Monty resigns from pressured BCE; change at top could signal backing off from convergence strategyJean Monty has tendered his resignation as chairman/CEO of BCE Inc. in the face of increasing shareholder concerns about a plummeting stock price and the drag effected on the company by troubled subsidiary Teleglobe. Michael Sabia will replace Monty as CEO, and Richard Currie will serve as non-executive chairman. Sabia is a company man, serving with the organization since October 1999, most recently as president/COO of BCE, and COO of Bell Canada. He has widely been seen as the most likely successor to Monty, though current developments may not have been anticipated so quickly.Tea-leaf readers will be kept busy in the coming days to guess at where Sabia might take the company. The pressure to sell off assets tied up in the company’s underperforming convergence strategy may grow stronger under Sabia, whose public service and large enterprise background is less technology-oriented than his predecessor’s. Whether CTV and The Globe and Mail are sold in the near term or long, watchers can expect at least some backing off from the company’s convergence strategy in favour of creating profits in BCE’s core wireline, wireless, and satellite units. More details. ZAQ boosts top line 166%Montreal’s ZAQ Inc. reported revenues of $1.2 million for the quarter ended Mar. 31, 2002, up 166% from $0.5 million for the same period the previous year. Net loss in the quarter was $1.4 million ($0.02 per share), up from $1.2 million ($0.02 per share) the previous year. The company had $2.1 million in working capital at the end of the quarter, of which $1.8 million is cash. In a separate media release issued April 22, the company announced that it had concluded a $575,000 technology sale to BlueStreak Technology of Dallas. J!VE Media re-signs with CHUMToronto’s J!VE Media Technologies Inc. has extended by one year its contract with CHUM Television to provide distribution, marketing, and digital rights management services for online segments using its proprietary J!VE Player portable media files (CNM, May 3, 2001). CCOP provides further $2 million to HistoricaThe Historica Foundation has negotiated a two-year, $2-million extension of its funding through the Canadian Culture Online Program. The Foundation provides free access for Canadians to the online version of the Canadian Encyclopedia. Funding for the project was provided in the December 2001 federal budget. More details. Copps promises further dialog with young musiciansInternet-created challenges and copyright issues will be the subject of further discussions between Canadian Heritage minister Sheila Copps and young recording artists, promised the minister at a forum for young musicians held at the Juno Awards. On April 14, Copps met with a panel of up-and-coming recording artists and said: "We’ve made a good start to the discussion, but it’s important that we continue the dialogue. With the Internet and all that, there is no reason why we can’t meet again in a few months to see how we’ve done and in what way we’re proceeding with copyright issues, etc. Anyway, I’d love to see some way of sort of making a forum to meet again – to meet in an informal fashion." The minister’s office has not responded to inquiries by CNM seeking further details. CHUM launches interactive wireless servicesCHUM Television and Airborne Entertainment have forged a partnership to make MuchMusic-branded content available across the Telus, Bell family, and Rogers wireless networks. Mobile phone customers will be able to call up breaking entertainment news, trivia games, what’s-on listings, and other services. The service, MuchMobile, will eventually offer a number of premium services such as event tie-ins, as well as migrate to higher speed 3G and 2.5G applications. While Microcell isn’t currently carrying the service, Airborne president Garner Bornstein says re-structuring at that company has delayed the Fido-brand carrier from coming on board, though it will eventually make the service available. As for what one might expect MuchMusic-branded content to deliver – music – CHUM Television Interactive’s managing director Maria Hale will only hint that "it’s coming. We’re very excited." More details. Telefilm announces winnersTelefilm Canada has announced the winners of the first round of its re-vamped Canada New Media Fund. The agency is backing 119 projects with various levels of support. More details.