Bell Media president Sean Cohan says recent layoffs and programming cuts are something he doesn’t take lightly, but were necessary to accelerate the company’s goals in the digital media landscape.

Cohan takes issue with how layoffs across the country by parent company Bell Inc., have been characterized as “killing journalism.”

In February, Bell announced 4,800 job cuts, of which fewer than 10 per cent have affected Bell Media specifically. Bell Media also announced the end of multiple local newscasts and said CTV’s flagship investigative series “W5” would no longer be a standalone program.

Cohan said Bell Media now has “more dedicated journalists in more territories” in Canada than ever before as a result of the restructuring. The company says “CTV National News” will soon have dedicated newsgathering staff in all 10 Canadian provinces, a first for the newscast.

While BCE Inc., announced it was selling off 45 of 103 Bell radio stations as part of the restructuring, Cohan said he thinks radio is still “a viable business going forward.”

He said the company sold those stations to “committed local players” it felt were “better homes.”

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