After Geena Lisa, Saartje Vandendriessche and Tomas De Soete also left VRT

VRT started the big round of layoffs this week. This fits within the cuts that the public broadcaster has to implement from the Flemish government. During the management agreement 2020-2025, the broadcaster must structurally use 25.1 million euros less public funds. And for that, 68 jobs must be lost. It was eventually reduced to 61 and at Reyerslaan they could confirm that 50 employees on Tuesday and Wednesday (good for 41 full-time positions, ed.) have been told that it ends here for them.

The round of layoffs at VRT particularly affects One and Canvas. Of the 61 naked dismissals, around thirty are on the two public television channels. Canvas is particularly hard hit: every fifth employee has to leave, and almost the entire online editorial office has been shut down. The remaining employees will be transferred to the digital platform VRT Max. Various supporting VRT services must also let staff go. At Connections, where they make TV spots, around a quarter of the layoffs have taken place.

The employees who are thanked for their services are mainly program creators. In front of the screens, but also behind: directors, editors, production staff, technicians, graphic artists and mechanics. For example, three editors of One magazine were appointed Everyone knew fired, and a director and editor-in-chief The insights. Annick Ruyts, who announced his exit earlier this week, is currently working as editor-in-chief Only Elvis survives on canvas.

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VRT CEO Frederik Delaplace and Flemish media minister Benjamin Dalle. © BELGIUM

Also three BVs

On Thursday, it became known that at least three BVs did not survive the round of savings at VRT. The first presenter, Geena Lisa (50), announced that she had been fired. She has worked for VRT since 1992 and presented the popular Mirage. In recent years, she was seen very little on screen and worked as an internal coach. “I am leaving VRT after 22 years and I am touched by the many reactions,” says the presenter in a reaction on social media. “I am grateful for the many wonderful years, I have many stories of opportunities, beautiful friendships and crazy adventures. Today, VRT is a company in change, and it goes hand in hand with the departure of people and the arrival of others.”

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A few hours later, Saartje Vandendriessche (47) also announced that she is part of the savings. “It is true that I no longer work for VRT as an employee,” she tells our editors. “There have been talks with VRT for a long time about converting my salaried status to self-employed status. This interruption of this employee status is therefore no surprise.” Vandendriessche emphasizes that both VRT and herself are still open to future collaborations. “In the future, I will definitely continue to spend my time and energy on the topics that are close to me heart, and which still makes me really excited. At VRT or through other channels.” The 47-year-old was an announcer on One from 2005 to 2015 and was a welcome face in programs such as The swing palace and The last show. She presented, among other things, on the VRT channels Flanders holiday country, Down to the man and Sarah in the woods.

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Not much later, it turned out that TV producer and radio voice Tomas De Soete (46) had to leave public television. This makes him the third BV whose permanent collaboration with VRT has been interrupted. This is confirmed to our editors.

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