CBC's Richard Stursberg steps down

Broadcaster looks to new strategic direction

TORONTO -- The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. on Friday signaled a possible new strategic direction following news that Richard Stursberg has stepped down as head of the public broadcaster's English language TV service.

"We are in the midst of developing a new strategic plan that will guide CBC/Radio-Canada through the next five years," Hubert Lacroix, president and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada, said in a statement, without explaining Stursberg's sudden departure.

"This is the opportune time to bring new leadership to English Services and to ensure alignment of the senior team on the future of the public broadcaster," he added.

Stursberg first joined the CBC as executive vp of CBC Television in October 2004 after shaking up Telefilm Canada, the federal government's film financier, as its executive director.

Lacroix insisted Stursberg moved a couple mountains during his six years at the CBC, especially after becoming executive vp of English Services in November 2007.

"He (Stursberg) challenged every premise, attacked conventional wisdom, and uprooted whole parts of the internal culture. Six years later, the institution is better off than it was," the CBC chairman said.

Stursberg's post will be filled on a temporary basis by Kirstine Stewart, general manager of CBC Television, until the public broadcaster looks both inside and outside the organization to secure a permanent replacement.

CBC/Radio-Canada also Friday outlined its plans to switch over from analog to digital transmission by August 2012.

The federal government plans an analog to digital TV transition on August 31, 2011, at which time the CBC intends to have fifteen of its 27 proposed digital transmitters nationwide on stream.