Jay Switzer

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Jay Switzer CM (July 11, 1956 – January 29, 2018) was a Canadian television executive, most noted as a longtime senior executive of CHUM Limited.[1]

Born in Calgary, Alberta and raised in Lethbridge, he was the son of broadcast executives Israel Switzer and Phyllis Switzer.[1] He had his first job in broadcasting as a weekend switchboard operator for Citytv, and then worked as a cable installer for Maclean-Hunter, a director of television pilots and a research analyst for the Financial Post. He attained an MBA from the University of Western Ontario's Ivey Business School,[2] before rejoining Citytv as director of programming in 1983.[1] In that role, he also oversaw the launch and development of MuchMusic, the first of CHUM's forays into ownership and operation of cable channels.[2]

In March 2000, he was named senior vice-president and general manager of the company, before being promoted to president and chief executive officer in 2002.[3] He stepped down in 2007 after CHUM was acquired by CTVglobemedia.[4] He then joined the board of directors of OutTV,[5] and became one of the founding investors in Glassbox Television.[6] In 2011, he was one of the founding partners in the new pay TV film service Hollywood Suite,[7] and joined the board of directors of Shaftesbury Films.[8]

He was married to actress Ellen Dubin.[1]

He died in Toronto of brain cancer.[9]


He was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2004.[2]

He was named to the Order of Canada in December 2017.[10] In January 2018, just before his death, the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television named him as a recipient of its Board of Directors Tribute award, alongside Margaret Atwood, to honour his work in and commitments to the Canadian broadcasting industry.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d "Veteran Canadian TV Programmer Jay Switzer Dies at 61". The Hollywood Reporter, January 29, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Jay Switzer (1956-)". Canadian Communications Foundation, 2004.
  3. ^ "CHUM set to move in new direction?: New CEO Switzer faces numerous major challenges". National Post, December 2, 2002.
  4. ^ "CHUM CEO Switzer to step down". The Globe and Mail, June 22, 2007.
  5. ^ "THE BIZ: DEALS AND MOVES IN CANADIAN ARTS". The Globe and Mail, October 23, 2008.
  6. ^ "GlassBOX Television Inc. Announces $5 million Series A Financing". Canada NewsWire, June 9, 2008.
  7. ^ "Hollywood Suite to offer HD films on TV 'substantially cheaper' than Netflix: Hollywood Suite to offer HD movies on TV". Canadian Press, August 23, 2011.
  8. ^ "Shaftesbury Appoints Industry Veteran Jay Switzer to its Board of Directors". Canada NewsWire, August 29, 2011.
  9. ^ "Canadian Media Veteran Jay Switzer Dies at 61". Billboard. 2017-01-30. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  10. ^ "Jay Switzer named to Order of Canada". Playback, December 12, 2017.
  11. ^ "Canadian Screen Awards: Peter Mansbridge, Karyn Pugliese, Margaret Atwood to be honoured". CBC News, October 30, 2017.