Canadian Broadcasting Corp. topper Richard Stursberg has left the public broadcaster after six years as head of its English language TV service. No reason was given for the sudden departure.
CBC president Hubert T. Lacroix paid tribute to Stursberg in a statement, indicating he ‘brought with him a revolution that shook the foundation of the organization and eventually of the whole of our English services.
‘Six years later, the institution is better off than it was. I want to acknowledge his success in turning CBC Television around and thank him for his contribution,’ Lacroix added.
Stursberg’s position will be filled on an interim basis by Kirstine Stewart, general manager of CBC Television, until a permanent replacement is found.
‘CBC is in great shape and now in this role I look forward to leading what is a great team of broadcasters, journalists and producing partners,’ says Stewart.
‘Media moves too fast for CBC to take a break, we’ll continue on making the best Canadian programming and news that we possibly can,’ she added.
Stursberg’s tenure at the CBC was marked by a relentless push towards ratings with more commercially-driven shows in primetime, and repeated run-ins with unionized employees that included a 2005 work stoppage and 2009 job cuts to stem ad revenue losses.
His departure is the latest sign of a new regime at the CBC after the earlier departure of Fred Fuchs as executive director of arts and entertainment, and Jenny Hacker replacing Anton Leo as creative head of comedy.
Lacroix indicated Friday that that management restructuring will likely continue.
‘We are in the midst of developing a new strategic plan that will guide CBC/Radio-Canada through the next five years. This is the opportune time to bring new leadership to English Services and to ensure alignment of the senior team on the future of the public broadcaster,’ he said.
This article originally appeared in Playback Daily.