4 top Chum execs axed after CTV merger


TORONTO -- The blood-letting among Canadian broadcast executives continued Monday with news that four senior executives at Chum Ltd. are headed for the exit after a recent merger with CTVglobemedia.

A CTVglobemedia spokesman confirmed the pending departures of Peter Palframan, senior vp operations at Chum; David Kirkwood, executive vp sales and marketing; Ellen Baine, vp programming; and Paul Gratton, vp entertainment specialty channels.

CTVglobemedia said "previously arranged exit arrangements" are in place for all four executives. No further details were given.

The quartet's imminent exit follows CTVglobemedia receiving a regulatory green light in June to acquire free-to-air and cable TV channels and radio stations belonging to Chum as part of a $1.4 billion friendly takeover.

Palframan, Kirkwood, Baine and Gratton were part of the last management reorganization at Chum in 2005, when Roma Khanna was named senior vp content at Chum's TV division.

After CTVglobmedia's acquisition of Chum, Khanna in September left to work in London for NBC Universal International as president of global networks and digital initiatives.

In April, Canadian producer Peace Arch Entertainment Group hired away Kevin Byles from his role as vp and GM at Chum International to become its president of international distribution.

At the same time, fellow Chum executive Victor Rodriguez, vp sales and development, joined Peace Arch as executive vp international distribution.

As part of its own reorganization after the takeover, CTVglobemedia last week said that veteran CTV programrs Bill Mustos and Tecca Crosby have left the broadcaster (HR 9/28).

Also last week, rival broadcaster Corus Entertainment unveiled its own management shuffle that cost 53 jobs, including those belonging to Shelley Gillen, the Vancouver-based head of creative affairs at pay TV channel Movie Central; Bonita Siegel, director of original productions at the Corus Kids division; and interactive TV vp Lucie Lalumiere.