General + Regulatory + Telecom + Media NewsOAB Awards recap: Paul Larche inducted into Hall of Fame, 'Bookie' remembered

OAB Awards recap: Paul Larche inducted into Hall of Fame, ‘Bookie’ remembered

The Ontario Association of Broadcasters (OAB) handed out its annual awards Thursday recognizing the radio staff behind Creative, Promotions, and Sales as well as those involved in creating great Community Service campaigns.

Paul Larche was also the 2019 inductee into the OAB Hall of Fame. In accepting his award, the now retired Larche Communications founder opened by expressing how much he misses the industry.

“What I miss in particular is the people and the passion. It’s so built into the DNA of broadcasters and when it’s in your DNA you obviously have it for life and I do miss it so much,” said Larche, who now runs the Barrie-based Larche digital branding agency with his daughter.

Larche acknowledged Mora Austin, former Larche Vice-President & General Manager prior to the company’s sale to Bell Media in 2018, and his family for their support. Larche, who started his career at CFTI-FM Timmins, thanked his parents for their unwavering support of his passion for radio, even though a job in the local mine would have paid him much more.

Jamie Johnston

Jamie Johnston of Bayshore Broadcasting was named the inaugural winner of the OAB’s new Inspiring Women Award. Presented to a woman who will receive leadership training and mentorship opportunities paid for and coordinated by OAB, the association’s Past President Mora Austin said presenting the award was long overdue.

“As an industry, we still have much work to do when it comes to gender parity in leadership roles,” said Austin. “Across Ontario, females are well represented as a whole in radio. The issue is at the top level. We need to move the dial.”

Community Service Awards

Phil Main

This year’s Community Service Award winners were Classic Rock 94.5 (CIBU-FM) Wingham, which claimed the Small Market honour for its “Run Phil Run” effort that saw host Phil Main run, walk and crawl 120 kilometres over five days across Midwestern Ontario to raise awareness for mental health.

The Large Market award went to Indie88 (CIND-FM) Toronto for its “A Day to Make Music Count” initiative, supporting MusiCounts, in memory of late colleague Dave “Bookie” Bookman.

Carlin and Josie Dye from the Indie88 morning show

Morning show host Josie Dye called Bookman, who passed away in May, “an incredible broadcaster and an incredible human being.”

“He was also extremely political…he would be so upset about the state of our music industry, specifically with children and the school system,” said Dye. “We’re at the point where 14-year-olds aren’t learning music anymore because of the cuts to music programs, so I’m really excited to say that Indie is going to give $90,000 this year to Ontario schools. We’re going to go in there, we’re going to give them instruments and we’re going to teach them about Bookie. So, it’s going to be all in the name of Bookie, which is beautiful and we’re going to hope that continues on.”

Station Promotion Awards

Station Promotion Awards, which recognize the stations that do the best job promoting themselves were won by Country 93 (CKYC-FM) Owen Sound for the “Amazing Adventures of Rick & Julia,” which saw the station’s new morning show promoted via a viral social media campaign that saw a dozen cardboard cutouts of the on-air duo travel to different events with the help of listener ambassadors.

Derek Welsman

boom 97.3 (CHBM-FM) Toronto won the Large Market award for its “Apollo 11 – To the boom & Back” station takeover that aired across the Stingray Classic Hits network to mark the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Imaging producer Derek Welsman accepted the award.

Best in Class Sales Awards

This year’s Best in Class Sales award winners, which recognize individual sales people who show the ability to recognize and speak to the needs, wants and wishes of a new client with a successful radio campaign, included Jordan Hennessey of Indie88 (CIND-FM) for client Georgian Bay Spirit Co.

Cassandra Bonn of Quinte Broadcasting stations Mix 97 (CIGL-FM), CJBQ and Rock 107 (CJTN-FM) Belleville, won for campaign “Need A Car Don’t Care.”

Creative Award Winners

Creative Award winners, presented to the writer/producer who creates the best 30 or 60 radio ad, went to Evanov Radio team Brian Viggiani (producer), John Shannon (copywriter), Richard Correll (voiceover) for their Large Market campaign “Game of Cones.”

Blackburn Radio’s Patt Staples (writer) and producers Scott Chidwick and Brent Wilkinson claimed the Small Market award for “BEE-thoven’s 5th.”

The OAB also recognized a handful of dedicated broadcasters with the Ontario Broadcast Order of Achievement. Among them was Broadcast Dialogue founder and original Broadcast News (BN) anchor Howard Christensen, who is marking his 50th year in broadcasting.

(l-r) Claire Anderson (10 years); Narine Dat Sookram (15); Grant Goegan (25); Howard Christensen (50); Sheila Walsh (30); Steve Kelly (25).

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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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