Ian Greenberg, media executive and co-founder of Astral, dies at 79
Published January 11, 2022 at 12:12 pm
TORONTO — Ian Greenberg, the media mogul who alongside his brothers helped turn Astral Media into a Canadian radio and television powerhouse, has died at 79.
Media giant BCE Inc., where Greenberg was a board member, says he died Monday. No cause was given and a representative for the company did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Greenberg grew up in Montreal, in a family of 10 including brothers Harold, Harvey and Sidney.
In 1961, the brothers founded a photography company that within a decade grew from a small presence in Miracle Mart retail stores to the photofinishing company Astral.
Over the next two decades, the Greenberg brothers turned Astral into a media force, forging a stake in film and TV productions and then acquiring the rights for two burgeoning English- and French-language pay-TV networks, First Choice and Premiere Choix.
Astral Media would become one of Canada’s dominant media companies, the largest radio broadcaster with 84 stations and an owner of nearly two dozen specialty TV channels, before it was acquired by BCE in 2013.
Greenberg assumed a role as director of BCE’s board in the transaction.
“Canada has lost a business visionary and media legend, and we at Bell have lost a wise and affable colleague and friend,” BCE chair Gordon Nixon said in a statement.
“Ian inspired all of us on the BCE board with his integrity, insight and optimism about the opportunities ahead for Canadian media, and we will miss him greatly.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published January 11, 2022.
David Friend, The Canadian Pressinsauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising