Canada's Bell Media Hit With Management Restructuring

Randy Lennox - H - 2019
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The latest job cuts follow Bell Media president Randy Lennox leaving as Canada's top broadcaster and streamer on Jan. 4.

Top Canadian broadcaster Bell Media has launched a management restructuring to streamline its executive suite amid a pivot to its Crave streaming platform and the digital space, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

There's no indication on the number of job losses. But the departure of long-time content and acquisition executives like Mike Cosentino, president of content and programming, and Tracey Pearce, president of distribution and pay, follows the exit on Jan. 4 of Bell Media president Randy Lennox.

"Our updated structure strengthens and simplifies our interactions with viewers and listeners, advertisers, content and technology partners and other stakeholders, while also enabling the investments in content and technology innovation necessary for Bell Media to remain Canada's #1 multimedia provider," a spokesperson for Bell Canada, parent of Bell Media, told THR in a statement.

While not discussing any specific management changes, the Bell Canada statement added: "Streamlining our leadership team means promotions or expanded roles for many Bell Media leaders and also results in some departures."

Lennox, who joined Bell Media in 2015 to oversee the phone giant's TV, radio and digital assets, has been replaced by Wade Oosterman, vice chair of Bell Canada, the country's largest telco player. Oosterman is understood to be restructuring the management at Bell Media as the broadcaster follows its North American peers with an accelerated pivot to the streaming space with Crave, the company's streaming platform.

In his new role, Oosterman will lead Bell Media with a streamlined management team that includes senior vps Karine Moses, Stewart Johnston and Nauby Jacob to drive the company's content, distribution and advertising sales operations.

Bell Media in recent years has relied on costly deals to put premium U.S. TV brands like HBO, Showtime and Starz under Bell Media's content umbrella via exclusive output deals. But the Canadian broadcaster has seen its domestic market share shrink as Netflix, Amazon Prime and other U.S. streaming platforms make inroads into the Canadian market, while also being hit by an advertising recession amid the pandemic.

Bell Media also runs Canada's CTV network and a stable of cable channels, besides the Crave TV streaming service.

The management cull at Bell Media comes as Hollywood studios and other international media giants have restructured and streamlined operations to better compete against Netflix in the streaming age.