Leonard Asper Named CEO of The Fight Network

TORONTO – Looks like fallen Canadian media giant Leonard Asper still has some fight in him.

Asper, who earlier this year lost a battle to retain control of Canwest Global Communication Corp., a family-controlled TV and publishing empire his father founded, has acquired a “significant ownership stake” in The Fight Network, a cable TV channel focused on mixed martial arts and other combat sports.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it includes Asper becoming CEO of the broadcaster.

The consortium Asper leads includes former shareholders like Loudon Owen and Ed Nordholm.

The Fight Network on its website said Asper “plans to re-energize our overall business plan, which includes investment in capital, programming, marketing, sales and digital media.”

Asper’s return to Canadian media follows a high-profile collapse of Canwest Global, which included an unsuccessful fight with Goldman Sachs & Co. to wrest control of the bankrupt Canadian media giant away from bond holders and other creditors.

In the end, Asper and his family was forced to bow out as Goldman Sachs sold its stake in a stable of lucrative cable channels to cable operator Shaw Communications.

Shaw Communications went on to acquire Canwest Global’s TV assets, and rebrand them as Shaw Media.

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