Canadian television and radio pioneer was 79 – The Hollywood Reporter


Ian Greenberg, who ran Astral Media, a media giant his family started over 60 years ago in Montreal before being sold for $ 3.38 billion to Canadian phone giant BCE Inc. in 2012, is deceased. He was 79 years old.

Greenberg died on January 10, with no cause of death being announced.

“With the passing of Ian Greenberg, Canada lost a business visionary and media legend, and we at Bell lost a wise and gracious colleague and friend. Ian has inspired all of us on the BCE board with his integrity, insight and optimism about the opportunities ahead for Canadian media, and he will be sorely missed, ”said Gordon Nixon, chairman of telephony giant BCE Inc. and Bell Canada, in a press release. .

Greenberg was President and CEO of Astral Media from 1995 until July 2013, when he became a director of BCE in its boardroom. Prior to that, Greenberg was one of four brothers who founded Astral Media in 1961 as a chain of photography stores before the company successfully branched out into the early pay and cable television industries, radio, outdoor advertising and digital media.

The sale of Astral Media to BCE crowned a long and successful business alliance between the Greenberg and Bronfman families of Montreal. In the early 1980s, Greenberg might never have entered the Canadian pay-TV industry as he floundered, had it not been for the indispensable investment of Edward Bronfman and Peter Bronfman..

These investments led in part to the launch of The Movie Network, supported by its long-standing release agreements with HBO and Showtime, to become dominant in the pay-TV market in Eastern Canada. Toronto-based Paul Bronfman was Astral Media’s second largest shareholder when the Greenberg family withdrew their funds in 2012 as part of their deal with BCE.

“Uncle Ian – as I used to call him – was a great mensch, providing caring, loving and intelligent support without being patronizing. He has always supported me through thick and thin. They don’t do them like Ian anymore, ”said Bronfman, Chairman and CEO of Comweb Corp. and Senior Advisor to William F. White International. Hollywood journalist Tuesday.

Born in Montreal, Greenberg was inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame and, along with his brothers, also received the Eleanor Roosevelt Prize in the Humanities for their support of numerous industrial and charitable organizations.

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