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Al MacKay

Vice-president, Operations
Canadian Policy Research Networks
Les réseaux canadiens de recherche en politiques publiques

Al MacKay is Vice-president, Operations of Canadian Policy Research Networks. Prior to joining CPRN in September 2001, he ran his own consulting firm, specializing in broadcasting, policy issues and communications.Mr. MacKay is a thirty-two year veteran of the Canadian broadcast industry. From 1985 to 1995 he was vice president and station manager of CJOH TV in Ottawa, the CTV affiliate station in the country's 4th largest market. Prior to that he was a broadcast news reporter, a television news producer at both the local and national network level, and a managing editor. He has taught broadcast journalism at both the university and community college levels. Mr. MacKay left CJOH in 1995 to establish his consulting business.

He has been active in industry affairs, serving on the Boards of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, the Ontario Association of Broadcasters, and the Radio-television News Directors Association. In 1995, he was selected Broadcaster of the Year, by the Ontario Association of Broadcasters.In his consulting capacity, Mr. MacKay has worked with all elements of the communications/broadcasting industry: radio, television, cable, specialty services, telcos, program producers and the federal broadcast regulator. He has provided strategic direction on a wide range of services such as developing regulatory and legislative submissions, lobby campaigns, communications/marketing plans and materials, speech writing, media relations, broadcast content evaluation and strategic planning. He recently concluded an extended management contract with CPAC, the Canadian Cable Public Affairs Channel.

Mr. MacKay has specialized in social policy files, and has been closely involved in the important issue of violence on television for more than a dozen years from a number of different perspectives. He helped write the CAB Violence Code which has become the industry standard in setting the rules for the depiction of violence on television, focusing on the protection of young children.Al MacKay has represented the Canadian broadcast industry on this issue at major conferences, international symposia and presentations to the CRTC, as well as Parliamentary Committees. As a senior consultant to the pan-industry Action Group on Violence on Television (AGVOT), Mr. MacKay played a major role in the development of the Canadian television program classification system, and the on-air ratings icons that were introduced by the industry in the fall of 1997.

Mr. MacKay is now Chair of AGVOT, and directed the rollout early in 2001 of program encoding by Canadian programming services, which will work with the V-chip technology now being built into television sets.Mr. MacKay was a member of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council the industry’s self-regulatory mechanism enforcing broadcasting codes from 1992 to 2000. He chaired the Ontario Regional Council from 1995-2000, and served as vice-chair of the National Council.

Mr. MacKay is the current Chairman of the Board of the Media Awareness Network, an Internet-based media literacy organization. He is also a member of the Advisory Council of ICRA, the Internet Content Rating Association based in the UK, an organization working to make the Internet a safer place for children while preserving freedom of speech. Al MacKay is a Board member of the Vanier Institute of the Family, and also serves on the Board of the Children’s Wish Foundation (National Capital Chapter).Mr. MacKay, a graduate of McMaster University in Hamilton, lives in Ottawa with his wife Ann, and children Leslie-Ann and Fraser.

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