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Chairman exits as Bell-Astral names post-merger top team

Astral Media’s chairman will exit the firm following its merger with rival Bell, as part of a major management reshuffle that sees Jacques Parisien take a key role.

Jacques ParisienUpon closure of the merger, André Bureau will exit the company to continue work with law firm Heenan Blaikie. Also exiting is Astral’s long serving president of French-language channels Les Chaînes Télé Astral and MusiquePlus, Pierre Roy, who is retiring.

In their place comes Parisien (left), who will be president, national speciality and pay TV, radio and out-of-home; Charles Benoît, who becomes president, television and radio, Québec; and Luc Quétel as president, Astral Out-Of-Home.

The news comes just a week after Canada’s media regulator okayed Bell Canada Enterprises’s C$3.4 billion (US$3.2 billion) acquisition of rival Astral.

Parisien, currently Astral Media’s executive VP and COO, has the biggest job, and will be in charge of the merged firm’s 34 national speciality channels, four pay TV services and a number of radio assets, as well as control of Bell’s OOH operations.

“Jacques Parisien has played a significant role in the developing the vision of our new company,” said Bell Media president Kevin Crull, to whom Parisien will report. “His vast experience, leadership and extensive relationship with all industry stakeholders – especially in Québec – make Jacques a tremendous addition to Bell Media’s senior management team.”

Benoît’s responsibilities include French-language TV operations, which include six speciality and pay TV channels and their affiliated digital properties. Crull paid tribute to the outgoing Bureau and Roy.

“Pierre Roy is a true builder of Québec’s television landscape,” said Crull. “He played a central role in bringing Astral to the forefront of Canada’s specialty television industry. As Astral joins with Bell Media, we hope to build on his legacy.

“An architect of Astral’s success as well as former chairman of the [Canadian regulator] CRTC, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to André Bureau for his significant contribution to Canada’s media industry.”