Media and business executive Lisa de Wilde has been appointed Bell Media Professor in Media Management in the Arts, Media and Entertainment Management (AM&E) program at the Schulich School of Business at York University. The appointment by Interim Dean Detlev Zwick is effective July 1 and was announced by program co-directors Ken Rogers and Trina McQueen.
She succeeds McQueen, who in the role initiated the Bell Media Chair in 2004. McQueen will continue her service to AM&E as co-director of the program.
De Wilde’s Order of Canada citation calls her work in media “transformative.” She has been a pioneer in both television and digital media, most recently leading a fundamental reset of TV Ontario (TVO) as its CEO. The creator of TV Ontario, former premier William Davis, called her “a pivotal leader … who transformed TVO into a modern digital, online and on-demand leader in learning and current affairs, at a time of significant transition for the entire broadcast and educational sectors.” At TVO, de Wilde also set and achieved significant objectives for diversity, in programming and in staffing.
Earlier in her career, at Astral Television Networks, she played a central role in the development of Canada’s pay TV system with the introduction of movie channels and the launch of pay-per-view products.
As a current board member of TELUS Inc., she is part of critical decisions that are shaping Canadian access to the digital world.
“The world’s next great set of leaders in digital, media and creative industries are emerging from programs like the AM&E MBA at Schulich,” says de Wilde. “To have the opportunity to learn with, work with and grow with these outstanding future leaders is something I have looked forward to. Thank you to Schulich and to those who’ve come before us here to help establish such a world-class program.”
After graduating from McGill Law School, de Wilde joined the legal department of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission and after seven years left to join a major law firm, before moving to Astral.
She has been a strong advocate for Canadian cultural industries, and served for 19 years on the Board of the Toronto International Film Festival, including a three-year term as Chair of the Board. Her current board memberships include the Asia Pacific Foundations of Canada, Toronto global and École de danse comtemporaine de Montreal. She is regularly called on as an adviser to industry groups.
De Wilde was named to the Order of Canada in 2016, and has received two honorary LLDs from Ryerson University and Brandon University. Other honours include WXN “Most Powerful Women: Top 100” and the Queen Elizabeth 11 Diamond Jubilee Award.
“The appointment of Professor de Wilde brings a tremendous amount of talent to the table,” said Rogers. “Her breadth of knowledge combined with her extensive experience and creativity will inspire students, enrich our program, forge fresh relationships with the arts and media community, and help take the program in exciting new directions.”