Originally published in the Oct. 5, 2023 edition of The Weekly Briefing
Sean Cohan will assume leadership of Bell Media and join BCE as an executive officer on Nov. 1, following the retirement of Wade Oosterman. Oosterman, who has served as Bell Group President since 2015 and Vice Chair since 2018, assumed operational leadership of Bell Media in January 2021, following the departure of division president Randy Lennox. He had been with Bell since 2006, joining the company as President of Bell Mobility and Chief Brand Officer. He’ll remain in his role as Vice Chair until early January. Cohan joins Bell Media from Nielsen, where he was Chief Growth Officer & President, International, up until last February. He spent 15 years with A+E Networks in numerous executive roles, ending his tenure there as President, International and Digital Media. Read more here.
Michel Bissonnette, CBC/Radio-Canada’s Executive Vice-President of French Services, has left the public broadcaster. Bissonnette had been in the role since January 2017, overseeing all of the public broadcaster’s French-language programming services. Dany Meloul, General Manager, Television for Radio-Canada, has been appointed acting EVP of French Services, while the corporation undertakes a search for a permanent successor.
David Common has been named the new host of CBC Toronto morning radio show, Metro Morning. His first day in the host chair will be Oct. 16. He steps into the role vacated by Ismaila Alfa this spring when he left Metro Morning to take over Ontario weekend morning program, Fresh Air. Common, has most recently been hosting long-running investigative consumer program, Marketplace. Read more here.
Diana Swain has announced her departure from CBC News. Swain has been with the network for 33 years, starting as a local reporter in Winnipeg in 1990. She’s most recently served as Managing Editor of Investigative Journalism and prior to that was Executive Producer of The Fifth Estate. Swain was also notably the anchor of CBC Toronto’s 6 p.m. newscast for six years, starting in 2004.
Harry Forestell has announced that after 13 years hosting CBC New Brunswick’s supper hour newscast, he’ll be handing the baton to Rachel Cave. Forestell wrote in a social media post that Parkinson’s “is tightening its grip” on his voice, but he’ll be continuing to work with the public broadcaster. The former foreign correspondent took time off earlier this year to undergo deep brain stimulation (DBS), which he detailed in a first person report.
Alisha Crawford has taken on the role of Senior Manager, Marketing, Communications and Brand for the Ontario Region with CBC. Crawford has previously worked with the public broadcaster as Manager, Communications, Marketing and Brand with CBC Calgary and Senior Communications Officer with CBC Saskatoon.
Cindy Sherwin is moving on from CTV Montreal after 26 years. Sherwin, 57, has been with the station since 1997 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. She started her career at CJAD and Mix 96 (CJFM-FM) Montreal.
Brady Lang is leaving CTV Yorkton for a new opportunity outside journalism. Lang had been a multimedia journalist with the station for the past two years. He’s previously worked with Rawlco Radio’s stations in Saskatoon and Pattison Media in North Battleford.
Carly Agro has left Sportsnet Central to continue pursuing law studies at Toronto Metropolitan University’s Lincoln Alexander School of Law. Agro had been with the network since 2014. Prior to that, she was a host and reporter for CBC Sports.
Sophall Duch has joined Global News as a producer with The West Block. Duch was most recently a chase producer with CTV political program, Power Play. He also worked with CPAC for a decade as a producer.
Caroline O’Neill has left CTV’s Power Play where she’s been a chase producer for the last three years. Prior to joining CTV, O’Neill was the morning reporter on 95.7 ELMNT FM (CFPO-FM) Ottawa.
Charmaine de Silva, former Director of the CityNews teams in Vancouver and Calgary, is joining Hill+Knowlton Strategies as a Senior Account Director. de Silva first joined Rogers Sports & Media as News Director for CityNews 1130 (CKWX-AM) in 2018. Prior to that, she held roles with 980 CKNW, CBC Vancouver, and Astral Media Kelowna.
“Tarzan Dan” Freeman is the newest on-air personality at Stingray’s boom 97.3 (CHBM-FM) Toronto, who’ll be heard doing weekend middays, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. ET, starting in mid-October. Best known as the host of national countdown show The Hit List on YTV throughout most of the ‘90s, Freeman was heard on Corus’ Q107 (CFGQ-FM) Calgary in afternoon drive, up until a format flip early this year. He’s been most recently filling-in as a host on XL103 (CFXL-FM) Calgary.
Graham Mosimann is the new imaging voice for Big 101 (CIQB-FM) Barrie. Mosimann is also heard on Corus Entertainment’s Chuck 92.5 Edmonton where he serves as Assistant Program Director.
Marykate O’Neill has joined OZ FM (CHOZ-FM) St. John’s, NL morning show, Mornings with Stephen and Hugh, from 6 – 9 a.m. weekdays. The new role is in addition to her reporting work with NTV.
Jim Deane assumes the role of board chair of CPAC (Cable Public Affairs Channel). A representative of Access Communications in Regina, Deane served as Access CEO from 2000 until his retirement earlier this year and has been a CPAC director for over 20 years. Pam Dinsmore, Vice President, Regulatory – Cable at Rogers Communications, joins the board as vice-chair, while Paul Beaudry, Vice President, Regulatory and Government Affairs at Cogeco, joins the board as a director. They join existing CPAC board directors Jad Barsoum, Vice President Institutional Affairs at Québecor, and Marielle Wilson, Vice President, Regulatory at Eastlink.
Damon D’Oliveira of Conquering Lion Pictures is the new Chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) for the 2023-25 term. New board members include Steven Thibault (Screen Siren Pictures, BC); Anand Ramayya (Karma Film Inc., Sask.); new Ontario members Elysse Goldman (Shaftesbury); Nelson Kuo-Lee (Blink49 Studios); and Kate Sangster-Poole (eOne); Marc Tetreault (Shut Up & Colour Pictures, Atlantic); and Quebec directors Archita Ghosh (Amaxis) and Sébastien Pigeon (Sphere Media).
Patrick Jutras has been appointed President of Quebecor-owned film and television production services provider MELS. Jutras’ new responsibilities will be in addition to those he’s held since 2019 as Chief Advertising Officer of Quebecor Media and TVA Group.
Katrina Kowalski has been upped at Paramount to SVP, Content Programming and Acquisitions, International, Pluto TV International. Kowalski has been in the role of Vice-President, Content, Paramount+ and Pluto TV Canada for the last year and a half. Prior to that she was Senior Director, Content Programming and Strategy with ViacomCBS and spent 20 years in various roles with Bell Media.
Jason Simms has been appointed to the newly-created role of Managing Director at Connect3 Media (C3 Media), part of the Cineflix Media group of companies. Working closely with C3 President, Pablo Salzman, Simms will focus on growing the company’s slate. Simms will join C3 in early November, from Sky Studios, where he held the role of Director, International Scripted Programming. He previously served as Director of Drama and Comedy for Sky Vision, and before that was Senior Vice President, Global Acquisitions, Fox Network Group, closing deals for marquee series such as The Walking Dead, Dexter, The Wire, and Breaking Bad.
Robin Hays has joined the Vancouver-based Wind Sun Sky content team in the newly-created role of Vice President, Creative, Kids. Hays is an independent filmmaker, directing, writing and producing short and long-form films, including Anthem starring Juliette Lewis, and her animated film Post No Bills.