CTV British Columbia fires general manager and news director

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Last week, CTV British Columbia fired vice-president and general manager Tom Haberstroh and news director Margo Harper. He had worked for the company for 31 years; she for 12. Rhiannon Russell reports.

CTV British Columbia has posted a job opening for a news director one week after firing two of its senior staff.

Tom Haberstroh, CTV BC's vice-president and general manager, and news director Margo Harper were fired on Nov. 13.

Haberstroh began working for CTV in 1981, and held this position since 2003.  Harper – whose biography page on the CTV website is no longer accessible – had been news director for six years.

Scott Henderson, vice-president of communications at Bell Media, confirmed they were no longer with the company, but declined to comment further.

CTV BC managing editor Ethan Faber also declined to comment, as did several reporters.

In the interim, Puget Sound Radio reports that James Stuart, regional vice-president of radio and TV operations British Columbia, will work in Haberstroh’s place, while CTV Ottawa news director Peter Angione will take over for Harper.

On Nov. 14, both The Tyee and Puget Sound Radio reported news of the firings. Other than that, media coverage has been scarce. It’s not clear whether ratings played a role.

According to November statistics from BBM Canada, CTV Evening News is the most watched news program nation-wide, and CTV’s TV stations broadcast the top-ranked local newscasts in nine of the 12 major Canadian markets, Henderson said.

Vancouver is one market CTV doesn't dominate. (Calgary and Edmonton are the two.)

Global TV dominates Vancouver as BBM statistics dating back to September – the start of the current broadcast season – show.

Global’s News Hour is the most-watched program in the city, ahead of crowd-pleasers The Big Bang Theory and Survivor. Global News and Global National follow closely behind, while none of CTV’s news programs crack the top 30.

They may not attract the most eyeballs, but they do attract awards. CTV BC won the British Columbia Association of Broadcasters' Excellence in News Reporting award earlier this year for its coverage of the Stanley Cup riots in Vancouver. The station also won a BCAB for its coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

More to come.

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