Ted Rogers, Grab a strap and hang on
It figures that Ted Rogers would own the Toronto
Blue Jays, Canada’s only major league baseball team. He’s been
hitting grand slam home runs since the early 60’s. It figures also
that his media empire would include “Canadian Business” magazine.
Ted is Canadian business personified,. Broadcasting and business are
in his genes. In 1925 his father Ted Sr. invented the worlds first
alternating current [AC] radio tube which enabled radio’s to be
powered by household current. In 1931 he was awarded an experimental
TV licenses. He died in 1936 at the young age of 36. Ted Jr. was
six. In 1961 Ted Jr. graduated from law school. In 1962 he acquired
CHFI-FM, Toronto. Back then FM radio was Canada’s best kept secret.
I know because I was a salesman at CHML, Hamilton when in 1964 we
launched CKDS-FM [now Y108] . It was easier to find teeth in a hen’s
mouth than it was to find people with FM receivers. Ted force fed FM
penetration by selling FM radios at prices far below his cost.
Similar to what Roy Thompson [later Lord Thompson of Fleet] did in
the early 30’s. Roy Thompson owned a newspaper and a retail store in
North Bay. He started up an unlicensed radio station to boost the
sale of radios from his store. It worked for Roy Thompson and it
worked for Ted Rogers.
I joined Ted in 1967 when he bought CHAM, Hamilton [you don’t go to
work for Ted Rogers, you join him, you buy into his ideas, you grab
a strap and hang on] After one year we parted company most amicably.
That’s when I experienced first hand what you always hear about Ted
Rogers ...“His word is his bond” believe me it is. Way back
in 1967 his budding empire consisted of four radio stations, several
pockets of Cable TV around Toronto plus a brain and body that was
bursting with creative ideas and boundless energy. Today his empire
is mind-boggling and still growing.
When I asked Ted recently if he felt there is still opportunity for
young people to achieve as he has? He replied “Dick, there are
always lots of opportunities if you persevere and aren’t afraid to
take chances. But the important thing is that you have to work very
hard and take risks”
Last month both Ted and his father received a much deserved honour
when it was announced they would both be inducted into the Canadian
Telecommunications Hall of Fame at a banquet in Toronto October
On a personal note. Two of my regrets in life are  I did not buy
Rogers shares earlier than I did  I did not buy more than I did.
Ted Rogers. He’s another “Canadian Achiever”
Read more about Ted Sr and Ted Jr at