Ex-CTV Head Ivan Fecan Named Chairman of Thunderbird Films

The Canadian broadcast veteran will consult for the indie producer which launched a 50-50 joint venture with Lionsgate to make global TV series.

TORONTO – Former CTV head Ivan Fecan is getting into business with Lionsgate.

Fecan, who led the Canadian broadcaster for 17 years until retiring in 2011, is to become a consultant and chairman of the board at Vancouver-based indie producer Thunderbird Films.

Thunderbird a year ago formed a 50-50 joint venture with Lionsgate, Sea to Sky Studios, to make global TV series.

Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer on Tuesday called Fecan a “visionary thinker” like Frank Guistra, a major Thunderbird shareholder.

"His appointment to be chairman of Thunderbird underscores the blue chip quality of the team they have built and further enhances the stature of our Sea to Sky partnership,” Feltheimer added.

Before taking the helm at CTV, Fecan served as vp of creative affairs at NBC under the late Brandon Tartikoff, and head of English TV at the CBC.

He rose to become CEO and president of CTVglobemedia before the media group was taken over by phone giant BCE.

Sea to Sky recently hired Brett Burlock, a former head of development at the CTV, to run its new Toronto office.

The 50-50 joint venture already has deals in place for a TV series based on novels by Gone Baby Gone author Dennis Lehane and a limited TV series based on the book An Uncommon Youth about events surrounding the John Paul Getty III kidnapping in 1973.

The launch of Sea to Sky follows Giustra becoming a major shareholder in Thunderbird Films, which is led by CEO and president Tim Gamble.

Giustra, a mining magnate with close ties to Bill Clinton, founded Lionsgate in 1997 and left the Vancouver-based indie studio in 2003 before more recently returning to its boardroom and TV production.

Thunderbird also has financial backing from Vancouver Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini and Difference Capital.