Michael Hennessy Named Top Lobbyist for Canadian Indie Producers

Michael Hennessy.
Michael Hennessy.
 

TORONTO - One-time cable and phone giant lobbyist Michael Hennessy is the new top representative in Ottawa for Canadian indie producers.

Hennessy will join the Canadian Media Production Association, the lobbying arm for local film and TV producers, on June 18, replacing Norm Bolen, a veteran Canadian broadcaster.

Hennessy most recently served as senior VP, regulatory and government affairs, at Canadian phone giant Telus Corp.

Earlier, he was head of the Canadian Cable Telecommunications Association, representing major cable operators.

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Canadian indie producers are selecting Hennessy to go to bat for them in Ottawa as they continue transitioning from traditional TV to digital product, and become increasingly global players with U.S. network hits like Rookie Blue and Flashpoint.

Bolen, who will end his three-year term as CMPA head in Banff, was key to securing a first-time terms-of-trade agreement with domestic broadcasters to value program rights, including new media product.

Hennessy comes on board as Canadian producers struggle against new competition from Netflix Canada and other foreign online platforms, as well as social media.

The new CMPA head will also have to represent film and TV producer players in Canada with varied, and, at times, competing business strategies.

“As distribution for content in Canada and around the world continues to evolve over online and wireless, as well as traditional on-demand platforms, it is crucial for our member businesses to re-examine our current business models in order to better respond to the new demands of consumers and audiences,” Hennessy said Thursday as he gets set to take the wheel at the CMPA.

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