Canuck b'cast pioneer Murray Chercover dies

Former president and CEO of the national CTV network

TORONTO -- Murray Chercover, a Canadian broadcast pioneer and former president and CEO of the national CTV network, died Saturday following a bout with pneumonia, aged 80 years.

Montreal-born Chercover cut his teeth in radio before working in New York City and New England during the late 1940s as a TV actor, director and producer before joining the newly-launch Canadian Broadcasting Corp.'s TV division in 1952.

By 1960, Chercover shifted to the private sector by joining Toronto-based TV station CFTO-TV, then part of the emerging CTV network, as executive producer

He was named director of programming for CFTO in 1961, and a year later became vp of programming for the station.

After a rocky start, CTV was acquired by network affiliates in 1966, with Chercover as executive vp and general manager of CTV.

Eventually, he became CTV president and CEO in 1986, before retiring in 1990.

Chercover was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' hall of fame in 1994.