TORONTO - Corus Entertainment has formed a new team that combines domestic digital and interactive activities of the TV division with affiliate relations and made two executive appointments to the division.
Maria Hale has been named to the newly created role, Vice President, Television, Head of Digital and Content Distribution and John MacDonald is the new Vice President, Television, Head of Programming and Production, effective October 15, 2012. Hale and MacDonald will report to Doug Murphy, Executive Vice President and President, Television, Corus Entertainment.
Corus says the new team reflects “the importance of a highly strategic approach to the creation, acquisition and distribution of linear, non-linear and interactive content in a rapidly expanding digital space.”
“These new executive appointments and related structural changes will position Corus Television well to compete in our dynamic and competitive media marketplace in Canada,” said Doug Murphy, Executive Vice President and President, Television, Corus Entertainment. “We’re thrilled to have Maria lead the newly formed team and delighted to welcome John to Corus.”
The appointment builds on Hale’s success during her tenure as Vice President, Television, Head of Programming and Production, where she and her team delivered significant operating efficiencies and drove strong ratings increases for Corus in fiscal 2012 for a number of key properties including W Network, which regained its status as the #1 women-targeted specialty channel with an audience growth of 6.5 per cent in prime time, and ABC Spark, which has quickly become the #1 digital specialty channel with a target audience of Women 18 to 34.
These accomplishments, coupled with her extensive digital and interactive experience, position Hale well for this new role said Corus in a news release. Reporting to Hale will be Gordon Lee, Vice President, Affiliate Sales, and the recently hired Christina Litz, Vice President, Digital Content and Engagement.
John MacDonald will head up the programming and production team. His return to Canada follows a successful 25-year career in the U.S. where he most recently worked with the Corus team on the Canadian launch of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, as Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President Programming for OWN. Prior to OWN, MacDonald was Senior Vice President, Content Programming and Strategy, responsible for the development and implementation of overall strategy for MTV Networks’ four cable services where he secured successful acquisitions and increased ratings.
He has also held senior executive programming roles at Fine Living, part of Scripps Networks portfolio of cable services, and before that, was Executive Vice President, Program Enterprises & Cable Sales at Twentieth Century Fox. A Harvard graduate, MacDonald began his career stateside at the William Morris Agency.
MacDonald will have oversight of the strategic direction for Corus’ Television programming decisions, including content production, acquisitions and scheduling strategies across the specialty and pay channels. Reporting to MacDonald will be Jocelyn Hamilton, Vice President, Original Programming, Kids, Comedy and Drama; Lynn Chadwick, Vice President, Network Content Acquisitions and Pay TV; Ted Ellis, Vice President, Programming, Kids and Family; Karen Phillips, Vice President Network Operation; Renee Skea, Vice President, Programming, Women’s Networks; and Vibika Bianchi, Vice President, Original Programming, Lifestyle, Reality and Factual Entertainment.