Lisa LaFlamme says she was “blindsided” by CTV’s “crushing” decision to replace her as the lead anchor on CTV National News.
The network made the announcement Monday afternoon with a release stating that Omar Sachedina has been named Chief News Anchor and Senior Editor of CTV National News, effective Monday, Sept. 5.
In a Twitter post, LaFlamme, 58, said she was informed June 29 that her contract was not going to be renewed and it was a “business decision.”
“I was blindsided and I’m still shocked and saddened by Bell Media’s decision,” LaFlamme said. “I was also asked to keep this confidential from my colleagues and the public until the specifics of my exit could be resolved.”
In a press release, Bell Media said it was “recognizing changing viewer habits” as it moved “the role of its Chief News Anchor in a different direction.”
“I am honoured to follow exemplary journalists, such as Lisa LaFlamme and Lloyd Robertson, who have had the privilege of anchoring this newscast and established it as a go-to source for current events. And I am excited to work with our outstanding and dedicated team in this new capacity,” said Sachedina. “The daily connections we make with Canadians over the past six decades are built on a foundation of trusted journalism, fairness, balance and integrity. I look forward to upholding this, and continue delivering news that Canadians rely on.”
“As a veteran journalist who brings years of experience to his new role as anchor, Omar Sachedina is the ideal choice to lead the coverage being delivered by CTV National News each and every day across a variety of platforms,” said Karine Moses, Senior Vice-President, Content Development & News, Bell Media and Vice Chair, Quebec, Bell. “For more than a decade, he has played a key role in keeping Canadians informed of breaking news unfolding across Canada and around the world. Omar is a skilled anchor who connects with our viewers, and with him at the helm, we’re excited to maintain the status of CTV National News as Canada’s most-watched national newscast.”
In her video, LaFlamme, who began her career in 1989 in Kitchener, Ont. said the job has meant “everything” to her.
“Reporting on the darkest days of war … to covering natural disasters, this pandemic, federal elections and so many consequential events — this is a trust I have never taken for granted,” she said. “I am forever grateful to you — such loyal viewers for sharing in the belief that news delivered with integrity and truth strengthens our democracy.
“At 58, I still thought I’d have a lot more time to tell more of the stories that impact our daily lives, instead I leave CTV humbled by the people who put their faith in me to tell their story. I guess this is my sign off from CTV.”
LaFlamme went on to add that her leaving is “not my choice,” but expressed her thanks to viewers, her colleagues and her family.
“Please know, reporting to you has been the greatest honour of my life and I thank you for always being there,” she concluded.
LaFlamme had been the Chief News Anchor of CTV National News since 2011, after taking over from Lloyd Robertson. She was named Best National News Anchor five times by the Canadian Screen Awards.
In 2019, LaFlamme was named Officer of the Order of Canada.