Friday, September 29, 2023

Patrick Grierson, founding president of Canadian Broadcast Sales, has died

Patrick Grierson, founder and president of Canadian Broadcast Sales (CBS), has passed away. Grierson, who was in his 70s, died late last week after battling an undisclosed illness.

With a broadcast career spanning more than 40 years, the radio advertising pioneer retired in 2017 as leader of the largest national radio sales organization in Canada.

Patrick Grierson at his 2017 Western Association of Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame induction with former WAB President Robin Hildebrand

He started his career with Standard Broadcasting in the 1970s and was eventually appointed president of the Standard Broadcast Sales Radio division, following the Slaight family’s acquisition of the company in 1985. In 1987, Grierson founded United Broadcast Sales (UBS), which saw Standard Broadcast Sales merge with Western Broadcast Sales (WIC). He served as President and CEO of UBS until 1993, when he brought together UBS and All Canada to create one dominant Canadian radio sales company.

Now jointly owned by Rogers and Corus Entertainment, CBS has offices in every major advertising agency centre, and is responsible for almost 60% of all national radio sales in Canada – representing 43 broadcasters and more than 400 radio stations (including repeaters) in 221 Canadian markets. The company launched digital ad server, Audio Velocity, in 2021.

“Pat was the original architect of CBS. And as we evolve to embrace the new opportunities in the audio arena, Pat’s DNA is deeply integrated into all we are, and all we do,” wrote Gerry MacKrell, who succeeded Grierson as President of CBS, in a statement provided to Broadcast Dialogue. “Beyond Pat’s obvious charm and sense of fun, lay a deep commitment to the radio industry and its people. For that, we are very grateful.”

Grierson was honoured by the Ontario Association of Broadcasters (OAB) with its 2015 Ontario Hall of Fame Award. He was inducted into the Western Association of Broadcasters (WAB) Hall of Fame in 2017.

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Connie Thiessen
Connie Thiessen
Connie has worked coast-to-coast as a reporter, editor, anchor and host at CKNW and News 1130 in Vancouver, News 95.7 and CBC in Halifax, and CFCW Edmonton, among other stations. With a passion for music, film and community service, she led News 95.7 to a 2013 Atlantic Journalism Award and regional RTDNA award for Best Radio Newscast. More recently, she was nominated for Music Journalist of the Year at Canadian Music Week 2019. To report a typo or error please email -

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