PHOTO GALLERY: Barb Williams and Ross Kentner among honourees at OAB 2018 Awards

Barbara Williams, who retired last month as EVP and COO of Corus Entertainment, receiving her Ontario Hall of Fame award at the OAB 2018 Awards Luncheon on Nov. 8.

The Ontario Association of Broadcasters (OAB) handed out its annual awards Nov. 8 at the OAB Connection ’18 Conference in Toronto.

Among this year’s honourees were 2018 Ontario Hall of Fame Award winners Ross Kentner and Barbara Williams, recognized for outstanding leadership and dedication to broadcasting.

Kentner recently retired after 56 years with Bayshore Broadcasting. He began his career as an operator and quickly moved into the newsroom, eventually becoming news director and later general manager in 1985.

Barb Williams retired as executive vice-president and COO of Corus Entertainment on Oct. 31. She previously served as president of Shaw Media and has also held roles including executive VP, Content at Canwest; vice-president and GM of Toronto 1; and senior VP of Lifestyle Programming at Alliance Atlantis.

Williams, who has been a trailblazer in Canadian television overseeing Global TV and 19 speciality channels, took the opportunity to address the executive level gender imbalance that remains pervasive in many industry boardrooms, mentioning some of the female executives that came before like Phyllis Yaffe, former CEO of Alliance Atlantis, and Jan Platt, VP of the Life Network.

“They inspired me. They proved it could be done and I’ve tried to do the same for the many talented women who I know are ready to take their place at the head of companies, in the director’s chair, at the head of boardrooms,” Williams said during her acceptance speech. “How dare we think as an industry that we could be the best that we can be if amongst our key decision makers we are missing half the population.”

Other winners included Indie 88 (CIND-FM) Toronto, recognized with the Community Service Award for The Josie Dye Show’s Socks for the Streets campaign, which raised enough funds to distribute 150,000 pairs of socks to the city’s homeless last year.

Dye, who was on hand to accept the award with co-host Carlin, said the collaborative effort with charity Socks 4 Souls Canada, was borne of the morning show team’s drive to want to help the city’s burgeoning street population through last year’s cold winter that saw temps regularly dip to minus 25.

“After talking to a lot of ER doctors in the hospitals, we realized what we could do is this sock drive…not only help them with socks which is very important when you’re living out on the street and there are no shower facilities, but it’s also a way to raise awareness of how terrible the housing crisis is in Toronto,” Dye told Broadcast Dialogue.

The Mix Zoo segment on Bayshore Broadcasting’s mix 106.5 (CIXK-FM) Owen Sound was also recognized. The segment promotes animal adoption by giving weekly airtime to the Owen Sound Animal Shelter featuring a pet in need of a home.

The full list of winners follows:

Pro Radio Creative Contest:

Jacob DaRosa, Blackburn Radio

David Cockram & Bryanny Bailey, Larche/Bell

Nigel Kingsmore & Korey Bray, Rogers 

Best in Class Sales Award Winners:

(recognizing a individual salesperson who shows their ability to recognize and speak to the needs of a new client with a successful radio campaign)

Cheryl Foster, boom 97.3 (CHBM-FM) Toronto (Stingray)

Lisa Atkinson, CHOK-AM, The Fox 99.9 FM (CFGX-FM), K106.3 (CHKS-FM), Sarnia (Blackburn Radio)

Community Service Award Winners:

The Josie Dye Show’s Socks for the Streets, Indie 88 (CIND-FM) Toronto (Central Ontario Broadcasting)

The Mix Zoo, mix 106.5, (CIXK-FM) Owen Sound (Bayshore Broadcasting) 

Creative Award Winners:

(presented to the writer/producer who creates the best 30 or 60 second radio ad that inspires action, evokes emotion and produces results)

Laurie Lucas (writer) & Taylor Dixon (producer) – Classic Rock 98.1 FM (CKLO-FM) London (Blackburn)

Jordan Puzzella (writer) & Nicole Hemeon (producer) – 106.3 Moose FM (CFXN-FM) North Bay (Vista)

Station Promotion Award Winners:

(awarded to the station that best promotes itself, judged on originality, station benefit, goals achieved and community impact)

93.5 The Move (CFXJ-FM) Toronto (Stingray): The Made in Toronto Takeover

mix 106.5 (CIXK-FM) Owen Sound (Bayshore Broadcasting): Mix BIG Ticket