Corus unveils new brand, leadership team

Mario Cecchini and Christine Shipton are leaving the company as part of leadership changes as the deal to acquire Shaw Media closes today.

Corus Entertainment has marked the closing of its deal to acquire the assets of Shaw Media with a new logo and executive team.

The acquisition of Shaw Media’s assets nearly doubles Corus’ size, creating a combined portfolio of brands that includes 45 specialty channels, 15 conventional channels, 39 radio stations and a growing portfolio of digital assets.

corusCommunicationsThe company has also unveiled a redesigned corporate brand, including a new leadership team for the combined companies.

Executives leaving the company include Christine Shipton, who had worked as chief content officer at Shaw Media and Mario Cecchini, president of Corus Radio and Corus Média. Shipton will stay on with the company in the coming months to ensure a smooth transition, according to a release.

Cecchini joined Corus in July 2013. In a previous stint with the company he spent close to five years as VP, Corus Quebec, responsible for the broadcasters’ 11 radio stations in the market at the time.

Christine Shipton was appointed as SVP, content at Shaw Media in September 2014. In that role she was responsible for overseeing all original Cancon productions, acquisitions for all international series and for scheduling across both conventional and specialty channels at the network. She moved into that role from her previous position as VP, original content, where she was responsible for commissioning original Canadian programming for both Global TV and the network’s specialty channels.

The new leadership team includes Barbara Williams, who becomes EVP and COO at Corus Entertainment, overseeing strategic and operational aspects of generating audience growth across platforms. Williams had worked as EVP of broadcasting and president of Shaw Media since Sept. 2014.

Greg McLelland becomes EVP and CRO at Corus Entertainment, leading the revenue components of the business across all platforms. McLelland had been SVP of sales at Shaw Media. Tom Peddie will continue to oversee Corus’ corporate finance, tax, treasury and accounting functions in the role of EVP and CFO.

Colin Bohm becomes EVP of international development and corporate strategy at Corus Entertainment. Bohm and his team will manage the company’s business development and strategic planning. He most recently worked as head of the kids division at Corus Entertainment.

Gary Maavara is Corus’ EVP and general counsel, overseeing the company’s legal matters. He will also continue in his role as corporate secretary to the board of directors.

Cheryl Fullerton becomes EVP of people and communications. Fullerton will be responsible for the delivery of the “people elements” of Corus’ business strategy. She has worked as EVP of people at Corus Entertainment since last November. She will now also oversee the communications team at the company, which will be led by Dervla Kelly, who joins as VP of communications from Shaw Media.

Corus Entertainment first announced its proposal to acquire Shaw Media in January of this year, with the CRTC approving the deal last week. Corus shareholders voted to approve the deal earlier this month, with almost 80% of the votes in favour of the acquisition, despite a persistent campaign against the deal by activist investor Catalyst Capital Group.

In addition to Cecchini and Shipton, other departures as a result of the merger include Mark Dickie, Dave McCutcheon, Garry McKenzie and Scott Armstrong. All worked as GMs in the Corus Radio division and leave as part of a “creative and growth-oriented shift” in the department, according to a Corus Entertainment representative.

With files from Julianna Cummins, Sonya Fatah


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