Lisa LaFlamme isn’t done telling stories that matter most to her — even if she’s not on CTV
Seven months after he was released as an anchor CTV National Newsafter decades with the network, Lisa LaFlamme keeps an eye on things.
“I’ve had 35 memorable years,” she told CBC News chief correspondent Adrienne Arsenault on CTV on Wednesday. “And I loved it. i loved everything And now there are new things to love. So I’ll be fine. I’m doing well.”
LaFlame sat down The National and spoke more about her split from CTV, her future, and her voice for women’s issues in Canada and around the world.
Last August, LaFlamme announced on Twitter that CTV’s parent company, Bell Media, had made a “business decision” to end her contract. She said she was “taken by surprise” by the move.
Narration soon emerged speculating that her newly graying hair may have played a role in the decision. LaFlamme had stopped dying her hair during the pandemic, The Globe and Mail reported and was questioned by a CTV exec.
This led to allegations of sexism and ageism against Bell Media, which the company firmly denied. Brands like Wendy’s and Dove have even launched social media campaigns about gray hair in solidarity.
CLOCK | “You adapt,” LaFlamme says of the split from CTV:
Bell Media later said it regretted how LaFlamme’s departure was handled and ordered a third-party review of the newsroom amid the excitement. CTV’s head of news was eventually replaced.
Mirko Bibic, the president and CEO of BCE, Bell Media’s parent company, later denied in a LinkdIn post that LaFlamme’s “age, gender or gray hair played any role in the decision.”
When asked if she was fired for turning her hair gray, LaFlamme referenced her original video.
“It was a business decision and I know it,” she said.
“Legally, I can only say so much.”
la flame added that she was grateful for the support she received.
“Journalists, especially women, become, if you will, pincushions for the haters. And so maybe we train ourselves to hear the negative. Maybe we absorb the negative more than we should,” she said.
She says losing her job pales in comparison to some of the hardships she witnessed while working. “I think of – the soldiers that we saw in Afghanistan losing their legs, or babies born in tarps after the earthquake in Haiti, all those things, these are sudden changes that they don’t come back from “, she said.
Earlier this year, LaFlamme was nominated for Best National News Anchor at the Canadian Screen Awards. She says she submitted her work independently after finding out her former employer hadn’t submitted it. The Toronto Star first reported on this development in February.
CLOCK | LaFlamme on submitting her work:
“When I found out my work wasn’t going to be submitted, I thought, no, I can’t do that,” she said.
“You can do someone’s job, but you can’t really erase their story and their work.
“In this case, these are the most important stories we’ve covered in a year: the war in Ukraine, the Pope’s visit to that country.”
LaFlamme says the discussion that has resulted from her split from CTV has put her at the center of conversations about topics in which she has always been deeply involved.
“Long before my contract ended, I focused on women’s rights and women’s issues, from young women to old women to BIPOC women. I never thought of it,” she said.
“People want to hear from me now. And I like to talk. I would really say the same things I said 10 years ago.”
Going forward, LaFlamme wants to continue to focus on issues that were important to her, citing her recent work with Journalists for Human Rights, a Canadian media development organization.
CBC News reached out to CTV News for comment but received no response at the time of publication.