Pia Marquard, managing director at CBC Quebec, is leaving her job at the end of the month for health reasons.
In a message to staff, which includes English television and radio in Montreal and Quebec City, Marquard said she was "very proud and happy that I've been part of the Quebec team during the last two years" but that breathing problems after failed operations on her vocal cords have made it difficult for her to continue in her position, and "this is not a job that can be done part time."
CBC News Editor in Chief Jennifer McGuire said she "accepted (Marquard's) resignation with regret." McGuire's note to staff also said Marquard "intends to resume her consultant's career in Montreal."
Marquard became managing director at CBC Quebec in 2010, and is probably best known for a decision that was taken before she started. Marquard came into her new job amid a public backlash over the unceremonious removal of Nancy Wood from her job as host of CBC Daybreak. Marquard never commented publicly about the change, and to this day it remains unexplained.
Otherwise, her reign has been fairly uneventful, starting after the expansion of TV newscasts to an hour and a half and before the further expansion into weekends. There were two major on-air positions filled under her watch, with Mike Finnerty returning to Daybreak and Debra Arbec getting the co-anchor position with Andrew Chang on television. Also on her watch were technical upgrades, switching the transmitter to digital and upgrading the newscast to high definition.
Marquard's replacement has not yet been named, but McGuire said one will be announced "within a few weeks."
Pia Marquard's message to staff:
Dear all,Quebec is a special place, and the CBC Quebec team is a very special team.
We’ve gone through quite a lot of changes the last couple of years, and we’ve accomplished a lot together. And in spite of the coming adjustments that will follow the new budget – I know that CBC Quebec will grow stronger – taking advantage of the expanded seven day a week news presence together with the excellent journalism and storytelling that everyone of you are committed to do every day.I am very proud and happy that I’ve been part of the Quebec team during the last two years. I know that being Managing Director comes with a lot of responsibility - and hard work. But it’s worth it….
Over the last months I haven’t however been able to put in as much time and energy as I have wanted. The operations I had in the fall did not solve my voice-cord problem, and with my breathing capacity considerably reduced, carrying out the full responsibility of the MD function has become onerous.
You have all been very supportive, which I’ve appreciated tremendously, and Jennifer McGuire and Liz Hughes have offered their full support as well, but the fact is that this is not a job that can be done part time.So I’ve had to make a very difficult decision – which is to accept that I will have to step back to be sure you have a leader with full capacity for the coming years.
I know the place is in good hands, Liz will together with Trevor and Gino Apponi be there for the transition until a new MD is in place in a few weeks. And I also know that you will all continue to work as hard and committed as always to serve our audiences.I will miss you all.Pia
Jennifer McGuire's message to staff:
After two very busy and productive years as Managing Director for English Services in Quebec, Pia Marquard has, for health reasons, made the decision to leave the CBC. I have accepted her resignation with regret. Pia directed a time of great change in our Quebec operation, leading an initiative to build up the capacity and effectiveness of our newsroom and programming areas.
Pia has had a stellar career in television production in both Europe and Canada. She has worked for the CBC in various senior capacities in Toronto, Whitehorse, Windsor and in Montreal. With a track record like that, I would not be surprised at all to see her back at the CBC again at some point.
I would like to thank her for her huge effort of the last two years and wish her well in the next steps of her career.
Pia intends to resume her consultant's career in Montreal, after a good holiday with her family in Denmark. She will finish up at the end of March.
We intend to announce her replacement within a few weeks.Jennifer McGuire
General Manager & Editor in Chief
CBC News and Centres