Maria Hale tapped to lead Global at Corus

The veteran TV exec takes the reins at the national net as the first major shakeup at the newly merged broadcaster takes place.

Maria Hale_CE-0084-1The first major shakeup at Corus Entertainment took place this week, as the company revealed a reorganization of its content divisions. 

Veteran TV exec Maria Hale (pictured) is now SVP of Global Entertainment and content acquisition, leading content strategy and scheduling for the channel. Previously, she was ‎VP, television head of digital, content distribution and pay TV at Corus Entertainment. (Corus is now out of the pay game, following the closure of Movie Central and the sale of its regional HBO Canada rights to Bell Media.) Reporting to her are Arthur Reinstein, VP acquisitions; Richard Jones, director, strategic scheduling; Sholeh Fabbri, EP, ET Canada and Yvonne Cheung, manager, program rights planning. Previously, Global and specialty programming fell under Christine Shipton, chief content officer at Shaw Media. Shipton announced she would be leaving the newly merged company earlier this spring.

On the kids side, Daniel Eves, formerly the VP of programming and scheduling of specialty at Shaw Media, remains SVP of kids and general entertainment content as previously announced. Prior to the merger, kids was led by Colin Bohm, now EVP of international development and corporate strategy. Eves’ portfolio includes Showcase, History and National Geographic, ABC Spark, YTV, Teletoon and Disney. Reporting to him are newly hired kids exec Deirdre Brennan (VP, kids content); Amy Sutton, director, general entertainment programming (previously, Sutton was director of women and family programming at Shaw Media); Susan Riedl, previously director, digital engagement, kids digital at pre-merger Corus, is now director, digital, kids and general entertainment; Brigitte Vincent, VP, french programming; Julie Godon, director, interactive and marketing, french services and Nicole Gibbs, director, business operations.

Lisa Godfrey keeps her role as head of original content for the women and lifestyle portfolio, now as VP, reporting to John MacDonald, SVP, women and lifestyle, whose previous title was EVP, women and family. Also reporting to MacDonald are Jennifer Abrams, Darrell Jose and Tracy Martin, all named director, women and lifestyle content.

All content divisions report to Corus EVP and COO Barb Williams.

The new structure was announced alongside a series of layoffs at the newly merged company yesterday. Corus Entertainment declined to name the total number of layoffs, only stating that it affected departments including sales, marketing, technology, content and international development.

In an internal memo on the reorganization, obtained by Playback and Media in Canada, CEO Doug Murphy said, “The overarching goal as we design our new combined structure is not only to integrate the teams and eliminate any duplication of work, but more importantly, to design an organization that will best position us for the future.  As a result, some roles have been eliminated, and others have been changed or are currently open, as we’ve created some brand new positions that we are hiring for in order to bring new skills and expertise to the company.”

with files from Sonya Fatah