A week in and the Bell Media fallout continues over Lisa LaFlamme’s firing. And the broadcaster — hell, the entire company — is embroiled in a PR nightmare.
Last week, LaFlamme made the announcement of her exit hours before I wrote my column. The outrage across Canada was fast and furious, as I noted, and things only got worse as details of her termination were made public.
Of course, there is always more than one side to a story. In this case, it doesn’t really matter what the “real” reason was for her termination because the public had already made up its mind.
I previously remarked that if she were a nightmare to work with or causing trouble at the company, then the firing could be justified. We’ve since heard that LaFlamme was rocking the boat by having disagreements with executive leadership. But, it sounds like that boat rocking was more ego hurting than anything else. (Remember, we’re basing things on hearsay and second- and third-hand accounts.)
Nevertheless, is that reason enough to fire arguably the most-trusted news anchor in the country? Apparently so.
Bell was clearly feeling the heat because late last week the PR team posted “regrets” about how the LaFlamme exit was announced. That, my friends, only made things worse. In fact, that gave the angry Twitter mob even more to dissect and destroy.
Disclosure: I regularly work with PR folks at Bell TV networks for content on my syndicated radio shows, however I don’t know the ones involved in cleaning up the company’s pile of mess this go round.
Much was made about LaFlamme’s replacement, Omar Sachedina, and his victory lap about taking over as chief anchor of CTV National News, as some people put it, “before the chair was even cold.” (He tweeted roughly an hour after LaFlamme shocked the world with her revelation.)
Within my media circles, colleagues wondered if he should refuse the job out of principle. Should he bow out before he starts to support for his fallen co-worker? Should Sachedina take a stand and say, “I don’t agree with how she was treated and how this was handled” and refuse the position? Would you?
At the end of the day, most people make decisions on what’s best for their own livelihood. Or should there be consideration for others in a time like this? I cause we all sleep differently at night.