Peter Viner (1945-)

Peter Viner

Year Born: 1945

Year of Induction: 2008

Member of CAB Hall of Fame

Viner, Peter (1945- )

Born in 1945 in Bogota, Colombia, Peter Viner had a distinguished broadcasting career on two continents, demonstrating exceptional management and leadership skills in both Canada and Australia, over a period of close to four decades.

After qualifying in the Institute of Canadian Advertising’s Canadian Advertising Agency Practitioner program in 1970, Peter worked for four years as a sales rep for Major Market Broadcasters. He joined CanWest in 1974 as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Global Television, and was instrumental in Global’s decision to make a significant commitment to Global News, both locally and nationally. In 1980, after earning his Harvard Professional Management degree, he was appointed President of CKVU-TV Vancouver, where he rebranded the station as UTV. From 1984 to 1990 Peter was successively President of Telemedia Communications and Executive VP for the Telemedia Group.

In 1990, Peter returned to the Global fold to become President and CEO of CanWest Broadcasting Ltd, and General Manager of UTV/CKVU Vancouver until in 1993, he was sent to Australia to become the President and CEO of Network Ten, a recent Global acquisition, and grew the network from a failing operation to a multi-billion dollar enterprise.

In 1997, Peter returned to Canada to become President and CEO of CanWest Global, becoming Vice-Chairman in 1999, a position he held until 2003. In this capacity he played a key role in the company’s acquisition of the assets of Western International Communications (WIC). In 2003 he became Executive Vice-President for CanWest Global Communications Corporation, and in 2005 he became President and CEO of CanWest MediaWorks. Between 2001 and 2003 he was also Publisher of the National Post. Peter retired from CanWest in July 2007, but remained as a consultant and a member of the Board.

In November 2008, CanWest Global named Peter Viner as interim President of its broadcasting division, replacing Head of TV Operations Kathy Dore.

Over the years, Peter also served private broadcasting through his involvement in various industry bodies. He was a Director with both the Television Bureau of Canada and the Radio Bureau of Canada; a Radio Executive Member and a Television Executive Member of the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement; Television Director, CAB and Deputy Chairman/Director, Federation of Australian Commercial TV Stations.

Throughout his career, Peter Viner received several awards and honours. These included Marketing Man of the Year, presented by the American Marketing Association; Australian Media Executive of the Year; and the CAB Gold Ribbon Award for Broadcast Excellence, presented in 2006.

On November 4th 2008, Peter Viner was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame. On November 6th 2012, Peter and his brother Tony were inducted into the new Ontario Association of Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame.

Written by Pip Wedge – November, 2008