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Layoffs at Corus as merger takes effect

Content, sales, marketing, technology and international development divisions of the Canadian media conglomerate have all been affected by layoffs that started yesterday.
May 10, 2016

Layoffs have begun at Canada’s Corus Entertainment as the company integrates staff from recently acquired Shaw Media into its ranks. Corus Entertainment closed its acquisition of Shaw Media on April 1st, announcing a new executive structure the same day.

Sales, marketing, technology, content and international development were among the divisions impacted by layoffs at the company this week, confirmed Dervla Kelly, VP of communications at Corus Entertainment. The number of staff affected was not disclosed. The layoffs are the result of the “elimination of duplicate costs to capture operating efficiencies and create the structure that will enable future growth,” said Kelly in an email.

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

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. (Caitlin O’Donovan, formerly VP of kids digital is now senior director, digital strategy and business development, working under Bohm.) Eves’ portfolio includes all Corus’s kids channels, including YTV, Teletoon and Treehouse. Reporting to him are newly hired kids exec Deirdre Brennan (VP, kids content). And according to industry sources, director of original programming for Corus Kids & Family, Jamie Piekarz, and director of programming for kids, Helen Kim, were both part of the layoffs.

Additionally, Amy Sutton is now director, general entertainment programming, moving from director of women and family programming at pre-merger Corus; 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 Gordon, director, interactive and marketing, french services and Nicole Gibbs, director, business operations.

All content divisions report to Corus EVP and COO Barb Williams, who in an internal memo on the reorg obtained by Kidscreen sister pubs Playback and Media In Canada said, “We are still working on how we organize News and Radio as well as Nelvana.”

In the internal memo, CEO Doug Murphy  also 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.”

From Playback, with files from Sonya Fatah

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