Canada’s Bell Media hires A+E alum Sean Cohan as president, Wade Oosterman to retire

Sean Cohan

Canada’s Bell Media has hired former A+E Networks and Wheelhouse exec Sean Cohan as its president, following the retirement of Wade Oosterman.

Cohan will lead the broadcaster’s networks, which include CTV, and its streaming service Crave. He will also join the board of telecoms parent BCE from 1 November, with Oosterman departing after almost two decades with the media group.

He had been president of Bell Group since 2015 and vice chair since 2018, taking on his role atop of Bell Media in January 2021 after the exit of Randy Lennox.

Since then, the broadcaster has made a series of job cuts and earlier this year BCE slashed 1,300 roles, which president Mirko Bibic said were necessary to deal with losses at Bell Media’s news division, which was losing $40m annually.

Bell Media also recently shuttered its French-language channel Vrak, blaming “significant challenges” within the domestic landscape. A recent carriage dispute with local operator Videotron had also impacted the service.

Cohan, meanwhile, was previously chief growth officer & international president at data measurement firm Nielsen, which he joined following a year-long stint at Brent Montgomery’s Wheelhouse Entertainment.

Prior to that he had spent 15 years at A+E Networks, latterly as president of international and digital media, overseeing the company’s brands, services and content outside the US. He also managed US domestic digital activities and services.

Bibic said Oosterman had made Bell “a strong competitor in Canadian communications and media”, adding that he would remain with the company until January to assist with the transition.

“I look forward to working with Sean as he leads the Bell Media team in delivering the most compelling content across every platform,” Bibic added.

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