Viner exits CanWest

The long-time exec has retired from his post atop the Winnipeg giant's TV and print operations.

Peter Viner has retired from CanWest MediaWorks, ending 33 years with the TV and print giant and its parent, CanWest Global Communications.

A replacement is not being sought at this time. In a statement released yesterday, CanWest said its Canadian operating heads will now report directly to CanWest Global president/CEO Leonard Asper.

Viner oversaw the media conglomerate’s broadcast and publishing properties, which include Global Television, the CH channels, eight specialty channels and the National Post, plus daily and weekly newspapers across the country. He will continue to serve as an advisor for CanWest, which has a number of major initiatives underway, though a company spokesperson was unable to provide specifics. Viner held a number of key positions with the Winnipeg-based media giant, including president and CEO of CanWest Global from 1997 to 1999, after which Asper took the helm.

The company is expected to close its $2.3-billion joint takeover with Goldman Sachs of Alliance Atlantis Communications in early August, with CRTC hearings on the deal to begin Sept. 5. CanWest also recently sold its radio and TV holdings in New Zealand for $314 million to Ironbridge Capital of Australia. The company was also seeking to sell its 14.5% stake in Ten Network Australia, but after being unable to find a buyer, it announced a plan to instead raise its stake in the network to 56%.

This story first appeared in Playback Daily.