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Bell Media cuts up to 120 employees at its TV operations

President of Bell Media Kevin Crull delivers a keynote speech

Dave Chan/The Globe and Mail

Bell Media says it plans to cut as many as 120 jobs in Toronto this summer due to "financial pressure" in its advertising and subscription TV services.

The radio and television section of BCE Inc. said Monday it has informed the federal Minister of Labour of the layoffs, which will happen this summer. Employers that plan to lay off more than 50 employees have an obligation to inform the Labour Minister.

Bell Media runs a variety of television channels including the CTV network, CTV Two and the TSN sports networks.

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In addition to CTV, its national network which is carried over-the-air and included in basic cable packages, Bell Media operates several specialty channels, which rely on subscribers as well as advertising for revenue.

Its speciality channels include The Comedy Network, the MuchMusic channels and MTV.

Earlier in the day, the president of CTV News confirmed that its prime-time current affairs show "Kevin Newman Live" had been cancelled.

A spokesman for Bell says the layoffs are not related.

The company is in the midst of negotiating a new collective agreement with Unifor Local 723M, the local bargaining unit that represents Bell Media workers.

At the end of May, Unifor said those talks were halted until mid-August to accommodate vacation schedules of the negotiators.

The union added in a statement at the time that Bell Media "has dropped the spectre of layoffs occurring within the next two months if 'national advertising revenues do not improve,'" noting that the company said Toronto would be affected.

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BCE owns 15 per cent of The Globe and Mail.

With files from Globe and Mail reporter Christine Dobby

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