CanWest's Viner to retire

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TORONTO -- Canadian broadcaster CanWest Global Communications said Wednesday that longtime executive Peter Viner, known as the company's go-to-guy for turning around loss-making divisions, is retiring.

"We want to sincerely thank Pete for his passion and dedication to CanWest. We are fortunate that we will continue to benefit from his experience and intellect through his ongoing involvement with CanWest," CanWest Global president and CEO Leonard Asper said of Viner, who will continue to serve as an adviser.

Viner first joined Winnipeg, Manitoba-based CanWest Global in 1974 and, with the exception of a brief stint at a rival broadcaster, has held senior positions with the company ever since.

"When you buy a company that's 14,000 kilometers away, you'd better be sure you send someone you trust to run it," company founder Izzy Asper told the Financial Post newspaper in 1994 after sending Viner to head up newly acquired Network TEN in Australia.

In 1997, when the elder Asper chose to step back from the day-to-day running of the company to become executive chairman, he appointed Viner president and CEO of the broadcaster until his son, Leonard, could assume the post in 1999.

Viner most recently served as president and CEO of CanWest MediaWorks, CanWest Global's Canadian broadcasting and newspaper publishing arm.
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