×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Pierre Juneau dies at 89

Canadian regulator championed local production

Pierre Juneau, who brought in key regulations supporting homegrown TV and music production in Canada, died on Tuesday. He was 89.

The Montreal-born Juneau began his career at the National Film Board of Canada, where he played a significant role in the development of French-language production at the publicly funded film studio. While at the NFB from 1949-66, he held a number of management posts in the distribution and production sectors, including developing co-productions with France and Italy.

When a separate French-language production unit was set up at the NFB in 1964, he was named the first head of the studio.

In 1960, he co-founded Quebec’s first film festival, the Montreal International Film Festival.

In 1966, Juneau left the NFB and was named vice chairman of the Bureau of Broadcast Governors. Two years later that body became the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, the country’s broadcast regulator. He became the first-ever chairman of the CRTC in 1968 and it was during his tenure as CRTC topper that the regulator created the first-ever Canadian-content regulations for both television and radio. These rules are considered by many to be significant factors in the subsequent development of a healthy TV and music industries in the Great White North. The rules stipulated that the TV networks had to air 60% Canadian fare, and radio stations had to air 30% Canadian music.

In recognition of his defining role in the music world in Canada, the Canadian music awards were named the Juno Awards in his honor. He also received a Juno Award as Canadian music industry man of the year in 1971.

An old friend of Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Juneau ankled the CRTC in 1975 to take the position as Minister of Communications in Trudeau’s government. But he had to resign from the cabinet after he lost a by-election.

Juneau became president of pubcaster CBC in 1982 and, while head of the network, he helped create the country’s first all-news network, Newsworld. But while heading CBC, he had to grapple with major budget cuts brought in by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s Progressive Conservative government.

“He was a great defender of Canadian content, a great defender of the public service and a great defender of the political independence of CBC vis-a-vis the government,” said Sylvain Lafrance, the former senior VP of French-language services at CBC, in an interview with the Radio-Canada website.

During his years as president of the CBC, he pushed to bring the Canadian content on the network up to 95%. He retired from CBC just as Newsworld was going to air.

Following his time at CBC, he founded the World Radio and Television Council, a UNESCO-supported non-government organization.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • THE BACHELORETTE - "The Bachelorette: Season

    'The Bachelor': ABC Announces Leading Man For Season 24

    ABC has cast its next leading man for Season 24 of “The Bachelor.” Peter Weber has officially been named the upcoming “Bachelor.” The announcement was made Tuesday night on ABC’s “Bachelor In Paradise” reunion special. Weber appeared on Season 15 of “The Bachelorette” with Hannah Brown, ultimately becoming the second runner-up. He was a fan-favorite [...]

  • SEAL TEAM stars David Boreanaz (left),

    Showrunner John Glenn Exits 'SEAL Team' at CBS

    CBS is cutting ties with “SEAL Team” showrunner John Glenn, Variety has confirmed. Glenn joined the show for its second season, which premiered in October of last year. Christopher Chulack, Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly also executive produced. “Regarding ‘SEAL Team,’ I am proud of the work we did – and greatly enjoyed having the chance to [...]

  • NBC Campaign Aims to Reclaim Brand

    NBC Launches Campaign to Reclaim Brand Ownership of Hit Comedies (EXCLUSIVE)

    NBC is preparing a new salvo in the streaming-era TV branding wars. As audiences increasingly watch shows like “The Good Place” and “Superstore” on other platforms, the Peacock network has launched a new campaign to remind them that these are, first and foremost, NBC shows. And they’re even enlisting a real-life peacock to convey the [...]

  • Shane Gillis

    'SNL' Sought Conservative Appeal With Shane Gillis Hire

    “Saturday Night Live” was looking to shake things up with the casting of Shane Gillis — and it did, albeit unintentionally. According to sources, the long-running NBC comedy show and series mastermind Lorne Michaels were actively looking to cast a comedian for its new season who would appeal to more conservative viewers. This was meant [...]

  • TV News Roundup: Netflix Announces Arsenio

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Announces Arsenio Hall's Comedy Special Premiere Date

    In today’s TV news roundup, Netflix announced the premiere date for Arsenio Hall’s comedy special and a “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” duo (among others) will guest star on “Elena of Avalor.” CASTING “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” stars Rachel Brosnahan and Tony Shalhoub, as well as Auli’i Cravalho (“Moana”), John Leguizamo (“When They See Us”), Taye Diggs (“All American”), Eugenio Derbez [...]

  • How 'Save Our Show' Campaigns Affect

    From 'The OA' to 'One Day at a Time': How 'Save Our Show' Campaigns Affect Network Interest

    Organized flash mobs and mounting billboards still may not save your favorite shows, as some fan campaigns are finding out. Following Netflix’s most recent decision to stand firm on its cancellation of “The OA,” the question remains, “what will save these shows?” When networks and streamers find that smaller favorites aren’t big cash cows, fans [...]

  • Afton WilliamsonABC All-Star Happy Hour, TCA

    Afton Williamson 'Rookie' Investigation: Studio Finds No 'Inappropriate' Workplace Behavior

    Updated: Former “The Rookie” star Afton Williamson has responded to Entertainment One’s (eOne) findings into her claims of racial discrimination and sexual harassment and assault on the ABC series. In an Instagram post Tuesday night, Williamson lamented “the lengths that were taken to Deceive, Lie, and Cover Up the Truth” following eOne’s statement. “It’s Heartbreaking [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content