Canwest shuffles AA execs with its own

A nine-member team has been put in place under Kathy Dore, bringing former AA brass into the fold.

Yesterday, Canwest Broadcasting announced a new nine-member executive management team that will report to president Kathy Dore, as the conventional broadcaster brings the newly acquired Alliance Atlantis specialty TV channels into its fold following the CRTC’s Jan. 18 final approval of Canwest’s $2.3-million acquisition of Alliance Atlantis.

The reorganization includes Errol Da-Ré, former VP of sales at Alliance Atlantis, who has been named EVP of sales, with the responsibility of leading the Canwest conventional and specialty TV sales teams. He will oversee marketing ventures, strategic research, digital media and revenue and inventory management teams.

Walter Levitt, most recently Canwest’s SVP of TV marketing and previously in the AA fold, is now chief marketing officer, overseeing brand strategy, promotion and publicity for the combined broadcasting business. His responsibilities also include content distribution and co-marketing with cable and satellite TV distribution companies.

Canwest employees named to the senior management team include Charlotte Bell, David McCauley, Christine McGinley, Barbara Williams and Steve Wyatt. Williams, formerly SVP of programming and production, is now EVP of content. McGinley remains SVP of operations and will oversee the 15 Global and E! stations.

Andrew Akman, AA’s former VP of corporate development and investor relations, is now SVP of strategy and chief administrative officer. He will continue to be responsible for strategic planning, business development and the integration of AA and Canwest broadcasting properties, while also overseeing human resources and information technology, among other areas. Michael French, formerly AA’s VP of finance, business planning and analysis, will lead the finance team of the combined broadcaster as CFO.

AA’s SVP of content John Gill left on Monday, and more personnel changes are expected from Canwest over the next week.

‘The combined assets of Canwest and Alliance Atlantis will reinforce our position as a leader in Canadian broadcasting,’ said Dore in a statement. A Canwest spokesperson was unavailable for further comment.

Following the reorganization, there will be fewer doors for writers to knock on to pitch projects, contends Maureen Parker, head of the Writers Guild of Canada. ‘I hope the specialty TV channels don’t become home to repeats from CanWest’s conventional stations,’ she says. ‘Alliance Atlantis’ Showcase has commissioned a number of Canadian shows, such as Rent-A-Goalie, Trailer Park Boys, Billable Hours, Show Me Yours, Naked Josh and Kenny vs. Spenny.’

From Playback Daily