Chum Ltd announces major corporate reshuffle in TV division

MUMBAI: One of Canada's leading media companies and content providers -- Chum Limited -- announced a reorganisation of its television division, effective immediately.

With this, the overall responsibility for the division has been realigned across three functional groups, headed by the new management team of Chum Television senior vice president content Roma Khanna, senior vice president operations Peter Palframan and executive vice president sales and marketing David Kirkwood, who will all be reporting to Chum Limited president and CEO Jay Switzer.

This reorganisation represents an evolution of Chum's television operational structure, reflecting the significant growth of its television assets, including the recent acquisition of Craig Media Inc. and full ownership of Learning and Skills Television of Alberta.

The realignment of the management structure across the company's 12 local television channels, 21 specialty channels and related business units, provides for the maximisation of efficiencies, performance and competitiveness. This includes the optimisation of content creation and development across all channels and delivery platforms, together with greater operational, sales and marketing efficiencies in a new streamlined regional focus for local conventional services and genre focus for specialty services.

"Chum's performance relies on our ability to be nimble and proactive to satisfy the demands of our viewers, advertisers and ultimately our shareholders. The realignment of our management structure across functional groups allows us to harness and strategically deploy our tremendous creative and operational resources across the entire television division," said Switzer.

Khanna, formerly Chum Interactive vice president has been appointed Chum Television SVP content. Her responsibilities will include guiding all of Chum Television's domestic and international content creation, program acquisitions and distribution efforts. In order to strengthen and align the company's content strategies, she oversee the Programming, Independent Production, In-House Production, International Distribution, Interactive and Creative Services units. Radio-related initiatives of Chum Interactive will continue to report to Chum Limited EVP Radio Paul Ski.

"Roma Khanna brings tremendous strength to this new position. Her impressive track record of successful content development combined with the breadth of her business experience makes her the perfect choice to lead Chum's content strategy in an evolving television environment. Roma's entrepreneurial and legal background in addition to her rich production history, are integral parts of her results-oriented approach. Her background as an independent producer, together with her extensive industry involvement, is a distinct advantage to us as we look forward to developing new ideas and capitalising on emerging content models," said Switzer.

Under the new structure, reporting to the SVP content, Chum Television, Marcia Martin will move from her role as vice president and general manager of specialty services Star!, FashionTelevisionChannel and SexTV:The Channel, as well as vice president production for Chum's local television channels, to an expanded role as vice president production, Chum Television, overseeing all of the division's extensive in-house productions and production staff across both local and specialty channels.

Chum Television vice president programming Ellen Baine will now have added responsibilities for overseeing all program acquisitions, scheduling and programming staff across all Chum's television channels, both local and specialty.

Chum Television director of creative services David Johnson becomes responsible for a newly centralised on-air promotion and creative services unit working across all stations.

Chum Television International vice president and general manager Kevin Byles and senior director of independent production Diane Boehme will continue in their current roles.

"Across Canada, and in markets around the world, Chum Television is known for delivering highly original content and strategically programmed brands, with the power to connect to viewers, through both traditional and new media distribution models. The reorganisation of these areas into a single centralised unit of remarkably talented individuals will allow us to excel in the way we create, acquire and manage our content," said Switzer.

Peter Palframan, formerly vice president, finance and administration, Chum Television, and vice president, finance and operations Learning and Skills Television of Alberta, is appointed SVP Operations, Chum Television.

In this new role, Palframan will be responsible for the business operation of Chum's 33 television stations and related business units. This includes affiliate sales and marketing, broadcast technology, operations, the newly-created Regional Conventional Television units in Ontario and Alberta/Manitoba, the current Regional Conventional Television unit in B.C., and the newly-created Specialty Television units for Specialty Music and Specialty Entertainment.

"Peter Palframan has played an important role in the success of the Television division's Administrative and Operational units during our recent period of growth. He has the clear business sense and exceptional organisational skills necessary to maximise the efficiencies and effectiveness in our operations, together with a keen understanding of the resources needed to make great television," said Switzer.

With these changes, reporting to Palframan, Paul Gratton continues to have responsibility for Bravo!, Space and Drive-In Classics and assumes added responsibilities for Star!, Sex TV:The Channel, Fashion Television Channel, BookTelevision, CourtTV Canada and TV Land in his newly appointed position as VP entertainment specialty channels.

David Kines continues to have responsibility for Chum's music services MuchMusic, MuchMoreMusic, MuchLOUD, MuchVibe, MuchMoreRetro, MTV Canada and MTV2, under the new title Vice President, Music and Youth Specialty Channels, Chum Television. Both Specialty Channel VPs will be responsible for planning, monitoring and driving the performance of their respective channels.

Nigel Fuller, formerly VP and GM, The New RO, is appointed to the new position of regional VP, Chum Television, Ontario, responsible for overseeing Citytv Toronto and CP24, as well as The New VR, The New RO, The New PL, The New WI and The New NX, (soon to be rebranded A-Channels).

Al Thorgeirson, formerly COO of Craig Media Inc., is appointed to the new position of regional VP, Chum Television, Alberta/Manitoba, responsible for overseeing the A-Channel stations in Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg (soon to be rebranded Citytvs), CKX-TV Brandon, a CBC-affiliate, Canadian Learning Television and ACCESS.

Brad Phillips, Regional VP, Chum Television, BC, continues in his current role overseeing Citytv Vancouver and The New VI (soon to be rebranded A-Channel).

"These new appointments are the result of an extensive review of both internal and external applicants to select the right people to help realise Chum's growth and performance strategy. Our leadership team has the comprehensive industry experience, together with the proven track record for creativity and innovative thinking, needed to propel us to new levels of success now and in the future," said Switzer.

Chum Limited owns and operates 33 radio stations, 12 local television stations and 21 specialty channels, as well as an environmental music distribution division. Through international format licenses and program sales, Chum's original content is seen in over 130 countries worldwide and is distributed via new media platforms, including interactive television, wireless services and exclusive Chum-branded Internet properties.

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