Jay Switzer dies at 61
Canadian television executive, most noted as the longtime president of CHUM Limited Jay Switzer died on Monday (Jan. 29) in Toronto, after a short battle against brain cancer. He was 61.
From 1988 to 1995, he served as manager and director of CITY-TV, MuchMusic and CHUM TV, then VP of programming at CHUM TV until 2000. That year, he was made senior vice president and general manager for all television and related services at CHUM’s Toronto operation, and by year’s end, president of CHUM Television.
In 2001, he was integral to the deal that brought CKVU Vancouver into the CHUM fold, and in November 2002 was promoted to president and CEO of CHUM Limited. When CHUM founder Allan Waters stepped down in 2002, Switzer became CEO.
However, one of his biggest projects was co-writing the license application that would bring MuchMusic to air, but also the fact he co-founded the independent multi-platform movie broadcaster Hollywood Suite.
“Jay defined friendship, loyalty, fairness, selflessness, and basic human decency,” Jeff Sackman, Hollywood Suite co-founder and chair of the board of directors, said in a statement.
Switzer received the Friend of Women in Film and Television (Toronto) Award (1994), the Queen’s Jubilee Medal (2002), and the Human Relations Award (2005) from the Canadian Centre for Diversity.
Moreover Switzer was an active board member for the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, the Banff Television Festival, the National Association of Television Program Executives, and the Toronto Film Board.