Robin Fillingham (1944-)

Robin Fillingham

Year Born: 1944

Year of Induction: 2008

Member of CAB Hall of Fame

Fillingham, Robin (1944- )

Over a remarkable 37-year career, Robin Fillingham made a significant contribution to Canadian broadcasting. He played a pivotal role in the growth and evolution of CTVglobemedia, from its days as Ontario’s Baton Broadcasting to the leading multimedia company it later became.
Rob was born in London, England, in 1944, during World War II, and came to Canada soon after the war ended. After brief periods in Rouen/Noranda, Quebec, and Little Current in the Manitoulin Islands, the family finally settled in Toronto, where Robin went to David and Mary Thompson High School and then earned a degree in English literature at York University. He then joined the accounting firm of Thorne Gunn Helliwell and Christenson, receiving his C.A. degree in 1969.

In 1971 Robin moved into the broadcasting industry, when he became Assistant Controller at Baton Broadcasting, owners of CFTO-TV, a CTV affiliate station and the largest private television broadcaster in Canada. Baton went public in December of that that year; in January 1972, Baton acquired CFQC-TV Saskatoon, and later in the year furthered the expansion of its broadcasting empire by buying CKPM-AM radio in Ottawa. All this had Robin very much involved in the economics of the evolving world of acquisitions and mergers which was to mark Baton’s growth over the next several years.

By 1988, Robin was Vice President of Finance and Administration and Secretary of Baton, and by 1990 he was Senior Vice President, CFO and Corporate Secretary. In 1995 he became Senior Vice President Administration. Two years later he became Executive Vice-President and CFO of Baton, and in 1999 retained the position when Baton was renamed CTV Inc.

In his various financial positions with Baton/CTV, Robin was key in working with his colleagues as the companies went through the various refinancing, recapitalization and restructuring exercises that needed to be undertaken along the way in the process of several mergers and acquisitions, and which culminated in BCE’s acquisition of CTV in the year 2000. At that point, Robin became CFO and Chief Administrative Officer of the new company, Bell Globemedia. In 2006, when the company was renamed CTVglobemedia, Robin Fillingham was made Chief Financial Officer, and was instrumental in CTVglobemedia’s successful application to the CRTC to acquire rival broadcaster CHUM Limited in 2007.

In addition to the demands of his professional career, Robin Fillingham took the time to share his expertise and experience for the benefit of the industry. He served as the Chair of the CAB Task Force Review of the CAB Membership Fee Structure; as a member of the Canadian Broadcasters Rights Agency; as Vice-Chair of the CAB Television Board; and as Board Member of the Banff Television Foundation.

Rob Fillingham retired from CTVglobemedia in April 2008. In November of that year, he was inducted into the CAB Hall of Fame.

Written by Pip Wedge – October, 2008