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Corus replaces CEO after losing key content rights to Rogers

The Canadian Press

TORONTO — New leadership is coming to Corus Entertainment Inc. after it lost several major Warner Bros. Discovery lifestyle television channels to Rogers Communications Inc. and continues to struggle in the current broadcasting environment.

Corus said Monday that Doug Murphy was retiring from the top job and that executives Troy Reeb and John Gossling have been appointed as co-chief executives, effective immediately.

The television and radio company announced on June 7 that it will lose the rights to key brands like HGTV, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Magnolia Network and OWN at the end of the year.

Corus' stock price has lost more than half its value since the news of losing the Warner Bros. brands. It's part of a longer decline for the company as broadcasters, especially independent ones, struggle to adapt to new streaming models.

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The company's shares were trading at around 18 cents as of midday Monday — well off the more than $6 per share it was at in mid-2021, and the more than $25 it reached in 2014.

Corus said the new leadership appointments reflect a "forward focus on managing through a challenging environment."

Executive board chair Heather Shaw said in a statement that she was confident in the ability of the co-chief executives to guide Corus through the evolving regulatory and competitive landscape.

Reeb, who has spent 25 years at Corus, steps into the co-CEO spot from his role as responsible for studio content.

Gossling joined Corus in 2016 as its chief financial officer, which he'll continue in as well.

Outgoing chief executive Murphy joined Corus in 2003 as executive vice-president of business development, and held successively more senior positions until he was appointed as president and chief executive in 2015.

Last week, Unifor said 35 of its members at Global News had been laid off as part of changes announced by the company in response to the economic and regulatory environment.

Corus owns both conventional and specialty television stations as well as radio stations and digital and streaming platforms.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 17, 2024.

Companies in this story: (TSX:CJR.B)

The Canadian Press