After overseeing 4,800 hours of Olympics broadcasting last winter, juggling content across television screens, the Internet and the radio, there's little doubt that Keith Pelley is a man of many media.
Now, the executive who oversaw the Canadian broadcasting consortium for the Vancouver Olympics will take over as president of Rogers Media, one of the country's largest diversified media groups. The announcement comes just four months after Mr. Pelley was appointed executive vice-president of strategic planning at CTVglobemedia Inc.
Mr. Pelley's role as the president of the Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium, a partnership between CTVglobemedia Inc. (which also owns The Globe and Mail) and Rogers Communications Inc. The broadcast of the Winter Games on the CTV network, on both companies' specialty sports networks, radio, online and on mobile networks, was an unprecedented multimedia effort for an Olympic Games.
The position also gave Rogers a chance to see Mr. Pelley on the job before enticing him to leave CTV.
The move means that Mr. Pelley, 46, will not be in charge of the Olympic consortium for the Summer Olympics in London in 2012. CTV confirmed on Tuesday that Mr. Pelley's resignation from the company includes relinquishing his role as president of the consortium, for which he was on loan.
Industry speculation had placed Mr. Pelley as a potential successor to Ivan Fecan, CTVglobemedia's president and chief executive officer.
Instead, Mr. Pelley will take over from Rogers Media chief Tony Viner, who announced his retirement in the spring. There was no obvious replacement for Mr. Viner within the Rogers ranks, industry watchers say; now, the question is who could feasibly replace Mr. Fecan whenever he may leave his post.
"Keith is a highly regarded media executive with strong business acumen and an extensive background in sports … ," Nadir Mohamed, Rogers chief executive officer, said in a statement. "Keith's incredible depth and breadth of experience will be an asset to our senior executive team as we leverage our media assets in an increasingly digital world."
Mr. Pelley will be responsible for the division of Rogers that includes its CITY-TV broadcast network, its publishing division (including magazines such as Chatelaine, Maclean's, trade publications and a host of websites), digital properties, specialty channels, and the Toronto Blue Jays. Rogers has just launched a national sports specialty network, Sportsnet One, which is broadcasting Jays games and has secured NHL deals in a bid to make the new station more attractive to other cable and satellite carriers.
Mr. Pelley's experience with the Olympics, and his past experience at CTV-owned sports channel TSN, position him well to manage the sports-focused properties at Rogers Media, said Sunni Boot, CEO of media buyer ZenithOptimedia.
"The Olympics moved the industry's expectations up a notch, because they really delivered on so many platforms. And sports is a catalyst … that kind of programming is a catalyst for moving the bar," Ms. Boot said. Having dealt with Mr. Pelley on behalf of her clients, she added that his energy will be beneficial to Rogers, even though he has less experience with publishing and radio.
"Good leaders say, 'What's working well … and how do I cross-pollinate?' He's got production experience, he's got sales experience, and he's got vision."