De Wilde steps down

After eight years at the helm of Astral Television, president and CEO Lisa de Wilde announced last month that she’s moving on.

Short on details about her future, de Wilde will leave the company on Sept. 14, at which time she is likely to announce her next move.

With three top industry jobs in the waiting, there’s no telling where the Winnipeg-born lawyer-turned-broadcast executive will land.

An obvious move would be straight to the head of the CRTC, where she worked as legal counsel and then director general for pay and specialty services from 1982 to 1989. But some insiders speculate that she won’t be leaving the private sector so quickly. And few could deny her value to a company such as CTV that, for example, could use her regulatory savvy to navigate the murky waters of the CRTC, a job Trina McQueen has been buried in since becoming CTV’s president and COO.

Replacing Francois Macerola at Telefilm Canada or Michael McCabe at the Canadian Association of Broadcasters has also been speculated among industry insiders, but one thing’s for sure, if she hasn’t already been scooped up, they’ll be no shortage of demand.

During her tenure at Astral, the rapid growth of direct-to-home satellite pushed the combined subscriber base of The Movie Network and Super Ecran to more than 1.1 million in eastern Canada, doubling its scope.

De Wilde, named one of the 50 most influential women in Canada by the National Post, became executive VP of Astral’s The Movie Network – First Choice Canadian Communications Corp. in 1993. From there, her responsibilities grew to include overseeing Astral Media’s English and French pay and pay-per-view channels TMN, Moviepix, Viewer’s Choice, Super Ecran and Canal Indigo.

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