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TORONTO – The long-anticipated merger of Bell Media and Astral Media has produced a major management shake-up at Canada’s largest media group.
André Bureau, the longtime chairman of the board at Astral Media, is leaving the Montreal-based radio, TV and out-of-home advertising giant ahead of phone giant BCE completing its $3.4 billion takeover on Friday.
And Astral’s Pierre Roy will retire as president of French-language TV channels Les Chaînes Télé Astral and MusiquePlus.
As the Astral Media purchases pushes its center of gravity closer to Quebec’s French-language market, BCE division Bell Media also named Jacques Parisien to head up national specialty and pay TV, radio and out-of-home advertising as president.
Montreal-based Parisien, who joined Astral in 1994, was most recently executive vp and COO of Astral Media under president and CEO Ian Greenberg, who steps down and joins the Bell Media boardroom post-merger.
Parisien will report to Bell Media president Kevin Crull as he oversees 34 national cable TV, four pay TV services, and 107 radio stations.
And he will have two deputies, Charles Benoit, president of Quebec TV and radio, based in Montreal, and Rick Brace, president, specialty channels and CTV production, overseeing the English-language assets out of Toronto.
Brace is also in charge of CTV in-house production, which includes series like etalk and The Social.
Elsewhere, Luc Quétel was named president of Bell Media’s out-of-home advertising division, which was acquired as part of the Astral Media transaction.
BCE last week secured regulatory approval for its takeover of Astral Media, a transaction that is still to include the sale of varied Astral Media assets, including the Cartoon Network, Disney DX and Teletoon, along with some English-language radio stations.
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