Longtime CTV Winnipeg news anchor Gord Leclerc has landed a new job with the Province of Manitoba after he was abruptly let go by the station in November after nearly 25 years.
Beginning Monday, Leclerc will serve as press secretary to Health Minister Cameron Friesen.
Leclerc told the Free Press in a brief interview Friday evening that he was grateful for the opportunity and excited to begin a new chapter in his career.
He started working at CTV Winnipeg in 1995 as a reporter and weekend anchor, before being promoted to anchor of the weekday 6 p.m. flagship news show.
He co-hosted the 6 p.m. newscast with Maralee Caruso. From 2002 to his dismissal last November, he served as the station’s senior anchor.
Shortly after he was let go from the position, Patricia Garcia, Bell Media’s communications manager in Toronto, said in a written statement that the move was brought about by "rapid industry change."
"We’re feeling the effects of rapid industry change in many parts of our business, including local TV... To ensure we remain competitive, we’re managing the impact on our bottom line while also investing in content and platforms," Garcia said.
"We thank Gord for his contribution to CTV and wish him the best."
Leclerc wasn’t the only CTV staffer dismissed in November 2019.
At the time, Paul McKie, an area director for Unifor — the union representing CTV staff — said the company fired unionized and non-unionized workers at stations across Canada.
"Job loss in local broadcasting continues to be of great concern to Unifor and its continued impact on local news," McKie said.
Many Winnipeggers and former colleagues expressed shock at Leclerc’s dismissal after the news broke.
Leclerc replaces another former journalist, Kevin Engstrom, as Friesen’s press secretary.
Ryan Thorpe likes the pace of daily news, the feeling of a broadsheet in his hands and the stress of never-ending deadlines hanging over his head.
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Updated on Friday, February 7, 2020 at 6:18 PM CST: Adds related items