Corus Entertainment CEO Takes Early Retirement After Losing Warner Bros Licensing Deal

The CEO of Corus Entertainment (TSX: CJR.B), Doug Murphy, has thrown in the towel, announcing this morning that he will be taking an early retirement. Murphy’s exit notably follows the company losing a licensing transaction with Warner Bros. Discovery earlier this month.

Murphy had been in the role of CEO since 2015, when he also took on the role of President. During his time in the role, he notably saw the launch of StackTV, the Global TV app, and Pluto TV. Investors meanwhile notably saw a collapse in the value of the equity of the company, to the point that the company has now even suspended its dividend.

The most recent fall follows the company losing its licensing deal with Warner Bros. Discover, which was set to renew at the end of the year. The agreement is set to expire on December 31, 2024, resulting in programming changes in 2025.

Those changes are expected to impact a number of channels, including HGTV, Foot Network, Cooking Channel, Magnolia Network, and Oprah Winfrey Network, all of which Warner owns a 20% stake in. Corus meanwhile has three channels – Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, and Boomerang – which heavily utilize content from Warner, which will now have to be replaced. Going forward, that content is expected to have a heavy leaning towards Canadian and alternate foreign content.

READ: Market Movers: Corus Entertainment Crashes 26% After Losing Warner Bros Discovery Licensing Deal

Taking on the role of CEO on a go-forward basis will be a joint effort, with current CFO John Gossling, and EVP of Networks and Content Troy Reeb to tackle the position on a cooperative basis. The change is said to be effective immediately, with Gossling also continuing in the role of CFO.

Reeb has been with Corus for the past two and a half decades, having started within the Global News division. He’s said to be responsible now for all revenue, marketing, sales and distribution aspects of the company. Gossling, who joined the firm in 2016, will also now focus on corporate strategy, technology, and other corporate functions in addition to his CFO responsibilities.

Other corporate changes include the appointment of Jennifer Lee to the role of chief administrative and chief legal officer, after having previously served as general counsel and executive vice president.

“Succession planning is an integral part of our operations. Troy and John are seasoned senior broadcast and media executives who each have exceptional experience, a strategic mindset and deep understanding of the industry,” commented executive chair Heather Shaw on the changes.

Corus Entertainment last traded at $0.195 on the TSX.

Information for this briefing was found via Sedar and the companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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