Katherine Wolfgang to head CBC publicity

Katherine Wolfgang
The former VP of communications at Toronto producer Shaftesbury takes over publicity and talent relations at the pubcaster.

Former Shaftesbury VP Katherine Wolfgang is taking over as head of publicity at Canada’s public broadcaster.

Wolfgang, who had been VP of communications at Shaftesbury since 2010, will oversee all publicity and talent relations at CBC on the English side, as well as working with its marketing department on strategy.

Wolfgang is no stranger to the CBC, having helmed the publicity strategy for Shaftesbury’s Murdoch Mysteries since joining the prodco. Murdoch is one of CBC’s most successful dramas, with an ardent fanbase cultivated in no small part by Shaftesbury’s efforts. The series was recently renewed for a 10th season on CBC.

“Katherine will bring fresh vision to the publicity team and ensure that we continue to maximize awareness and audiences for CBC,” Bonnie Brownlee, executive director communications, marketing, brand and research, said in an announcement on the hire.

Wolfgang steps into a role that has been in flux over the past few years as the CBC has restructured under budget cuts and revenue declines related to advertising and sports rights. It has also suffered its fair share of publicity hits on the corporate side in the wake of the Jian Ghomeshi affair.

However, the recent reinstatement of CBC funding by the Trudeau government signals the possibility of a new era at the pubcaster. It released its 2016/17 slate last week, which included a raft of new and returning Canadian scripted and factual productions, including Shoot The Messenger from Hungry Eyes Film and Television; Workin’ Moms from Catherine Reitman and Philip Sternberg’s Wolf and Rabbit Productions; Kim’s Convenience from Thunderbird Films and Soulpepper Theatre Company; and the Baroness von Sketch Show from Frantic Films.

While Shaftesbury specializes in primetime scripted, as well as kids and online series, Wolfgang brings with her five years at Discovery Communications in the U.S., where she was VP of international communications for more than three years and a director in the department before that. She also worked for former Quebec-based broadcaster Astral, for its Family Channel.