Lacroix tapped as new CBC chief


TORONTO -- The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. on Monday named Montreal lawyer and broadcaster Hubert Lacroix to replace Robert Rabinovitch as president and CEO of the public broadcaster's French- and English-language radio and TV services.

The appointment of Lacroix to lead the CBC, Canada's public broadcaster, and Radio-Canada, its French-language counterpart, came as Jane Chalmers, the head of the CBC's radio division, said she will retire Dec. 31.

Lacroix, a lawyer with Montreal legal firm Stikeman Elliott and a former executive chairman of media group Telemedia Corp., will take over from Rabinovitch when he leaves his post at the end of November.

His apppointment to a five-year term was made by Josee Verner, the federal heritage minister.

For her part, Chalmers will leave behind a CBC she joined in 1984 as an on-air host before rising through the executive ranks to become CBC radio vp.

In an internal note to CBC employees, Chalmers said the departure was part of a "major midlife redesign" prompted in part by recent deaths in her family.

"It's no exaggeration to say that Jane's departure will be an incredible loss to the organization," CBC president Robert Rabinovitch said in a statement.

Rabinovitch and Chalmers were two of the top executives that led the CBC during its 2005 lockout of 5,500 employees.

Chalmers' departure also follows that of Tony Burman, editor in chief of CBC's English-language TV news division, who retired in September after 35 years with the CBC. He was replaced by John Cruickshank, the Canadian-born publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times.