A changing of the guard is coming at Rogers Communications, as Tony Viner told colleagues Monday that he plans to retire later this year after a two-decade run at the helm of Rogers Media.
Mr. Viner is part of the team that helped the late cable and wireless visionary Ted Rogers assemble a dominant player in Canadian communications. The Rogers brain trust made convergence work before the concept existed. Mr. Viner proved a masterful operator in radio, television and print. He's also half of a successful sibling act in media - brother Peter Viner is a long-time CanWest Communications executive.
Rogers Communications is expected to look internally and externally for a successor, and Mr. Viner plans to stay with the company until his job is filled.
Mr. Viner began his media career in 1973, selling advertising for a Montreal radio station, drawn to the job in part because his brother was in the business, and could afford a new car on the commissions. He joined the radio side of Rogers in 1982, and was named president of what was then known as Rogers Broadcasting in 1989.
On Mr. Viner's watch, the company launched a specialty sports broadcaster and spread its wings with a number of acquisitions, including the purchase and integration of Maclean-Hunter's publications, the Toronto Blue Jays and CITY-TV. He's also volunteered his time as a board member on countless industry groups. In 2007, Mr. Viner cashed in a long-term compensation package worth more than $40-million that reflected his contributions to Rogers.
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