Longtime Rogers Media chief stepping down

Tony Viner ran radio, TV, print ops for two decades

TORONTO -- The changing of the guard in Canadian TV continued Wednesday with news Tony Viner is stepping down as president and CEO of Rogers Media after two decades running its radio, TV and print operations.

Viner, 63, joined Rogers in 1982 and by 1989 was turning an original trio of radio stations owned by cable giant Rogers Communications into a media group that today has conventional and cable TV channels, magazines, digital media and sports entertainment, including the Toronto Blue Jays pro baseball club.

The Rogers Media group in the past year has had to cut jobs and pare costs to deal with a soft advertising market during the economic downturn. But Tony Viner's challenges have paled next to those of his brother, Peter Viner, the interim president of Canadian broadcasting at Canwest Global Communications Corp. and a longtime executive of that rival media group.

On Tuesday, Calgary-based cable operator Shaw Communications bid $2 billion to purchase and control Canwest Global's conventional and cable TV operations once they emerge from court-directed creditor protection.

Also on Tuesday, Shaw unveiled a new management regime at Canwest Global after it successfully restructures, signaling a possible departure from the executive suite for Peter Viner and other senior execs at the embattled Canadian broadcaster. Nadir Mohamed, president and CEO of parent Rogers Communications, said Tony Viner will remain with the company until his successor is named.
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