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Former CTV Exec Eric Morrison to Reorganize Canada's Sun Media

The shakeup comes as parent Quebecor Media girds for battle in Quebec against a combined BCE/Astral Media radio, TV and online giant.

TORONTO - Canadian media group Sun Media has hired former CTV exec Eric Morrison to restructure and drive the digital convergence of its TV, newspaper and online assets.

Morrison, a former vp of CTV News and head of The Canadian Press newswire service, becomes senior vp of editorial, charged with reorganizing Sun Media's news operations as parent Quebecor Media girds for a battle in its core market, Quebec, against a combined BCE/Astral Media entity.

Quebecor already runs TVA Groupe, Quebec’s largest French-language private broadcaster, and Groupe Videotron, the province’s biggest cable TV and Internet provider.

And the media giant is battling in Quebec for a slice of the growing mobile phone market against arch-rivals BCE and Rogers Communications.

Now that BCE is set to acquire Astral Media, a radio, TV and outdoor advertising giant in Quebec, pending regulatory approval, Quebecor is set to face still greater competition in its backyard, and beyond in the Canadian market.

So Quebecor is increasingly using Sun Media’s newspaper chain, the Toronto-based Sun TV network and its Internet presence as a distribution network for the rest of Canada.

“This is an important step in Sun Media's drive to deliver high quality news to Canadians, both in the multimedia environment and via our established newspapers, which continue to be the foundation of our operations,” Pierre Karl Peladeau, president and CEO of Sun Media, and controlling shareholder of Quebecor Media, said Friday.

The strategy includes combining Sun Media's English-language newspapers, websites and broadcast channels.

Sun Media's advertising operation will also be reorganized.

"Our objective is to create a powerful system that not only improves our editorial products but also structures our sales and operations systems to succeed in today's media marketplace," Peladeau said.