Canwest names national marketing team

New CMO Walter Levitt tells MiC that he and his staff, together with Canwest's new sales team - are 'looking forward to building our brands and, where possible, helping clients build theirs.'

Yesterday, Walter Levitt, Canwest Broadcasting’s newly appointed chief marketing officer, announced the make-up of his new national marketing leadership team, calling them ‘the country’s most talented and experienced broadcast marketing executives.’

In an interview with MiC, Levitt – who’s been with Canwest since 2005, when he left Alliance Atlantis to become SVP, marketing and creative services – says his new team is ‘looking forward to both building our brands and, where possible, helping clients build theirs.’

‘Typically,’ he explains, ‘the entry point for anything that goes beyond buying traditional spots is our marketing ventures team, headed up by [SVP] Catherine Bridgeman on the sales side. Then her team will involve my team in integrated consumer marketing, as we did recently with Deal or No Deal Canada. So, along with the folks in our sales organization, we are ready and available to integrate clients with our network’s focus marketing activities, and we look forward to both building our brands and, where possible, helping clients build theirs.’

Maximizing the reach of what Levitt terms Canwest’s ‘unbeatable portfolio of television brands,’ and reporting directly to him, are:

• Chris Fuoco, VP distribution and account marketing, who will lead Canwest Broadcasting’s content distribution strategy, working with licensed Canadian distributors including cable, satellite and telephone companies. Fuoco previously led Alliance Atlantis’ innovative distribution team over the last several years, after senior marketing stints at Procter & Gamble.

• David O’Brien, VP, who will head the new centralized Creative Agency in Toronto, leading creative development for Global entertainment and Global News, as well as all specialty channels and client requirements. O’Brien’s proven track record includes launching and growing successful TV brands at both Alliance Atlantis and CTV.

• Brad Parry, VP marketing, E!, is now responsible for marketing and publicity strategy and all creative for E! in Canada. He joined Canwest in 2005 and spearheaded the launch of the E! brand in Canada last fall. Prior to that, Parry worked with leading Canadian ad agencies for 12 years. His team will remain based in Calgary.

• Jamie Schouela, VP marketing strategy, Global, will lead the marketing and publicity strategy for Global entertainment and Global News. He has been responsible for Global’s marketing efforts since 2005. Before that, he was in charge of marketing several of the country’s biggest specialty brands, including Showcase.

• Muriel Solomon, VP marketing strategy, specialty, will oversee the marketing and publicity strategy for all of Canwest’s specialty channels. Levitt says her promotion ‘is a reflection of the leadership role Solomon has played in the growth of many Alliance Atlantis networks over the last several years, including HGTV and Food Network.’ Prior to that, she worked in packaged goods marketing.

• Deborah Lewis, VP0. communications, will be responsible for Canwest Broadcasting’s external and internal communications efforts. Before joining Canwest last year, she spent over 15 years developing communications programs for national and international corporations including Inside Entertainment, FQ and SIR magazines, Wire Image, Diesel and Hugo Boss.