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Search on for new CBC president

Search on for new CBC president

Jul 26, 2007
Canadian press

OTTAWA – The federal government has started looking for a new president for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. to replace Robert Rabinovitch, whose second term ends in November.

The headhunting firm of Egon Zehnder International has been hired to seek out potential candidates and make recommendations. The final decision will be made by the Prime Minister's Office.

An advertisement for the job appeared Wednesday in select newspapers and listed bilingualism as a criteria as well as broadcasting savvy.

The future president will work at the Crown corporation's head office in Ottawa and will be responsible for the English- and French-language networks of the CBC, Radio Canada International and the aboriginal language stations in the North.

The candidate should be an innovator with good judgment and strong ethics, the ad said.

Ian Morrison, spokesman for the watchdog group Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, viewed the effort positively.

He said by undertaking a formal process, it appears the Conservative government is trying to avoid any suggestions it is playing favourites.

Morrison said that this is the first time such a process has been used as far as he can remember.

He did say he hopes the new president will have a wide knowledge of the country and have a strong background in production, scheduling and marketing.

The CBC has a budget of about $1.5 billion, of which $950 million comes from the federal government.

Marc Normandin, a spokesman for Egon Zehnder, said the fact a headhunting firm has been engaged does not mean internal candidates have been ruled out. He said the process just means the pool of candidates will be deeper.

Rabinovitch has been president of the CBC since 1999. His tenure has been marked by the development of Internet services and a number of labour conflicts, including a seven-week lockout in 2005.


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