The Ontario Association of Broadcasters (OAB) has presented its annual OAB Hall of Fame honour to Durham Radio President Doug Kirk.
Kirk founded Durham Radio in 1994 with the acquisition of CHOO 1390 AM Ajax, ON, going on to grow the company to seven stations over the last three decades, including KX96 (CJKX-FM) Ajax, 94.9 The Rock (CKGE-FM) and CKDO Oshawa, KX 94.7 (CHKX-FM) Hamilton/Burlington, 92.9 The Grand (CHTG-FM) Haldimand County, and WAVE 98.3 (CIWV-FM) Vancouver.
A past president of OAB from 2008-16, Kirk reflected on his love for the medium during his acceptance speech, taking the opportunity to advocate for independent broadcasters, acknowledging the challenges ahead.
“We have a broken regulatory framework here,” Kirk told the audience, noting the CRTC’s absence at this year’s conference. “I think the regulatory system is in the bubble…and they do not know what is going on in this business and they have to understand commercial radio. It is a business and there are ways commercial businesses have to operate and you have to make a return.”
Kirk also called out broadcasters in the midst of ongoing consolidation, calling widespread job losses “absolutely corrosive to our industry.”
“It’s tearing the heart out of radio and we, as independent broadcasters, have to maintain and execute a different strategy for broadcasting to survive and flourish. This is our time to articulate the needs of our industry and focus on ways to get policy change in place. We have to do this to effect the positive runway that we have in front of us,” he continued.
OAB also handed out awards recognizing station promotion, community service and creative at Wednesday’s awards luncheon.
Community Service Award winners:
Small Market: Kev’s Kids Radio Marathon, CFCH Country 90.5 North Bay
Large Market: Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation Radiothon, Lite 88.5 Newmarket/GTA
Promotion Award winners:
Small Market: Ticket to Tall Pines Battle of the Bands, 89.1 MAX FM Orillia
Large Market: Scott & Kat’s Chicken, 91.5 The Beat Kitchener
Creative Award winners:
Small Market: Belleville Cemetery – Enjoy the View, Mitchell Evans, Quinte Broadcasting
Large Market: Tiesto at Igloofest in Montreal, Sean Galbraith, Sheila Koenig, Steve Stone, Rachel McGrath, Z103.5 Orangeville/GTA
The conference also named its first-ever Radio Sales Star awarded to Evanov Communications Senior Account Manager Nikki Robertson.
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