Bassett out, de Wilde, O’Brian in at TVO

The Ontario Liberals have given TVOntario boss Isabel Bassett the axe, ending her six-year stint as both CEO and chairperson of the board at the provincial pubcaster.

The province has split the position in two – handing the CEO duties to former Astral TV boss Lisa de Wilde and the chairmanship to Peter O’Brian, Genie-winning producer and former exec director of the Canadian Film Centre.

They are expected to start in the next four to six weeks. O’Brian’s appointment is subject to review by a provincial committee.

At the behest of the province, O’Brian and de Wilde will also oversee an internal review of TVO and its sister outlets to ‘ensure that its activities align with the government’s education priorities.’

TVO, its French-language counterpart TFO and the Independent Learning Centre, a distance education service, are funded to provide educational programs. TVO has been accused at times of straying from that mandate, giving rise to talk of budget cuts or privatization.

Bassett, a former minister of citizenship and the partner of former Ontario premier Ernie Eves, took over at TVO in November 1999.