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CanWest plans more layoffs at AAC

Alliance Atlantis produces CBS hit 'CSI'

CanWest Global has put its stamp on the broadcast division of Alliance Atlantis giving marching orders to production topper Norm Bolen on Thursday.

A number of other executives are also expected to ankle with Bolen.

Although CanWest Global Communications’ takeover is yet to be approved by Canuck regulators, the Winnipeg-based media company is also shutting down blogtv.ca, AAC’s six-month-old foray into online social networking.

Alliance Atlantis, producer of CBS hit “CSI” franchise, was acquired by CanWest Global Communications and New York-based Goldman Sachs for $2.3 billion in a deal that closed in mid-August. The company’s broadcast assets, valued at approximately $1.5 billion, are being held in trust until that portion of the deal is approved by Canada’s broadcast regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

In the meantime, Bolen has been told by CanWest brass that he’ll be pink-slipped once the CRTC approves the acquisition (assuming it does,) a decision that could come down as early as January following a hearing skedded for Nov. 16.

AAC has said public affairs topper Heather Conway is exiting at the end of this month, and Errol Da-Re and Jackie Saad, toppers in the sales and HR departments respectively, will also be gone once the trust winds down.

These are not the first heads to role with the takeover. When the deal closed in mid-August, Alliance co-founder Ted Riley, chief financial officer Dave Lazzarato and legal topper Andrea Wood were axed. Co-founder and executive chairman Michael MacMillan and CEO Phyllis Yaffe stepped down from their posts but remain as consultants.

The trustee status of the broadcast assets does not extend to the new- media division, which employs close to 75 staff, and is already under the purview of CanWest. The company decided to pull the plug on blogtv.caon Tuesday.

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