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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 16th.

On a personal note. Two of my regrets in life are [1] I did not buy Rogers shares earlier than I did [2] I did not buy more than I did.

Ted Rogers. He’s another “Canadian Achiever”

Read more about Ted Sr and Ted Jr at

Next month in the Broadcasters read about Alan Slaight, A Canadian Achiever with nine lives.

"Learn more about Ted Rogers"


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