Joanna Webb lands at CTV

Veteran TV programmer recently left Corus Entertainment

TORONTO -- Veteran Canadian TV programmer Joanna Webb has landed at top-rated broadcaster CTV one week after leaving rival Corus Entertainment.

Webb's Corus departure surprised the industry as she received in July a high-profile promotion to vp and head of programming and production, overseeing Corus stable of kids cable channels like YTV and Treehouse.

During her executive stint at Corus, Webb also programmed a host of female-skewing cable channels, including W Network, Cosmopolitan Television, Viva and W Movies.

In her new role at CTV, Webb will oversee the networks own stable of cable channels, including Bravo!, The Comedy Network, SPACE, and Star!, as senior vp of programming.
Webb will work alongside Mike Cosentino, senior vp of programming at CTV, and report to Susanne Boyce, CTVs president of creative, content and channels.

Joanna is one of Canada's brightest and successful television executives, with expertise in all aspects of the business, Boyce said in an internal statement to CTV staff that was made public on Wednesday.

Webb's appointment also comes as CTV earlier this month was acquired by phone giant BCE Inc. as part of a $3.2 billion friendly takeover deal that awaits regulatory and shareholder approvals.

The CTV programming changes also come amid a slew of other challenges for the Canadian TV network that has piled on the pressure to maximize its U.S. series across its conventional, cable and online channel platforms.

Joanna will play an integral role in the companys conventional and specialty cross-channel program synergies and scheduling strategies, Boyce added in her statement.

CTV also faces a renewed competitive challenge from rival broadcaster Canwest Global Communications Corp., which appears set to emerge from bankruptcy protection under new owner Shaw Communications, a western Canadian cable giant with deep pockets.

Shaw Communications is also the parent company of Corus, which announced earlier Wednesday that it will launch OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network in Canada early next year (HR, Sept. 29).