One roof at Alliance

Canuck firm merges three groups, ups Yaffe

MONTREAL — Canuck entertainment company Alliance Atlantis Communications has streamlined its senior management structure and tapped longtime exec Phyllis Yaffe as chief operating officer.

Yaffe was previously CEO of Toronto-based Alliance Atlantis’ broadcast group, which no longer exists. Instead Alliance’s previous structure, made up of three operating groups — broadcast, entertainment and corporate — has been merged into one integrated entity.

The moves are the natural follow-up to Alliance Atlantis’ decision late last year to drop virtually all of its inhouse production activity and focus almost exclusively on its Canadian specialty channels.

Out of prod’n biz

In December, Alliance Atlantis exited the production biz, firing 70 staffers and closing several production subsids, including Salter Street in Halifax, Great North in Edmonton and Cafe Prods. in the U.K. The only major production it still maintains is its lucrative “CSI” franchise.

Alliance Atlantis’ film distribution business is not affected by these changes. Last year, the distribution division was spun off into an income trust, the Motion Picture Distribution Limited Partnership, with Alliance Atlantis holding 51%.

Other roles unchanged

The appointment of Yaffe as COO does not affect the role and responsibilities of Judson Martin, the company’s chief financial officer, and Victor Loewy, CEO of motion picture distribution. Martin will continue to report directly to Alliance Atlantis CEO Michael MacMillan, and Loewy will continue to report to the board of directors of the distribution income trust.

“Phyllis Yaffe is an extremely talented individual. In her previous role as CEO of our broadcast group, she has led that business through tremendous growth and success, and I know she’ll do the same as COO of Alliance Atlantis Communications,” MacMillan said.

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