Rudy Buttignol is the President and CEO of British Columbia’s Knowledge Network. Since his appointment in 2007, he has transformed the public broadcaster into a popular, commercial-free television and digital streaming service. The re-branding and expansion of the province’s network has led to the tripling of donor revenues to over $6 million annually. The Knowledge Endowment Fund, launched in 2008 with an initial gift of $250,000, is now valued at over $12 million. In 2010, Buttignol led the acquisition of BBC Kids, a national subscription channel, and served as its President. This co-venture between Knowledge and BBC Studios (New York), generated $20 million in revenues over eight years to fund Knowledge’s launch of High Definition and the development of its eleven streaming apps and websites.
Buttignol is widely acknowledged for his expertise and contributions to board governance, public policy advocacy and strategic planning for public organizations and institutions. He is the Chair of the Canadian Association of Public Educational Media. CAPEM represents the common interests of Tele-Quebec, TFO Group Media, TVO and Knowledge Network to the federal government. Since 2000, Buttignol has continued to serve as a tutor and moderator at the Berlin/Munich-based Documentary Campus Master School. He was the founding Chair of the Documentary Organization of Canada; and served as the Chair of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.
At TVOntario, from 1993 to 2006, Buttignol advanced from Commissioning Editor, to Creative Head of Independent Production, and finally to Creative Head of Network Programming. He launched TVO’s 24-7 service and re-branded and re-positioned Ontario’s public educational broadcaster. This significantly increased audience market share and donor revenue to record levels, including TVO’s first and only Million Dollar on-air pledge campaign. His internationally heralded commissions include Canadian Academy Award-winning The Corporation; Manufactured Landscapes: Dying at Grace; and Emmy/Grammy-winning Yo-Yo Ma: Inspired by Bach.
In 1975, straight out of university, Buttignol launched his first company, Cinema Productions Ltd, to independently produce and direct documentaries, children’s series and commercial programs. In 1980, he launched Rudy Inc, based in Toronto and Houston, to document the American and Soviet space programs for U.S. and Canadian networks. In 1993, he was recruited by TVO to launch the independent documentary commissioning model to the broadcaster and Canada.
Buttignol was born in Pordenone, Italy and emigrated to Canada in 1955. He is a graduate of the Faculty of Fine Arts at Toronto’s York University, and has completed Executive programs at Stanford Graduate School of Business and Harvard Business School. He is the winner of multiple honors including nine Canadian Academy Awards. He was conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Thompson Rivers University and, in 2015, was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada.
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"Daphne Bramham: CBC could learn a thing or two from Knowledge Network" Vancouver Sun Article