Yesterday, Radio-Canada announced the "departure" of Alain Saulnier, the executive director of news and current affairs who had been working for the network since 1984. Michel Cormier will replace him, in what's being called a necessary shift.

This post is part of a longer story, as originally written by Sarah Leavitt for OpenFile Montreal

 

Yesterday, Radio-Canada announced the "departure" of Alain Saulnier, the executive director of news and current affairs who had been working for the network since 1984.

Details of the circumstances remain hazy, but Radio-Canada’s Vice President Louis Lalande had high praise for Saulnier.

“Alain Saulnier is highly respected in Canada's journalism community, and he has been largely instrumental in shaping the tradition of quality and excellence in news reporting that have become one of the public broadcaster's calling cards. Under his leadership, investigative journalism has advanced by leaps and bounds at Radio-Canada – this hasn't gone unnoticed, and it's also had a tangible impact on social and democratic life for all Canadians.”

Saulnier, who was much-loved by his colleagues, wrote a letter to his colleagues in which he states it was not his choice to leave:

“Louis Lalande decided to proceed with the transformation of (our news department) with somebody other than me. That’s his right. I will thus leave Radio-Canada on March 16 … I regret leaving you in such a turmoil, but know that it was not my choice.”

In response to the news, the Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec published a news release expressing their worry over the dismissal, saying it feared the worst for the future of the public broadcaster and questioning whether or not the departure was a response to criticism of Radio-Canada by the Conservative government.

Saulnier’s colleagues showed support with sustained applause in the newsroom that was so loud and long it interrupted a live newscast. (See video below)

Today, Radio-Canada announced that veteran journalist Michel Cormier will replace Saulnier in what's being called a necessary shift to a more "reactive and interactive" coverage of the news.
 

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This post has been re-published from OpenFile Montreal.