A prominent CTV News reporter who was suspended after a woman made sexual misconduct allegations against him is no longer with the company, Bell Media said Tuesday.
A spokesman for the media outlet confirmed the departure of Paul Bliss but refused to provide further details.
“We don’t comment on the specifics of individual employee matters,” Scott Henderson said in an email to The Canadian Press.
Bliss did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The allegations against him have not been verified by The Canadian Press.
The veteran reporter, who worked at CTV’s bureau at the Ontario legislature, was suspended in late January hours after the publication of a blog post containing allegations by Bridget Brown, who describes herself as a Calgary-based entrepreneur and former CTV employee.
Brown did not name Bliss in her post, but Henderson, Bell Media’s vice president of communications, said at the time that Bliss had been suspended pending an investigation in light of the allegations.
In a statement, Brown said she empathized with any family “who experiences job loss” but said people are responsible for their bad behaviour, which can have repercussions years later.
Brown also she had no idea what had become of the Bell Media investigation until reporters began calling her Tuesday, and said she had reasons for not naming Bliss in her original blog post.
“I wanted the focus to be on the fact that #MeToo experiences are happening in Canada,” Brown said. “I was not prepared for CTV public relations to publicly name my harasser before even commencing its investigation and name me as the instigating source for the investigation.”
In her original post titled “MeToo in Canadian Broadcasting,” Brown detailed an alleged sexual incident involving an unnamed CTV reporter in the spring of 2006. She said she had reached out to the reporter she had met at a party a few weeks earlier to ask if he wanted to get coffee with her.
The reporter “suggested instead I come to his office after his shift,” Brown wrote, which she did.
After showing her around, they ended up in his office where, she said, he started kissing her and pushing on the top of her head. She said she told him she wasn’t interested and that he then allegedly performed a sex act in front of her.
Brown wrote that she had kept silent about the alleged incident for 12 years but had finally decided to go public in light of the #MeToo movement of women coming forward with stories of sexual harassment and after reading about the resignation of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative leader amid sexual-misconduct allegations against him.
Three women have reached out to her since her blog post to say they allegedly had similar experiences between 2007—2017, Brown said in her statement on Tuesday. She said she would not share what they told her.
“They were understandably concerned about maintaining their privacy if they chose to report what happened,” Brown said.
Brown said she had also endured harassment online since her allegations against Bliss became public.
Bliss’s biography on CTV’s website had described him as a “veteran reporter … and occasional anchor for CTV Toronto.” It said he has won 13 awards for his reporting, including the Edward R. Murrow International Award for Best News Series.