Sports

CBC Sports exec Greg Stremlaw departing to run pro sports team

Greg Stremlaw is leaving his post as CBC Sports executive director to become CEO and president of an unnamed professional sports franchise.

Played key role in network winning rights to 2022, ’24 Olympics, Hockey Night deal with Rogers

Greg Stremlaw played a key role in the successful negotiations for the rights to the 2022 and 2024 Olympic Games during his three-plus years with CBC Sports. (CBC Sports)

Greg Stremlaw is leaving his post as CBC Sports executive director to become CEO and president of an unnamed professional sports franchise.

Stremlaw, who joined CBC Sports in September 2015, played a key role in the successful negotiations for the rights to the 2022 and 2024 Olympic Games.

"It has been a wonderful opportunity to be part of the CBC Sports legacy," Stremlaw said Tuesday. "For the last four years I have had the privilege of leading CBC Sports and solidifying our new sport and Olympic strategies, including the acquisition of long-term rights.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed entrenching CBC/Radio-Canada as both Canada's Olympic and Paralympic Network, but also managing CBC's Hockey Night in Canada operations to ensure NHL hockey continue on this network until at least 2026. I am so grateful to the CBC team for their collaboration and passion they bring with them every day. Their support has been incredibly valuable to my role."

The former Curling Canada CEO also oversaw the launch of Road to the Olympic Games — the weekly television show spotlighting Canada's top athletes — which helped to strengthen the network's position as the official home of high performance sport.

'Consummate professional'

"I have come to know Greg through the shared approach CBC and Radio-Canada have for our Olympic Games coverage," Michel Bissonette, CBC English Services interim executive vice-president, said Tuesday in a memo to staff.

"He is the consummate professional, a great colleague and has done so much for the organization since joining the CBC as the head of CBC Sports, most notably developing a new sports and Olympic strategy," placing emphasis on multi-platform sports journalism, amateur sports and a collaborative partnership approach to marquee events.

In three-plus years at the CBC, Stremlaw served as general manager, Olympics and chef de mission for CBC and Radio-Canada at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio and two years later at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The lead for CBC in all Hockey Night in Canada operations, he was also instrumental in forging an excellent working relationship with Rogers Media that led to a seven-year agreement between the CBC and Rogers.

"As a champion for athletes with a disability," said Bissonette, "Greg has helped to solidify CBC as Canada's Paralympic Network and over the last couple of years he took great pride in developing a strategic plan for CBC's Women in Sport initiative."

Bissonette added an interim CBC Sports executive director would be appointed "in the coming days."