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CanWest reshuffles, adds b’cast exec

Williams tapped as senior veep for programming

TORONTO — CanWest MediaWorks has shuffled its top executive team and parachuted in broadcast exec Barbara Williams as senior VP of programming and production for the company’s television assets.

Williams joins CanWest from Toronto1, where she is VP and general manager. Previously, she had been senior VP of lifestyle programming at Alliance Atlantis Communications.

News of Williams’ impending departure came as a surprise to her colleagues at Toronto1. The station, which is preparing for a fall relaunch after being sold to TVA, issued a press release shortly after the CanWest Global announcement.

“Her commitment and leadership has been an integral part of the launch of this channel,” said Serge Bellerose, senior VP of specialty channels and business development, TVA Group Inc. “… TVA’s senior management team has taken the necessary steps to ensure continued success and growth upon her departure.”

Williams leaves Toronto1 on Friday and begins at CanWest MediaWorks on Monday.

Other top executives at Toronto-based CanWest MediaWorks, a subsid of CanWest Global Communications in Winnipeg, meanwhile were reshuffled.

In his new post as VP of Western stations, Chris McGinley adds oversight of stations in Saskatchewan and British Columbia; he already manages CanWest’s Alberta stations. Eastern regional manager Patrick O’Hara will now oversee CanWest’s Manitoba stations as VP of Eastern stations. Bill Hunt, previously with the specialty division, takes on a new post as general of Global Ontario.

Greg Treffrey becomes VP of business development, an expansion of his current responsibilities to include affiliate relations and business opportunities on the specialty side. “With our focus at CanWest on expanding our business, there will be additional effort required in that area,” said Kathleen Dore, prexy of TV and radio.

Steve Wyatt’s new post as senior veepee news and information is an expansion of his current post; likewise Adam Ivers, now VP programming for both conventional and specialty TV.

“One of our strategic focuses is to put all of our broadcast-related assets under one umbrella,” Dore said. “So this was really a matter of putting people in place for that new structure.”

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