At the end of March, Ellen J. Baine, a legendary former programming executive for Canada’s CHUM, is retiring as vp of Programming for the Toronto-based Hollywood Suites, a company she joined in 2010.
During her 17-year tenure at CHUM — which ended in 2007 — Baine’s official title was actually “Princess of Programming.” She began her television career in the Traffic department of CHUM’s Citytv.
To replace Baine (pictured above), Hollywood Suites has tapped Sharon Stevens, who joined the company in 2017, as the firm’s new senior director of Programming.
Baine’s reason for retiring? Here’s her take: “I’ve decided to retire…. Yep, RETIRE! I think it is time to start enjoying life just a little bit more while I still can and now that I can qualify for the senior’s rate at the movies… well…it seems appropriate!”
VideoAge will miss Baine, especially at the L.A. Screenings, one of her favorite events.
When she heard of Baine’s retirement, Canada’s Isme Bennie, a former Programming acquisition executive, said: “Ellen was my guide and mentor when I first started going to the May [now L.A.] Screenings. Our week in L.A. got its start with Bloody Caesars on Air Canada. First stop in L.A. was Walgreens for mineral water (so much cheaper than at the Beverly Hills Hotel mini bar). Then to Baja Burrito for take-out (so much cheaper than the Polo Lounge).”
She continued: “Ellen was a foodie-cum-master event planner, shuffling our L.A. dinner invitations so we’d get foie gras for sure. And we slipped out to Target (so much cheaper than Rodeo Drive).”
Finally, she said: “At the actual Screenings we kept tabs on the man we had decided was the most attractive man there. We looked for him every year and think he might still go. (Does he? That’s a task for an Ellen replacement to look into this coming May). And who was Queen of Celebrity Sightings? Ellen Baine!! She brought fun and friendship not just to L.A., but to her endeavors through the years.”