Rogers Sports & Media president Jordan Banks leaving the company

Colette Watson, who previously worked with Rogers Sports & Media for 30 years, is replacing Banks as president.

By Victoria Ahearn

Rogers Sports & Media president Jordan Banks is leaving the organization as the media giant awaits word on its proposed $26 billion Shaw Communications acquisition and after turbulence within its board.

In an internal memo that was issued to staff and obtained by MiC sister site Playback Daily on Friday (Jan. 14), the company says Colette Watson (pictured above, right) will be assuming the role of president of Rogers Sports & Media effective today.

Playback reached out to a representative for Rogers Sports & Media who said they “have no comment on executive changes.”

The change marks a return for Watson, who left Rogers Sports & Media in June 2020 after working with the company for 30 years, including a six-year role as SVP of television and broadcast operations. She’s currently president of the Cable Public Affairs Channel (CPAC).

“Her industry expertise, extensive knowledge of our business and proven ability to navigate evolving industry changes are critical as we focus on a return to growth across across all of Rogers Sports & Media,” says the memo.

Banks (pictured, left), a former Facebook and eBay exec, replaced retiring president Rick Brace in September 2019 and oversaw the company’s TV and radio brands, as well as the Toronto Blue Jays and TSC.

The company memo didn’t explain a reason for the leadership change, only noting Banks is leaving the organization after 2.5 years and thanking him “for his leadership and contributions to the RSM team.”

Earlier this week Tony Staffieri, who had been serving as interim CEO of Rogers Communications since Nov. 16, was officially named the media giant’s president and CEO. Staffieri, a former CFO, assumed the new roles after Joe Natale stepped down at the Toronto-based telecom.

The shakeup comes after the company’s board of directors battle in which chairman Edward Rogers replaced five members of the board following a failed attempt to remove Natale as president and CEO.

Edward Rogers filed to the the British Columbia Supreme Court after the company initially refused to acknowledge his attempt to name the new board directors in the fall. The court ruled in his favour on Nov. 5 and the company opted not to appeal the decision.

Rogers’ proposed Shaw takeover went before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission in November and is now awaiting regulatory approval.

A version of this story previously appeared on Playback.