Bell Media's Top Programmer Phil King Exits
Former Universal Music Canada head Randy Lennox is to oversee production for the media group's TV, radio and digital assets.
After delivering 15 of the top 20 shows on Canadian TV last season, including superhero dramas like DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Gotham and Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., top CTV programmer Phil King has left parent Bell Media.
A spokesman for Bell Media on Monday confirmed King's surprise departure to The Hollywood Reporter. The media group then announced on Tuesday morning that Randy Lennox, the longtime president and CEO of Universal Music Canada, had been hired as president, entertainment production and broadcasting.
Universal Music Group also Tuesday named Jeffrey Remedios, co-founder of Canadian indie Arts and Crafts, to replace Lennox as head of Universal Music Canada. In his new role, Lennox will oversee indie and in-house production for Bell Media's TV, radio and digital assets.
Bell Media programming will be led by Mike Cosentino, head of programming at CTV Networks and CraveTV, and Tracey Pearce, head of specialty and pay. "Randy joins us at a pivotal time as the media industry experiences significant changes," Bell Media president Mary Ann Turcke said in a statement.
Universal Music Canada, a division of Universal Music Group, reps top local Canadian pop talent like Justin Bieber, Drake and Shania Twain. King's departure follows the forcing out of Kevin Crull, president of CTV parent Bell Media, as head of the Canadian network over news coverage meddling in April.
Crull was quickly replaced as Bell Media president by Turcke, who is now making her mark on the top-rated Canadian broadcaster with her latest management shakeup. Besides King, long-time Bell Media veterans Charles Benoit, president of Quebec TV and radio, Chris Gordon, president of local TV and radio, and Adam Ashton, senior vp of English TV and business operations, are also out at the broadcaster.
Turcke in a staff memo issued Monday, and obtained by the Hollywood Reporter, said the media group was reacting to a fast-changing media landscape with its management shuffle. "In a time of unprecedented competitive intensity and ongoing technological and regulatory change, we are restructuring our organization to ensure Bell Media is ready to maximize every opportunity to expand our leadership with viewers and listeners across the country," she wrote.
Turcke in an additional internal memo issued on Tuesday said Bell Media's management restructuring will be completed by November, adding "some further departures from our team" will follow before then. CTV is a major Canadian buyer at the Los Angeles screenings.
The Canadian network in May acquired eight new U.S. shows for its upcoming 2015-16 season, including a raft of ABC Studios' titles like the conspiracy drama Quantico, Oil and Code Black, a co-production with CBS Television Studios.
August 25, 8:25 a.m. EST Updated with confirmation from Bell Media that Universal Music Canada president and CEO Randy Lennox has been hired to oversee indie and in-house production, as well as details on other management changes.