Entertainment

Tony Burman to step down as CBC's chief journalist

Tony Burman, editor in chief of CBC's English-language news, current affairs and Newsworld divisions, announced Monday that he is leaving after nearly 35 years with the public broadcaster.

Tony Burman, editor in chief of CBC's English-language news, current affairs and Newsworld divisions, announced Tuesday that he is leaving after nearly 35 years with the public broadcaster.

Tony Burman stands with Governor General Michaëlle Jean at the Michener Awards in June 2007. ((Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press))
In a note to staff, Burman announced that he will be leaving July 13.

"As CBC's editor in chief, I have done this job longer than I had planned, longer than anyone else at the CBC in decades and as long as any single individual should. It's time for a change … and I really look forward to directing my energy, my enthusiasm and my ideas to new projects," Burman said in his note.

Burman was named the broadcaster's top journalist — editor in chief of CBC's English services — in March 2002, about two years after he began heading up all of CBC-TV's news and current affairs programming.

Over the past three decades, Burman has held posts in both CBC-TV and CBC Radio, including stints as executive producer of flagship TV news show The National, senior documentary producer for CBC-TV's The Journal and executive producer of Cross Country Checkup. As a news and documentary producer, he covered a variety of major stories across 30 countries, including the release of Nelson Mandela in South Africa, the Ethiopian famine in 1985 and the Lebanese Civil War.

In a statement, CBC Radio vice-president Jane Chalmers praised Burman as "a brilliant journalist, a dedicated advocate of public broadcasting and a true leader."

"Much of what CBC News, particularly CBC Newsworld and television news, is today is the result of his vision and leadership. CBC News and the corporation as a whole owe him an enormous debt of gratitude," she added.

A search for Burman's replacement will begin immediately, while his current deputy, Esther Enkin, will serve as acting editor in chief.

"Tony leaves big shoes to fill," said CBC-TV executive vice-president Richard Stursberg.

"We will be pushing forward with our overall news renewal that will reinforce CBC News as a leader in Canadian journalism."