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Bell Media Congratulates Playback Magazine's 2012 Person of the Year, Kevin Crull, and 2012 Independent Production Executive of the Year, Corrie Coe

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TORONTO, Nov. 30, 2012 /CNW/ - Bell Media today congratulated its President, Kevin Crull, on being named Playback magazine's 2012 Person of the Year in its "Best of the Year" issue.  Honours also went to Bell Media's Senior Vice-President, Independent Production, Corrie Coe, who was awarded Playback's 2012 Independent Production Executive of the Year.

"The past few years have been turning point in the Canadian broadcasting sector, with innovations in consumer technology forcing the domestic industry, large and small companies alike, to compete ever more fiercely," said Matt Sylvain, Editor, Playback. "In 2012 Crull showed laudable leadership in plotting a promising course for Bell Media, openly discussing it, and successfully sticking to it."

Playback named Crull 2012 Person of the Year for his significant role in maintaining Bell Media's position as Canada's top media group and #1 national broadcaster. The influential Canadian quarterly commended Crull for Bell Media's demonstrated commitment to Canadian production.

"[The] company greenlit 11 new productions (including pilots) this year alone, including new series MOTIVE, ORPHAN BLACK and SATISFACTION, in addition to okaying seasons of returning series, ramping up its original Canadian content offerings as it bids farewell to FLASHPOINT, arguably one of the most successful Canadian scripted shows six years in the running," noted the article.

While highlighting the many challenges of helming Canada's premier multimedia company, including the encroachment of foreign over-the-top services, Playback celebrated Crull's deep-seated commitment to producing successful content for linear television viewing that is complementary to a burgeoning TV Everywhere strategy.

"Crull sticks to the goal of producing great content for linear TV viewing first, arguing that linear viewing is resilient, even as he sees a need for the TV everywhere strategy due to media fragmentation," it said.

Crull's leadership in the digital space was also credited as Bell Media continues to execute on a digital strategy involving unique social media integrations, the creation of unique online mini-series spun off of successful linear properties, and the greenlighting of the company's first completely non-linear program, BACKPACKERS.

Playback also named Coe the 2012 Independent Production Executive of the Year, highlighting her significant contributions to the Canadian production community and exceptional ability to bring concepts to life across Bell Media's array of conventional, specialty, and online assets.

"Coe and her team have demonstrated a deft touch when it comes to figuring out what indie pitches can be turned into shows Bell Media's audiences will watch and their advertisers will support," said Sylvain.

The article highlighted Bell Media's renewed commitment to independent production under Coe's leadership, including moving beyond sketch and stand-up on The Comedy Network to get fresh talent on the channel, such as the multi-cam pilot for SPUN OUT. Playback also noted the addition of new dramas on SPACE like BITTEN and ORPHAN BLACK, and went on to predict 2013 to be an even stronger year for Coe and her team.

"As Coe moves from pitch to pitch, her antennae is tuned to what is needed or not needed at a broadcaster that, like a Swiss Army Knife, has different programming combinations to serve a host of channel brands," said the article. "Also spurring development is a need for Canadian shows that stand-up alongside U.S. series and other foreign fare."

About Playback
Playback is Canada's production, broadcasting, and interactive media journal, covering news, trends and innovation through a daily online newsletter, website, and quarterly print publication. Visit Playback on the Web at playbackonline.ca.

About Bell Media Independent Production
Bell Media has commissioned some of Canada's most-watched and most-acclaimed original programming, while working with the best Canadian independent producers in the country. CTV series include the trailblazing, multi award-winning hit series FLASHPOINT and ratings success stories SAVING HOPE and THE LISTENER. One of three new scripted series ordered in 2012, CTV's newest drama, MOTIVE, is currently in production, while the heart-warming, television holiday feature THE HORSES OF MCBRIDE is set to premiere in December. As well, Bell Media has also ordered pilots for two, half-hour comedy series, SATISFACTION and SPUN OUT. In total, Bell Media has ordered 23 new original Canadian series in 2012, and put 31 scripted projects into development.

Bell Media's Canadian specialty series include two-time Emmy®-nominated hit DEGRASSI, the critically acclaimed drama series THE L.A. COMPLEX, new game show comedy MATCH GAME, new documentary series ENGRAVED ON A NATION, pop culture series CELEBRITY STYLE STORY, and mythological/action series PRIMEVAL: NEW WORLD. Specialty series currently in production are ORPHAN BLACK and PANIC BUTTON, joining an order for BITTEN, all for 2013.

About Bell Media
Bell Media is Canada's premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio and digital. With passion and an unrelenting commitment to excellence, Bell Media entertains, informs and inspires Canadians. Bell Media owns 28 conventional stations, including CTV, Canada's #1 television network, and owns and operates 30 specialty channels, including TSN, Canada's #1 specialty channel, and RDS, Canada's #1 French-language specialty channel. Bell Media also owns 33 radio stations, dozens of websites including the TheLoop.ca by Sympatico, and Dome Productions Inc. Bell Media is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada's largest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please visit www.bellmedia.ca.

SOURCE Bell Media

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