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News | 12/21/2000 5:00 am EST

TVA Group president and CEO Daniel Lamarre’s defection to the Cirque du Soleil means the Canadian Association of Broadcasters will lose a valued advisor and contributor. Along with resigning from TVA Group, Quebec’s largest private broadcaster, effective Jan. 15, Lamarre will also be giving up his post as CAB chair. Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil announced last week that Lamarre had been hired as president of its new ventures business unit. The unit will oversee the Cirque’s development of entertainment complexes around the world, beginning with one in London. It is also charged with audio-visual and multimedia projects; hotel, spa, food and beverage components; retail and licensing; and new entertainment. Someone from the association’s current executive will be appointed early in the new year to replace Lamarre, who was a few months into his second year as CAB chair, after a stint as head of the association’s TV group. "Daniel had a great advantage coming to the CAB in the sense that he … didn’t have the kind of assumptions and past baggage that all of us have who have been in broadcasting for a long time," says CAB president and CEO Michael McCabe. "He came at things with a freshness that immediately got him the support of industry leaders" by thinking "outside of the box" and presenting broadcasters with new ways of approaching things. McCabe notes that Lamarre chose not to get into defensive postures with the CRTC, or the minister of Heritage Canada, and instead emphasized the contributions broadcasters made to the system. This approach did Lamarre well in the television policy hearings, according to McCabe, where he spoke about trying to draw bigger audiences to Canadian programming. Lamarre is the latest of several executives to leave TVA, which is being restructured following the purchase of Groupe Videotron Ltd, the parent of TVA Group, by Quebecor Inc.

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