Friday, April 10, 2015

Canada: Bell Media Ousts President Over News Meddling

Kevin Crull
The president of the Canada’s largest communications company abruptly left his post Thursday, two weeks after he admitted to trying to influence national news coverage by one of its subsidiaries, according to The Canadian Press.

A corporate statement announcing the departure of Bell Media president Kevin Crull left little doubt of the link between his leaving and his interference in CTV’s coverage of the country’s broadcast regulator.

“The independence of Bell Media’s news operations is of paramount importance to our company and to all Canadians,” George Cope, head of Bell Canada and BCE Inc., said in a release.

Crull sparked widespread criticism last month for demanding CTV journalists not give any airtime to Jean-Pierre Blais, chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

He was apparently unhappy with Blais’s announcement of rule changes requiring broadcasters to offer a low-cost package to cable TV consumers and to allow them to “pick and pay” other individual channels.

Crull was replaced by Mary Ann Turcke, who takes over responsibility for Bell Media’s national broadcast and digital operations, Cope said.

Turcke, who also joined Bell in 2005, was formerly a media sales group president.

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