Tag Archives: Rogers

CTVGlobemedia’s Fillingham exiting

TORONTO — Canadian broadcaster CTVGlobemedia said Friday that CFO Robin Fillingham will retire in April after 37 years with the company.

Fillingham is being replaced as CFO by John Gossling, a former KPMG partner who most recently served as senior vp and CFO at Rogers Wireless Communications, the mobile phone arm at cable giant Rogers Communications.

In 1971, Fillingham joined Baton Broadcasting, one of seven affiliates of CTV that then Baton CEO Ivan Fecan used as a platform during the late 1990s to take control of the national TV network. His executive stints at CTV included secretary, senior vp administration and CFO.

Fillingham’s retirement follows regulatory approval received last June for CTV parent CTVGlobemedia to acquire rival broadcaster Chum Ltd. for $1.4 billion.

CTVGlobemedia said Fillingham will remain as a consultant through Gossling’s transition.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

Rogers $137.5M buy of CTV channel’s

TORONTO (CP) _ Rogers Communications (TSX:RCI.B) is paying $137.5 million in cash for several TV channels, including the A-Channel group, to be divested by CTVglobemedia Inc. amid its $1.7-billion acquisition of CHUM Ltd.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, which regulates the broadcast industry, including mergers and acquisitions, should be pleased with the deal, one analyst said Monday.

"The CRTC will love it," said John Henderson of Scotia Capital. "They want less market concentration and this adds to the level of competition in the market, and I don’t think the CRTC would have any problem with this."

The acquisition will be handled by the Rogers Broadcasting division and the stations will get some tender loving care, a company spokesperson said.

"They’ll be come a primary focus for us," said Jan Innes, vice-president of communications for Rogers Communications. "We feel they were a bit lost with the previous owner. They will be very important assets for us."

Innes said Rogers doesn’t expect the deal to go through until the end of this year or early 2008, since the CRTC has to deal first with the CTVglobemedia’s acquisition of CHUM.

Rogers will acquire:

_ The A-Channel station group of six conventional broadcast television stations in Victoria and Ottawa, as well as Ontario’s Windsor, Wingham, London and Barrie;

_ CKX-Television, a conventional CBC affiliate in Brandon, Man.;

_ ACCESS Alberta, the designated provincial educational television broadcaster for Alberta;

_ Canadian Learning Television; and

_ SexTV: The Channel, an English language digital specialty service.

The company said it will retain the community focus of the local channels.

"Rogers has built its successful television business by serving community-focused and niche audiences," Rogers Broadcasting president Rael Merson said in a release.

"The acquisition of these 10 television services will significantly expand our television operations and solidify our position as an important participant in the Canadian television industry."

CTVglobemedia owns CTV, Canada’s largest private television network, and the Globe and Mail newspaper. Last month it announced Competition Bureau clearance for the CHUM acquisition and CRTC hearings into the transaction are slated to begin April 30.

CTVglobemedia is owned by a group that includes Woodbridge Co., the private investment company of the Thomson family, Torstar Corp. (TSX:TS), the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board and BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE).

The acquisition is part of a wave of consolidation in the Canadian broadcasting industry as companies bulk up to compete.

In February, Montreal-based broadcaster Astral Media Inc. (TSX:ACM.B) said it was in talks to acquire Standard Broadcasting Corp. in a deal believed to be worth $1.2 billion.

Earlier this year, CanWest Global Communications Corp. (TSX:CGS) and a Wall Street investment bank struck a $2.3-billion deal to acquire Alliance Atlantis Communications Corp. (TSX:AAC.A), a specialty TV broadcaster.

The CRTC will review all three planned billion-dollar takeovers, which could lead to new federal policies on acquisitions and consolidation in the Canadian broadcast sector.

John Henderson of Scotia Capital said the Rogers deal is very small, relative to the wireless phone and cable company’s overall profit. In 2006, Rogers earned $622 million or 97 cents per share on revenue of $8.84 billion. Wireless accounted for more than half of its revenue in the fourth quarter of 2006, and cable represented about one-fifth.

In its outlook for 2007, released with fourth-quarter and year-end results in February, Rogers forecast revenue of $9.7 billion to $10 billion, with an operating profit of between $3.25 billion and $3.4 billion.

Rogers Comm. triples Q3 net to $154M

TORONTO (CP) _ Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX:RCI.B) is more than doubling its dividend and splitting its stock after third-quarter net income tripled, but Canada’s largest cable TV and cellphone operator has no intention of becoming a boring income stock.

"We’re certainly not going to start resting on our laurels, just collecting the cash without a strong commitment to investing to ensure that healthy harvests continue well into the future," chief executive officer Ted Rogers said Tuesday in commenting on the company’s biggest-ever quarter.

Operating revenue swelled 15 per cent to $2.35 billion, compared with $2.05 billion a year earlier, with all the increase coming from internal growth rather than acquisitions. Operating profit grew 33 per cent to $784.3 million, and net income increased to $154 million, 48 cents per share, from $48.9 million, 16 cents per share.

"We’re competing well with very powerful and heavily entrenched monopolies," Ted Rogers told congratulatory analysts on a conference call.

The board plans a two-for-one share split at year-end, and the dividend will become quarterly and rise to 32 cents per share annually from 15 cents on a pre-split basis. Splitting the stock will ease small-investor access and add liquidity for Rogers, whose widely held B shares jumped six per cent to a new high of $68.18 Tuesday, up from $47 a year ago and $10 four years ago.

The new dividend yield will still be only about half of one per cent. It is likely to rise further but "we’re always nervous about increasing it too much and having to retreat," Ted Rogers said.

The company remains growth-oriented and has almost $8 billion in long-term debt, after paying down debt by $309 million during the quarter, and "we are trying to get the right balance between the interests of the shareholders and the interests of the debtholders," the 73-year-old CEO and controlling shareholder added.

The company’s debt rating "will hopefully be within spitting distance of investment grade sometime in 2007," he said, but "we are in a fiercely competitive market and we have much hard work and continued investment in front of us."

Much of the new investment will be in telecom services for small and medium-sized business as Rogers diversifies away from being mostly residential.

In releasing the results, the company nudged up the high end of its full-year forecasts for revenue, operating profit and residential cable telephone subscriber additions.