Broadcast industry giant Allan Slaight will be honoured with a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame during an ETALK special set to air Friday night on CTV.
The founder of Slaight Communications and former President and CEO of Standard Broadcasting is being recognized for his contributions in business and philanthropy. His induction coincides with the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Allan Slaight Music Impact Honour, annually presented to a rising Canadian music talent.
Hosted by ETALK co-anchor Tyrone Edwards, Celebrating Greatness: A Canada’s Walk of Fame Special will air at 8 p.m. ET and tell the story of past Allan Slaight Music Impact recipients, including Shawn Mendes, Melanie Fiona, Brett Kissel, Drake, The Weeknd, and Alessia Cara. The special will also include highlights from the past 20 years of Canada’s Walk of Fame and pay tribute to inductees who passed this year, including Alex Trebek.
Slaight, 89, got his start in radio hosting his own late night jazz program, Spins and Needles, at age 16 on CHAB Moose Jaw, SK. He moved to Edmonton in 1950, working in news at CFRN and CJCA, before joining 630 CHED and ascending to the position of National Sales Manager in 1956. He eventually caught the eye of CHUM Radio owner Allan Waters and was hired to turn around the station’s fortunes. He was so successful, CHUM unseated CKEY as Toronto’s number one station. Slaight left CHUM in 1966 to coordinate programming and sales for infamous UK pirate radio station, Radio Caroline, returning to Canada in 1967, to become President and General Manager of radio and TV ad buying firm, Stephens and Towndrow.
In 1970, he established Slaight Communications and acquired CFGM Toronto and CFOX Montreal. He went on to launch Q107 (CILQ-FM) Toronto in 1977. By 1985, he’d purchased Standard Broadcasting from Conrad Black, growing Standard Radio from seven stations to a national network of over 50. Standard was sold to Astral Media in 2007. Slaight has also held interests in Global Television and IWC Communications (originally Industrial Wire and Cable), among other ventures.
Slaight was inducted into the Broadcast Hall of Fame in 1997, received an Honorary Doctor of Commerce from Ryerson Polytechnic University in 2000, and was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2001. In 2005, he received the the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award for his contribution to the growth and development of the Canadian music industry.
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