Walter Levitt to resign from Canwest Global

The mediaco's CMO annouced his resignation this morning, citing the still-under-CRTC review Shaw takeover as the reason for his departure.

Walter Levitt, the long-time marketing chief at Canwest Global Communications, is resigning.

Levitt first thing Monday let his colleagues know he will step down as chief marketing officer once the CRTC approves the takeover by Shaw Communications of Canwest Global.

The announcement of his pending departure was then made internally soon afterwards.

The CRTC green-light for a Shaw takeover is expected as early as this week, allowing the western Canadian cable giant to continue to firm up plans for its pending takeover of Canwest Global’s TV assets.

After years of speaking out about the importance of Global Television appealing to advertisers with the 18 to 49 demo, and in major markets like Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary, Levitt explained his plans to leave the conventional and specialty broadcaster.

‘From my perspective, it’s an ideal time to move on,’ Levitt said in an internal email, summing up his accomplishments since joining Canwest Global as senior vice president of marketing in 2005.

‘We have reinvigorated the Global brand, regained our competitive position in the top 10 and returned the business to profitability,’ despite parent Canwest Global being tipped into creditor protection, he added.

Levitt said he will be available to Shaw through the end of November to ensure a smooth transition. He also said that he had no intention of leaving Canadian media, and would look to resurface elsewhere in the industry.

His departure follows talks with Shaw where both parties concluded ‘there simply wouldn’t be an appropriate role for me in the new organization,’ Levitt disclosed in his internal memo.

The senior Canwest Global executive was hired in 2005 to drive the broadcaster’s brand strategy, publicity and advertising businesses.

Levitt made the move from then Alliance Atlantis Communications, where he worked for eight years.

He also completed an earlier executive stint at CTV, and worked in radio at Redmond Broadcasting and CHUM Quebec

From Playback Daily