Ivan Fecan ankled Thursday as programming chief at pubcaster CBC’s English-language network. It was the second abrupt departure at CBC this month.
Prexy Gerard Veilleux left Nov. 1, one year before the end of his five-year term.
But Fecan says there was nothing sudden about his decision to leave CBC. He cited CBS topper Jeff Sagansky’s analogy: “The chief programmer’s job is so intense, it should be measured in dog years.”
He will remain at the programming helm until the end of the year. Fecan said he did not believe it was appropriate to pursue prospects until he announced his resignation.
Fecan returned to CBC in 1987 after a stint as veep of creative development at NBC, where he worked under former NBC topper Brandon Tartikoff. Before that, he worked at CBC as a radio producer, then moved to Toronto indie City-TV, where he worked with prexy Moses Znaimer to create City’s unique news style.
It was through his old NBC alliances that Fecan was able to forge new inroads for Canadian TV, such as the first-ever sale of a Canadian telepic, “Love and Hate,” which ran on network primetime. Under his leadership, CBC’s Canadian content in primetime rose from 78% to 91%, while American programming was reduced from 5 1/2 hours per week to 2 1/2.
This was all done during bleak financial times when the CBC was consistently hammered with cuts by the previous Conservative government. But Fecan believes the mood of the recently elected Liberal government is more positive.