CTV’s Fecan to retire

The broadcaster's CEO told staff in a memo this afternoon that he will step down next year.

Today’s annoucement that Bell has placed a bid to acquire CTV for a total of $3.2 billion has been followed by the revelation that CTV head Ivan Fecan will be leaving his post in tandem with the change in ownership.

Fecan will retire in late 2011, after 17 years at the network helm.

‘As some of you know, I had planned to retire as CEO in 2012,’ Fecan told CTV employees in an internal memo released late Friday.

‘However, with the sale of CTV to Bell happening now, I believe it is in the best interest of our company for me to retire sooner – so that the new leader can have a fresh start with a new ownership structure,’ he added.

Bell, which already has a 15% stake in CTV and up until 2005 had a majority stake in the broadcaster, will acquire the remaining 85% stake from The Woodbridge Company Ltd, the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan and newspaper publisher Torstar Corp.

Earlier today, in a statement on the announcement, Fecan emphasized the importance of vertical integration across conventional, specialty and digital TV and radio assets.

‘In today’s digital age, it is extremely important to be part of a vertically integrated company that can take advantage of video delivered on multiple screens,’ he said in the release. ‘CTV has emerged stronger than ever from the recession…This is the right deal at the right time.’

Fecan also told analysts wary of BCE purchasing 100% of CTV rather than choice assets, that it was important to cover the waterfront in TV content to catch all online consumption.

‘While sports, news and music are important, if you look at the track record of what most people are downloading, it’s the Gossip Girls, it’s the Jersey Shores. The actual consumer behavior is a little bit what you think, but it’s also what you don’t think,’ Fecan told analysts.

From Playback Daily