Canuck noble king

CanWest vet tapped prexy, CEO of Global

MONTREAL — Longtime CanWest Global Communications exec Gerry Noble has been tapped president and CEO of Global Communications, the company that oversees all of CanWest’s Canadian TV holdings.

Noble replaces Jim Sward, who is leaving CanWest Global when his contract expires at the end of August. Sward has been prexy and CEO of Global Communications since 1993. No reason was given for Sward’s departure.

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Noble, who has been with CanWest Global since 1985, was most recently based in Australia as the top exec responsible for CanWest’s holdings in Australia and New Zealand.

Winnipeg-based CanWest holds a stake in Network Ten in Australia and in TV3, TV4 and the More FM radio group in New Zealand. No replacement has yet been named to fill Noble’s post in Australia.

Also last week, Kevin Shea was named prexy of the Global Television Network. Shea joined the company in 1995 as president and chief operating officer of eastern operations for Global Television, and in his new position he will be responsible for all of Global’s conventional TV stations in Canada.

Ruling due on WIC

This is a key time for Global in Canada. Hearings kick off next week in which regulator the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will examine CanWest Global’s bid to take over the conventional TV holdings of WIC.

If CanWest Global successfully acquires the WIC stations, it will achieve coast-to-coast coverage for the first time.

Telecom giant BCE recently acquired the CTV Network, Global’s main rival in Canada, creating a much more competitive TV environment in the Great White North.

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