Big chair shuffling at TSN and Olympic group offices
New titles were being handed out like candy at the TSN and Olympic broadcast consortium headquarters Tuesday.
It's an interesting list, even for those who might not collect broadcast executive trading cards.
First, Stewart Johnston replaces Phil King as president of TSN, a pretty big move for a guy who was named head of programming only three years ago. But Johnston learned at the foot of the master programmer -- King -- and no doubt learned something from him as he sat in the big chair at TSN.
Mark Milliere gets a bump from head of production to senior vice-president in charge of all things on screen while Shawn Redmond moves from marketing into Johnston's old job.
But the most interesting appointment involves the naming of Adam Ashton, a long-time TSN marketing guy, as president of the CTV-Rogers Olympic broadcasting consortium. Ashton replaces Keith Pelley, who moved downtown to head Rogers Media -- the equivalent of Brian Burke leaving Toronto to run the Montreal Canadiens.
I'm told Pelley's name is no longer allowed to be uttered at the Agincourt bunker.
According to the consortium press release, Ashton will oversee the day-to-day operations for the London Games. That means everything from sales and marketing to productioin and digital operations. In effect, he's in charge of the entire show.
Ashton's team includes TV production vet Rick Chisholm, sales and marketing v-p Dan Cimoroni and money man James Cooke.
The first thing you'll notice here is that all the appointees are TSN guys. King says that's no coincidence.
``We have proven that TSN has a wealth of talent," King said Tuesday. ``There is a reason why TSN is by far the biggest specialty channel, by far the biggest sports channel."
The other is that Ashton, unlike Pelley, isn't a TV production or programming guy. He's a marketing man, by all reports a very good one. King says that's also no coincidence.
``We already have an unbelievable production team," he said. ``We've already proven to ourselves that the consortium can do a big event like the Olympics. What we need now is a businessman. But Adam has a lot of experience outside sales and marketing.
``The production side is in top-notch condition with Rick Chisholm running it."
Having a businessman at the top will come in handy as the consortium attempts to recoup some of its losses from Vancouver. It won't admit to any, but the general consensus is that the Games looked like gold but finished in the red.