Topalovich exits Canadian Academy


TORONTO -- The organizer of Canada's film and TV awards on Thursday announced the resignation of its top executive.

Maria Topalovich, president and CEO of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television for 28 years, is stepping down following persistently dismal ratings for the Genies, Canada's film awards.

The most recent Genies, handed out Feb. 13, drew a paltry 8,000 TV viewers in Toronto, or a 0.2% household share (HR 2/27).

Paul Gratton, the Academy's national chairman, is stepping in as interim CEO of the organization while leading a search committee to find Topalovich's replacement.

Topalovich helped establish the Genies in 1980 and followed that in 1986 with the launch of the Geminis, Canada's TV awards. The nods were seen as a bid to kick-start a domestic star system in a country that consistently favors Hollywood over homegrown movie and TV product.