Allan Slaight, 90, on Sept. 19. Born in Galt, ON, Slaight was the son of a newspaperman who moved the family to Moose Jaw, SK when he bought the Moose Jaw Times-Herald in 1945 and then local radio station, CHAB-AM. Slaight started his career at CHAB-AM in 1948 at age 17 as a reporter, going on to host late-night jazz program, Spins and Needles. Stops at CFRN, CJCA and CHED Edmonton followed before he headed east to Toronto in 1958 to join CHUM as program and promotions manager, guiding the station through its format transition to rock n’ roll and unseating rival station, CKEY. He went on to serve as program director and by 1965 was appointed Vice-President of Radio CHUM-1050 Ltd. The following year, Slaight stepped away from conventional broadcasting and uprooted to England to establish a sales agency for pirate radio station Radio Caroline, which broadcast 12 miles off the English coast in international waters in protest of the BBC’s broadcasting monopoly. By 1970, he had formed Slaight Broadcasting, raising $2.5 million to buy CFGM 1310 AM in Richmond Hill, ON. He went on to acquire a stake in CFOX Montreal, going on to merge the stations with IWC Communications. Later that year, he’d also acquire the debt-ridden Global Television Network. In 1976, Slaight applied for an FM licence for a sister station to Toronto’s CFGM-AM with Q107 going to air on June 1, 1977. From there, acquisitions like outdoor advertising business Urban Outdoors followed, and a 49% stake in Standard Broadcasting. After a court battle, he would go on to buy 84.8% of Standard’s shares for an estimated $110 million. The deal required Slaight to sell Q107 and CFGM, but brought CFRB, CKFM, CJAD-AM, CJFM-FM, Capital Radio in London, CJOH-TV, and CKTB and CJQR St. Catharines under his domain. In 2007, he authorized the sale of Standard Radio to Astral Media in a $1.08 billion deal. Among the many accolades Slaight received over the years was induction into the Broadcast Hall of Fame in 1997. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2001. In 2005, he received the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award for his contribution to the growth and development of the Canadian music industry. He was honoured with a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame last December. Read more here.
Robert Linney, 86, on Sept. 14. Following his graduation from Winnipeg’s St. John’ s High School, Linney went to work for CN Rail as an apprentice while also working on his radio certification, via correspondence, through the Radio College of Canada. He continued to work at the CNR, finally getting his first job in television in 1959 with Dow Television. After a short stint at Eaton’s TV repair, he landed a job with CBC Winnipeg as a TV Maintenance Technician in 1961. During his tenure there, he had the opportunity to travel as part of CBC’s Olympic and Commonwealth Games production crew to Columbia, Japan, Germany and New Zealand. Linney retired in 1992 as the Manager of Regional Engineering.
Murray Dobbin, 76, peacefully on Sept. 8 at his home in Powell River. Originally from Saskatoon, Dobbin had a 40-year journalism and broadcast career that included producing several programs for CBC Ideas, columns for The Winnipeg Free Press, Hill Times, and the Financial Post, and authoring five books, including “Preston Manning and the Reform Party,” “The Politics of Kim Campbell,” and “The Myth of the Good Corporate Citizen.” An “advocacy” journalist, Dobbin was a past board member with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Canadian for Tax Fairness, and an advisor to the Rideau Institute on International Affairs. More recently, he’d been a contributor to iPolitics, The Tyee, and a senior editor at Rabble.ca.