playback Daily, Realscreen‘s sister publication, has learned that Robin Johnston, director, original programming, factual and reality, has left the company. Johnston declined to comment but updated her Linkedin status to “Freelance” this evening.

The news comes as reports surface of about 210 job cuts, including 100 from within the media company’s Toronto TV and radio news divisions, according to union representatives.

A spokesperson for Bell said the company could not comment on any specific departures, but gave the following response to the layoffs: “There have been further changes to reflect Bell Media’s streamlined operating structure and our focus on making it easier and more efficient to do business with us at every level. This includes a limited number of staff reductions, many of them changes in on-air broadcast roles due to programming decisions by Bell Media radio brands.”

Before her departure, Johnston oversaw the production of unscripted products for Bell Media’s linear and streaming platforms, including Canada’s Drag Race, The Amazing Race Canada and MasterChef Canada.

Johnston worked for CTV as head of independent production for Atlantic Canada between 2001 and 2008. She has also served as a producer on titles such as Artzooka and CBC’s Street Cents. She joined Bell Media in 2010 as a production executive.

This is the third layoff – one every two weeks – since incoming Bell Media president Wade Oosterman took the reins on Jan. 5.

The first round saw the departure of Mike Cosentino (president, content and programming), Tracey Pearce (president, distribution and pay), Nanci MacLean (VP, Bell Media Studios and president, Pinewood Toronto Studios), Corrie Coe (SVP, original programming) and Kevin Goldstein (VP, regulatory affairs, content and distribution, BCE) and Bell Media communications VP Scott Henderson.

The second round resulted in more than a dozen job cuts, including to Discovery Canada general manager Edwina Follows.

From Playback Daily’s Kelly Townsend

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