French-language content teams reorganize as Bell closes V deal

Effective immediately, Suzane Landry, Bell Media VP, French-language content development and programming, has made three new appointments.

suzane-landry_bell-media_medium - croppedBell has completed its acquisition of French-language TV network V and AVOD service – reorganizing its original French-language programming teams under Bell Media VP, French-language content development and programming Suzane Landry.

Effective immediately, Landry (pictured), who joined the company earlier this year, has appointed Mélanie Bhérer as general manager, variety, lifestyle and documentary and Sophie Parizeau as general manager, fiction and digital content. As well, V executive Brigitte Vincent – who recently served as EVP, content – has joined the team as general manager, programming strategies, acquisitions and commercialization.

“Mélanie, Sophie, and Brigitte are industry veterans with remarkable experience and credited for their strong instincts and passion for high-quality content,” said the VP in a statement about the move. “I am confident that with these strong leaders and a renewed spirit of industry collaboration and creativity, we are well-positioned to bring Québecers even more exceptional content across all platforms.”

Karine Moses, president, Bell Media Québec and Bell’s Vice Chair, Québec, who leads the Montreal-based team responsible for the day-to-day operations of V and, also added that the company is thrilled to add its first French-language conventional TV network to its portfolio. “We are committed to broadening relationships with viewers, local independent producers, and advertisers. Today is only the beginning, and we look forward to the many more exciting developments to come,” she said.

Additionally, Mirko Bibic, president and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada, said incorporating V into Bell’s media properties was key to its strategic imperative to deliver compelling content to customers everywhere. “Bell Media has the commitment and resources to invest in French-language content necessary to take V forward, and to bring much-needed consumer choice and competition to Quebec’s television sector,” he said.

Last month, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved Bell Canada’s $31.3 million deal for Groupe V Média’s V Interactions, finding that the transaction serves the public interest. Notably, the Commission said its rationale for its resolution would be published at a later date.

The deal has come under fire in the past – with Quebecor president and CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau arguing the agreement would give Bell Media too much control over advertising and media in Canada, and even proposing that “regulatory and government authorities dismantle Bell before it is too late” at the transaction’s February hearing.

Among the CRTC’s conditions for the transaction were guarantees of investment in local and original French-language Canadian programming and promises to keep the headquarters for V stations and French-language Bell Media Group in Montreal.

Bell previously entered into an agreement with Groupe V Média’s shareholders to acquire French-language TV network V and its related digital assets such as in July 2019.