People working in specialty TV at what is now Shaw Television have had a strange few years. When my colleagues voted to join the Guild in 2005 (I only started working there right out of college in 2008), the company was called Alliance Atlantis Communications, and its specialty TV and distribution business was an independent jewel in the Canadian media scene.
Soon after, in 2007, Alliance Atlantis’s specialty TV assets were sold to Canwest in a deal that involved a scary amount of credit from New York investment bank Goldman Sachs. There followed a couple of roller-coaster years, through the worst of the media recession, until Shaw Communications swooped in to buy Canwest’s television assets, which included Global TV and us.
And soon after this second change in ownership, our collective agreement came up for renewal. We didn’t know much about Shaw, which is based in Calgary. On the bright side, they didn’t seem headed for bankruptcy