Bill Evanov, 77, on Feb. 28. The son of Bulgarian immigrants, the Evanov Radio Group and Dufferin Communications President and CEO started his radio career in 1967 when CHIN-FM Toronto owner Johnny Lombardi gave him a shot at a sales position. He moved quickly through the ranks of the multicultural station to become VP of sales within 18 months and went on to spend 13 years with the company. In 1980, he left for CING-FM Burlington as station manager. Facing financial difficulties, Evanov and CHIN colleague John Dukelow convinced ownership that they could turn the station’s fortunes around, in exchange for a 35% stake. While still managing CHIN, Evanov was among a group of people who purchased a partial ownership in CKMW-AM, on the basis that it would adopt a multi-language, ethnic licence, similar to CHIN. CKMW became CIAO, the first in what would grow to 19 stations under his purview. Evanov’s legacy includes the launch of several risk-taking formats. PROUD FM (CIRR-FM) Toronto went to air in 2007 as the world’s first LGBTQ radio station. Evanov was also behind the Rhythmic CHR sound of Z103.5 (CIDC-FM), the company’s flagship station, in addition to The Jewel Adult Contemporary format which is now heard on eight stations across the country. Evanov was presented with the Allan Waters Broadcast Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 at Canadian Music Week. Read more here. Former ERG consultant and CHUM Radio VP Duff Roman has also penned a tribute to Evanov, you can find here.
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