Canadian Cable Giant Rogers Taps Former CTV President as Media Chief

Blackhawks Kings NHL 6/2 Game - H 2014
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Blackhawks Kings NHL 6/2 Game - H 2014

Former CTV president Rick Brace's new duties include reversing falling TV ratings for a $5.2 billion broadcast deal with the NHL in hockey-mad Canada.

Canadian cable and wireless phone giant Rogers Communications has pulled former CTV president Rick Brace out of retirement to run its $1.8 billion media arm.

Brace replaces Keith Pelley, who is shortly to exit Rogers Media as CEO to become the new commissioner and CEO of the PGA's European Tour. As president of Rogers' media business unit, Brace will oversee extensive radio, TV and print holdings, including the City national network and Sportsnet sports channels.

City relies on U.S. network series like Modern Family, Scandal and Scorpion to drive its primetime ratings. Brace will also oversee Rogers' pricey $5.2 billion, 12-year NHL broadcast deal that saw TV ratings fall during its just-concluded first year, ownership of the Toronto Blue Jays baseball club and major stakes in the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors.

Brace joined CTV in 2000, and served as president of specialty channels and CTV production, and before that as CTV president. "Rick is a seasoned business leader with strong operational experience and a passion for the media industry that’s second to none," said Rogers Communications CEO Guy Laurence in a statement on Tuesday.

Laurence in recent months has cut staff and costs at Rogers' broadcast business to trim losses at the City and OMNI-branded TV networks and win market share from CTV, Canada's top-rated broadcaster.