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Brian Williams: From CBC, To CTV


TRIBE Promoter
Well he was announced at the CTV big fall programming shindig the other night, so it's no secret..now the CBC says fuck the six months, you're gone now son!


CBC lowers boom on Brian Williams


Globe and Mail Update

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He was a star at the CBC for more than 20 years, but Brian Williams was fired Thursday, just days after informing the network on Monday he would be leaving for rival CTV at the end of the year.

Williams's departure marks an abrupt and bitter end to a career at the CBC that started in 1974.

“I'm surprised,” Williams said. “Obviously surprised. But that's their decision and a decision I will live with.”

Williams said he will join CTV immediately.

Nancy Lee, the executive director of CBC Sports, said the CTV's announcement on Monday that Williams will anchor its 2010 and 2012 Olympic coverage sealed his fate.

“Because of the news events on Monday, it didn't make any sense to continue the relationship,” she said.

Williams appeared to have fulfilled his contractual obligation to the CBC by giving the network six months notice on Monday. When his contract was drawn up, the CBC insisted on the notice clause.

However, sources say the CBC is claiming breach of contract and will not pay Williams for the remaining six months. Neither Williams nor Lee would comment.

The CBC's termination last year of sports announcer Chris Cuthbert, now with TSN and NBC, resulted in litigation.

Williams had planned to stay with the CBC to cover the Canadian Football League and Grey Cup. With his departure, reporter Elliotte Friedman will replace him as the CFL anchor.

Other networks have kept personalities on the air after they signed elsewhere. NBC's Katie Couric continued to be a host of the Today show after signing with CBS to anchor its evening news, beginning in September.

“All I can say is we were advised on Monday about his move and he's now clearly identified with another network,” Lee said. “So, it just didn't make sense to continue the relationship.”

According to sources, there is a 50-50 chance the CBC will lose the CFL rights in two years to CTV and its sports cable channel, TSN.

The mood at CBC Sports over the past four days, insiders say, has been fraught with intrigue and speculation.

Williams was forbidden by CBC management from attending the CTV news conference on Monday. He appeared anyway, and now the CBC may argue he breached his contract by showing up.

On Wednesday, the CBC suddenly cancelled Williams's scheduled interview with the Toronto Argonauts' new running back, Ricky Williams.

Yesterday afternoon, Brian Williams received a telephone call from Lee informing him that he was being replaced with Friedman.

“Anything else?” Williams asked Lee.

Lee told him he would be receiving a fax in 10 minutes. The fax, when it arrived, stated he was terminated.

Insiders say Williams's relationship with CBC management had declined in recent years.

A source said his work as the prime-time anchor of the Turin Winter Games coverage in February was barely acknowledged by management.

“None of them phoned Brian,” the source said. “Not one of them congratulated him after Turin. Trevor Pilling [Williams's CFL producer] was the only one.

“Terry Ludwick [the CBC's Olympic executive producer] didn't call him. Nancy didn't call him. Not even a nice note.”

Sources say Williams was overwhelmed by the reception he received on Monday from people at CTV and Bell Globemedia. (Bell Globemedia owns CTV and also The Globe and Mail.)

“He received couriered notes from people on the board of directors congratulating him,” a source said. “They treated him so well. He hadn't been treated that way in 30 years with the CBC.”

Williams also received a note of congratulations from Wayne Gretzky in a Blackberry message that said, basically, “I told you the Olympics wouldn't be the same without you.”

Lee's problems in the sports department extend past replacing Williams. Ludwick, out as the executive producer of the Olympics, has moved to another part of the department. His programming decisions during Turin were criticized in the media.

What's more, Terry Leibel has resigned as the Olympic morning anchor. For its Turin coverage, CBC chose to keep Williams and Leibel in Toronto, where they worked out of a studio.

TSN president Phil King said Williams will begin filing reports to SportsCentre and appearing on CTV's Canada AM in the next few weeks.

“We're thrilled to be getting him earlier than expected,” he said.
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TRIBE Member
Didn't know you could fire or "lower the boom" on someone who gave their required notice and handed in their resignation.

This is akin to me and you giving our two or three weeks and being told to just go home (paid) for the duration due to the nature of our jobs and the fact we're heading to a direct competitor. If I work at Bell and take a job at Telus doesn't it probably make sense they wouldn't have me more work out the duration at the office?

Yeah, have the guy stay on and host football when he's got one foot out the door and is in regular contact with his new bosses...makes sense

This is an example of how the CBC gets it sometimes no matter what they decide. If Rod Black got canned do you think it would get much ink?

And let's not forget Houston writes for a Bell Globemedia property.

Having said all of that, if CBC Sports maybe had hired some people born after the Vietnam War started, any poaching wouldn't be that earth-shattering due to the presence of some other (young) talent.