Jim Shaw leaving Shaw Communications' top spot early

It's official. Cable TV is grown up and buttoned down. The Toronto Globe and Mail reports that Jim Shaw's exit as CEO of Shaw Communications (NYSE: SJR) might have been pushed forward a bit by some "unusual behavior" he exhibited at an investors' lunch sponsored by CIBC World Markets.

"Mr. Shaw appeared to be inebriated and responded to investors' questions with overly harsh criticism," said the newspaper, quoting eyewitnesses. "Mr. Shaw has long been known for his brash and colorful remarks on analyst calls and in interviews, but his behavior on Friday went well beyond his regular comportment," the story continued. A CIBC event organizer, in an e-mail to clients, also called Shaw's behavior "extremely unprofessional" and added "it is fair to say the transition from Jim Shaw to Brad Shaw is coming at the right time."

Shaw had been expected to hand over the job to his brother Brad on Jan. 13. official word from the MSO--which would not return the newspaper's calls--is that the move has more to do with how the company will integrate its newly acquired Canwest Global Communications assets.

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