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CBC's English Head To Join Twitter

The chief of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp's English-language service is leaving the public broadcaster to unite with micro-blogging company Twitter, according to CBC. Kirstine Stewart, the CBC's executive vice-president of English services, will depart straight away and a recruitment process for her substitute has been launched. Stewart, a passionate Twitter user herself, said she was named managing director of Twitter Canada and will stay in Toronto to open Twitter's first offices in the country. "It is a fact of life in a viable, creative business that when you have immense people, others will try to attract them away with big opportunities," CBC Chief Executive Hubert Lacroix said in a declaration announcing the departure. CBC has fight to preserve its programming, chiefly in television, since the federal government cut its funding by 10 per cent last year. While the CBC does find some revenue from commercial advertising, it relies a lot on government funding to create its English- and French-language television, radio and online content. Twitter has employed Stewart, one of the most powerful executives in Canadian media, at a time when it is forcefully courting the traditional media industry as part of its development strategy. The San Francisco-based social media corporation, which creates money by selling advertising, has sought contracts with television producers and marketers to support TV viewers to talk about programming and ads on Twitter. That, in turn, could aid drive up ratings for broadcasters. Many popular TV programs, for illustration, display "hashtags" that tell users how to chat with other viewers on Twitter while they concurrently watch the show. "It's an incredibly symbiotic joint venture that Twitter can have with broadcasters," Stewart said by telephone on Monday. "I'm looking ahead to beginning our office and looking for those partnerships, those opportunities. Twitter's exclusive position is in that discussion around content." The company, which is broadly likely to hold a public stock offering within the next two years, will build just shy of $600 million in income this year, according an approximation by research firm eMarketer.

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