98.1 The Bridge (CKBD-FM) Lethbridge, AB has flipped from Alternative Rock to Modern AC. Clear Sky Radio is responding to a finding that the Millennial generation cares more about the song than any particular genre. The Bridge will continue to serve the A18-34 narrow target, but also a broader A18-49 audience.
Newcap’s XL 96.9 (CJKL-FM) Moncton, NB transitioned to New Country 96-9 on Feb. 1. The move is part of a national brand alignment for all the company’s country stations outside of Alberta under the New Country brand. The moniker has already been rolled out at New Country 100.7 (CIGV-FM) Kelowna/Penticton, BC and New Country 92.3 (CFRK-FM) in Fredericton, NB. There are no staff changes in Moncton. Country Nights with Casey Clark and Roo Phelps, which originates in the Okanagan and airs on a dozen Newcap New Country stations, remains in the 7-midnight slot.
Canadian Music Week and Friends of Steve Young will once again salute Steve with the Allan Waters Young Broadcaster of the Year Award in Honour of Steve Young. This is the 9th annual award, which recognizes a broadcaster under the age of 30, working in on-air, programming, promotion, production or creative. The deadline has been extended to Feb. 6 and the nomination form is right here.
The Western Association of Broadcasters is calling for nominations for its 2017 Gold Medal Awards. Deadline is Apr. 7. Awards will be handed out at WAB’s President’s Dinner & Gold Medal Awards Gala on June 8 at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.
To mark the 45th anniversary of the Radio Humber Broadcasting Program at Toronto’s Humber College of Applied Arts and Technology, three alumni will be inducted into the Radio Humber Hall of Fame on March 24. Nominations are now being accepted. The Radio Broadcasting Diploma Program was founded in 1972 by legendary CHUM broadcaster Phil Stone and has educated and trained over 3,000 students. Current members of the Radio Humber Hall of Fame include broadcasters George Stroumboulopoulos, Roz Weston and Sid Seixeiro; retired Rogers Radio VP of news John Hinnen and iHeart Radio Canada’s Rob Farina.
The Alberta Innovates Media Fellowship Program is offering students with biomedical science backgrounds from a degree-granting institution in Alberta, the opportunity to spend 12 weeks working with CBC Radio. Media Fellows will work as reporters, researchers and/or production assistants with CBC Radio in either Calgary or Edmonton. The application deadline is March 10. Info can be found here.
Professor Anthony King, 82, Jan. 12. A Canadian who went to Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship and stayed, King was a leading authority on the British vote and the Westminster political system for four decades. For every UK General Election from 1983 to 2005, King served as BBC television’s analyst on their election night programming. Professor of Government at the University of Essex, he also interpreted opinion polls for the Telegraph newspapers. King started presenting Channel 4’s A Week In Politics in 1983, and shortly thereafter began his association with the Telegraph papers. From 1989 on, he became the interpreter of polling trends. He also wrote many books on politics and was co-editor of the Britain at the Polls series of essays. In 2010, he was elected as a Fellow of the British Academy. King was also a member of the Academia Europaea, a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an honorary life Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Joy Coghill Thorne, 90, Jan. 20 at the palliative care unit at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver after suffering massive heart failure. A veteran of the Canadian stage and screen, Joy is known for her ongoing role as Portia Da Vinci in CBC drama series DaVinci’s Inquest and her portrayal of Margaret “Ma” Murray, BC’s first female newspaper publisher, in the 1983 CBC drama Ma! She appeared in numerous CBC television productions and radio plays beginning with the live production of Never Say No, starring alongside William Shatner. Born in Findlater, Saskatchewan, the family moved to Scotland where a milder climate would be kinder to her ailing father. After he died, Joy and her mother returned to Canada, settling in Vancouver where Joy attended Kitsilano High School. She starred in her first stage play in 1941 and by 1953 created Holiday Theatre, billed as Canada’s first professional children’s theatre. Coghill Thorne was the first woman to hold the position of artistic director at the Vancouver Playhouse from 1967 to ‘69. She began to pursue acting full-time in the early 1970s. She was awarded the Order of Canada in 1991, the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, a lifetime achievement award by UBCP/ACTRA in 2016, Jessie awards for best actress and significant artistic achievement and the Herbert Whittaker Critics’ Association Award for Outstanding Contribution to Canadian Theatre. Upon retirement, Joy worked with director Jane Heyman to co-found Performing Arts Lodge (PAL) Vancouver, a building to house and support aging people in the performing arts, many of whom were surviving on less than half the income of the average Canadian senior. It opened its 111 rental units in May 2006.
Len Cochrane, 71, Jan. 24, from respiratory failure. Cochrane retired as president of Teletoon Canada in January 2014, the cable kids channel he launched in 1997 under the Astral Media umbrella. He served as the President and COO of Family Channel Inc. from November 1990 to September 2001. His career in the industry began in 1983 when he joined Canadian Satellite Communications Inc. as their Western Regional Manager. He then served as a Cable Market Services Division’s vice-president and GM in Toronto and as a director of Cabletel Communications Corp. and Concerned Children’s Advertisers (CCA). Cochrane was also a founding director of the Cable Production Fund (CPF), the Canada Television and Cable Production Fund and the Specialty and Premium Television Association (SPTV).
Arnie Celsie, 66, Jan. 28 after a short battle with cancer. Celsie started in radio in the late 1960s and was the original morning host and program director at CISL-AM 650 Vancouver in the 1980s before becoming a senior consultant at Bohn & Associates and SparkNet Communications. He also consulted with Rawlco Radio and its Saskatchewan stations. In addition to being one of the co-developers of the JACK and Playing What We Want brand, Arnie was part of the team that created and launched the NOW Radio brand in Edmonton encompassing, today’s digital technology – texting, Twitter and Facebook – and redefining the role of the DJ, to one of the biggest debuts of any format in the recent past. Arnie was known for his honest and often terse, but wise style of guidance and knowledge in programming, talent coaching and radio marketing.
The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) says TVA’s 8 p.m. broadcast of the final episode of Le dôme on March 29, 2016 should only have been broadcast after 9:00 pm with appropriate viewer advisories. Le dôme is the French-language dubbed version of the series Under the Dome, based on a story by Stephen King. The series finale contained scenes in which a man beats another man over the head with a metal ball, a man stabbing another man in the abdomen with a piece of metal rebar, and a scene of a man stabbing his own adult son to death. TVA aired the episode with no viewer advisories, but did provide a 13+ classification icon. In TVA’s opinion, the violence was not sufficiently graphic to necessitate a late evening time slot, but it did agree that it should have aired viewer advisories.
Sarah McLachlan will be the 2017 inductee into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. With a career that spans almost 30 years, the multi-platinum singer/songwriter has 10 JUNO Awards, three Grammys and a Billboard Music Award to her name. She’ll be honoured with a tribute on April 2 at The 46th Annual JUNO Awards Broadcast on CTV from the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa.
Sunday’s Super Bowl will be triple-simulcast on CTV, CTV Two, and TSN. CTV’s extensive live coverage includes more than seven consecutive hours of pre-game programming beginning at 11 a.m. ET. CTV is strategically airing the first episode of CraveTV original comedy Letterkenny, commercial-free, directly following the broadcast.
Five new and nine returning series cement CTV’s 2017 midseason schedule, as the network announces additional Winter premieres. The newest addition, Trial & Error, marks John Lithgow’s return to primetime television on March 7, with the comedy following the arrest and murder trial of a beloved poetry professor (Lithgow) and the young lawyer (Nicholas D’Agosto, Gotham) hired to defend him. Also joining CTV’s midseason schedule is the series premiere of Kevin Williamson’s (The Vampire Diaries) adventure series Time After Time on March 5 and Vanessa Hudgens in new DC-inspired comedy series Powerless, beginning Feb. 2.
Hollywood Suite will air the 2017 BAFTAs (British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards) on Feb. 12. The group of speciality channels will also air the 2017 Film Independent Spirit Awards on Feb. 25 on HS00. Both shows are considered major indicators for success at the Academy Awards.
Rogers Media original series Nirvana the Band the Show begins airing Feb. 2 on VICELAND and City. Featured on Rolling Stone’s list of the 25 Most Anticipated TV Shows of 2017, the eight-part, half-hour comedy, adapted from the web series of the same name, centres around a hapless, two-piece Toronto “band” that will do anything to play a show at The Rivioli. Following the premiere, the rest of the season will air exclusively on VICELAND and its website.
E! debuts the new Canadian series The Shocking Truth from Calgary-based Pyramid Productions, beginning Feb. 6. Exploring the real-life events that inspired Hollywood’s most memorable crime stories and thrillers, the 12-episode, 30-minute series also features a behind-the-scenes look at the stars of these iconic films, including Anthony Hopkins (Silence of the Lambs) and Ryan Reynolds (Amityville Horror), as they recount how they prepared for their roles. A companion podcast will drop on iTunes after each episode.
TVO is decommissioning eight transmitters and cutting seven maintenance positions, which will save the broadcaster an estimated $1 million a year. TVO says it will cease transmitting from Belleville, Chatham, Cloyne, Kitchener, London, Ottawa, Thunder Bay and Windsor on July 31. One transmitter will be retained in Toronto for the purposes of the CRTC licence and to minimize distribution costs.
A recent report from Nielsen says Millennials, those aged 18 to 34, are not the most social media-addicted generation. Nielsen says Generation X, defined as anyone between 35 and 49, actually spends 39 more minutes on social media per week than Millennials. Gen Xers also spend more time consuming media in general, about 32 hours per week, while Millennials consume an average of 27 hours.
The Canada Media Fund (CMF) and Google Canada are launching a YouTube channel for iconic Canadian film and television content dating back to 1995. Working closely with film and television producers, unions, guilds and rights holders, the channel is being developed with support from Deluxe Toronto, BroadbandTV (BBTV), the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), L’Association québécoise de la production médiatique (AQPM) and Telefilm Canada.
Internet penetration increased by 10 per cent in the last 12 months to hit 3.773 billion or 50 per cent of the world’s population, according to Digital in 2017, a report from social media management platform Hootsuite and agency We Are Social. Looking at data from 238 countries, the sixth annual report found global social media use increased by 21 per cent in the last 12 months, to 2.8 billion users. Mobile social media use increased 30 per cent year-over-year to surpass 2.5 billion users globally. Check out the SlideShare below.
France-based WinMedia Group is acquiring OMT Technologies in Canada and will also merge its North American operations. OMT sells under the iMediaTouch brand name, which will remain in use. OMT President/CEO Bill Baines plans to stay on through the transition process, when he’ll step down. The company doesn’t anticipate staff reductions.
Bell Let’s Talk Day 2017 was one for the record books with over $6.5 million in funding raised for Canadian mental health. Over the 28.5 hours from midnight Newfoundland time to midnight Pacific time, there were 131,705,010 total Bell Let’s Talk interactions, including texts, mobile calls and long distance calls by Bell customers, tweets using the #BellLetsTalk hashtag on Twitter, views of the Facebook Bell Let’s Talk video, Instagram posts using the #BellLetsTalk hashtag and Snapchats with the Bell Let’s Talk geofilter. Total social media interactions almost tripled to 22,008,855 this year. #BellLetsTalk was the top Twitter trend in Canada and worldwide. With Bell donating five cents per interaction the result is a further $6,585,250 in funding for Canadian mental health programs.
SOCAN announced another record year in 2016, with its 150,000 member songwriters, composers and music publishers generating $330 million in total revenue – an increase of eight per cent year-over-year. Other highlights of SOCAN’s preliminary financial results include a huge increase in music streaming revenues – jumping to approximately $13 million, an increase of more than 460 per cent over 2015.
Rogers Communications reported its results for the fourth quarter of 2016, saying it’s decision to shelve its in-house IPTV system in favour of partnering with U.S. cable giant Comcast resulted in a $484-million expense. As a result, Rogers lost $9 million in the fourth quarter. The company’s financial loss for its fourth-quarter amounted to four cents per diluted share on $3.51 billion in revenue compared with a profit of $299 million or 58 cents per share on $3.45 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2015. On an adjusted basis, Rogers said it earned a profit of $382 million or 74 cents per diluted share in its latest quarter. Revenue in Rogers wireless division rose four per cent to $2.058 billion from $1.981 billion in the same quarter last year.
Rogers Communications Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc. both survived the last quarter of 2016 with fewer customers cutting the cord than analysts had anticipated, indicating a possible slowing of the trend. The cable giants lost 13,000 and 16,000 subscribers respectively. Last year total, Rogers lost 76,000 cable subscribers, down from 128,000 in 2015. Shaw cable and satellite subscriptions fell 131,000, down from 152,000 in 2015.
The Media Technology Monitor (MTM), a research product of CBC/Radio Canada, has released its new Sneak Peek Report. Key findings include one-fifth of Canadians showing interest in cutting their landline phones. The report also finds while Netflix continues to show subscription growth, nearly three in 10 Netflix subscribers report sharing their password with someone outside of their home. MTM also released its latest Media and Technology Adoption Report which finds over half of Anglophones and a third of Francophones now connect their TV to the Internet. Podcasting also continues to see growth with 28 per cent of Anglophones and 18 per cent of Francophones reporting listening to one in the past month. Read the free version of the report here.
Google ranks No. 1 atop the Top 10 Most Influential Brands in Canada for the fifth consecutive year. The Institute of Communication Agencies, in partnership with Ipsos, studies the 100+ brands that spend the most on advertising in Canada and ranks their influence. Facebook climbed to No. 2, while Microsoft retained its No. 3 position. Apple drops to No. 4. Amazon, a new addition to the Top Ten last year, continues to grow its influence and is now among the top five. YouTube drops one spot to No. 6. Walmart remains in spot No. 7, while Visa drops to No. 8. Canadians continue to adore Tim Hortons, a consistent Top Ten performer at No. 9, while CBC slid in at No. 10, after several years hiatus.
A delegation of 20 journalists and media workers, represented by Unifor, were in Ottawa this week to meet with Members of Parliament from every party to discuss the challenges facing the industry. Unifor says it has concerns about the ad-driven model for funding production of the news as Canadian content continues to deteriorate under the pressure of cheaper digital ads from tech giants like Google and Facebook.
The Public Policy Forum has released a major report on the crisis in Canada’s media industry. Among its 12 recommendations are changes to income tax rules and the CBC revenue model to boost funding for private and nonprofit news operations. It also calls for a new “local mandate” for national wire service The Canadian Press, ensuring there are more journalistic “boots on the ground” to supplement coverage of courts, legislatures and city halls; an Indigenous journalism initiative to put more resources into communities and governments often overlooked; and the creation of a research institute that would examine news and democracy issues, including the distribution of fake news in Canada. Read the entire report here.
RTDNA Canada has extended its submission deadline for the 2017 Regional and Network Awards to today (Feb. 2). This year’s awards program includes expansion of several categories to acknowledge the growing importance of digital, live network sports programming and additional network categories which had previously been limited to the regions.
Journalists for Human Rights has announced its first ever cohort of Ambassadors for Journalists for Human Rights. They include CTV News anchor Lisa LaFlamme; Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri; Troy Reeb, head of news and local broadcasting for Corus Entertainment; Karyn Pugliese, executive director of news and current affairs for Aboriginal Peoples’ Television Network; Toronto Star editor and JHR board chair Michael Cooke; Jennifer Hollett, head of news and government at Twitter Canada; and CPAC CEO Catherine Cano. JHR says the group exemplifies the principles it stands for, at a time when the need for strengthening journalists’ ability to do their job is greater than ever.
The Canadian Journalism Foundation, together with CBC News, is accepting applications to its CJF-CBC Indigenous Journalism Fellowships program. The award allows two early-career Indigenous journalists, with one to 10 years experience, explore Indigenous issues while hosted for one month at the CBC News Indigenous Unit in Winnipeg. The application deadline is Feb. 24. The application is here.
Future You: Preparing For Your Career In Media is the focus of OAB Career Day 2017. Open to students currently enrolled in broadcasting or a related program at an Ontario post-secondary school, roundtable discussions provide an opportunity for students to speak candidly with experienced broadcasters. The Ontario Association of Broadcasters is also inviting educators from Ontario broadcasting schools to submit nominations online for the Michael Monty Scholarship Award. Nominees will be judged on strong academic marks and on their efforts to make a difference by getting involved in extracurricular activities, like volunteering with student groups or organizations. The deadline for nominations is Feb. 24.
Tribute to Arnie
By Pat Bohn with Connie Thiessen
Radio lost a champion on Jan. 28.
Arnie Celsie, my friend and business partner of 25 years, a consultant and morning personality, passed away after a battle with cancer, leaving a legacy of influence in radio programming, marketing, mentoring and coaching, both in Canada and abroad.
Arnie started out in radio in the 1960s, entering consulting full-time in 1990 when he joined me at Bohn & Associates, which evolved to become SparkNet Communications. Arnie could synthesize thoughts the way no one else could and while known by radio executives for his direct, often sharp manner, there was always wisdom attached.
He was smart, passionate and had an incredible work ethic, viewing things somewhat the same as me, but also differently in that he was a morning man which gave him empathy for that part of the business, the talent side, which is really important as a consultant. He was always looking at things the way they should be viewed, seeing details that the others in the room often missed.
In addition to our extensive consulting for Rogers Communications and Rawlco Radio, Arnie was one of the co-developers of the JACK FM and Playing What We Want brand, which was licensed internationally. He was also part of the team that created and launched the successful NOW Radio brand in Edmonton.
In his private life, he was as incredibly gifted personally as he was in business.
Arnie made his wife Diane and their two kids his first priority, often creating unforgettable family experiences. When Arnie bought a sailboat, the entire family learned to sail; when he developed a love of Italy, the family took Italian lessons and learned to ride Ducati motorcycles, travelling Italy on motorcycle before buying a home there. A talented chef, he immersed himself in food and wine and hosted many dinners where relationships were nurtured.
He was hard to get to know initially as a person, but when you did you found out how enthusiastic he was, how very deep as a person he was and, frankly, that’s what carried over to radio…all of these life experiences he put together made for an incredible radio mind that went with it.
Accolades and remembrances have been pouring in from the radio family with whom we worked… Here are just a few:
Pam Leyland, President, Rawlco Radio
Arnie started with Rawlco as a consultant in 2002. He had a brilliant mind for radio and understood what the listener wanted and made what came out of the radio better. In 2014, Arnie joined Rawlco full-time as our senior programming adviser. Then the fun really began! Arnie inspired us, and pushed us, on a daily basis. He was a masterful coach, guiding, challenging and encouraging everyone with whom he worked. Arnie was an idea guy. Any idea kicked around with Arnie ended up being more creative and fun. We will miss Arnie’s inspiration, big laugh and friendship. Person by person, and as a company, Rawlco Radio is better for the time we spent together.
Chuck McCoy, Consultant, former VP/GM Rogers Radio Toronto
Arnie Celsie was a big part of my life and my career from the first time we met in 1987 right up until the last time I spoke with him, just a week before his very untimely death. When I met Arnie he was program director/morning man at CISL, Vancouver. Pat Bohn and I had just begun our consulting business and CISL was one of our first clients. Arnie’s station was newly licensed and his budget for paying consultants was “contra.” His offer of “contra” was a cell phone. Good deal? Well I am reminded that a car-mounted cell phone back in 1987 was valued at $2,500. Once I joined Rogers in 1989 and Arnie joined Pat’s consulting business, Arnie became my consultant. His advice and feedback was a real difference maker for many of our successful Rogers stations. Years later, I was so fortunate to work with Arnie again, this time as a colleague and then in our latter years together, he became a mentor for me as he was for many others in our business. His work with JACK radio stations and his vision and design for the incredibly successful NOW-FM in Edmonton are strong monuments to his programming genius. Arnie Celsie was one of the most creative, inventive, action oriented individuals I have ever had the pleasure to know. Most of all, and in so many ways, Arnie was good man and a good friend. My heart goes out to Diane and Arnie’s children, grandchildren and all those who worked with him and loved him. My friend you will always be sorely missed.
Geoff Poulton, President, Vista Radio
My boss at the time was Chuck McCoy who was then Vancouver market manager for the Rogers stations. He convinced Arnie and Pat to provide some consulting for the station I was managing, Mountain FM Squamish/Whistler. The cost? Some lift passes and restaurant contra.
This was a BIG deal for my little station! So Pat, Arnie and Chuck arrived to deliver the ‘monitor’ report which I was beyond excited to receive. I got off the morning show, a shift I had been doing for almost 4 years, and went into the boardroom. Arnie led the meeting (I had seen him in action many times in Vancouver) and when we got to the morning show portion of the meeting, I was pumped to hear his critique. Arnie looks at me and says “uh…. so… I would describe your on-air personality as…. uh…. you know… very… uh…. pleasant.” And with that my on-air career was over and we hired a new morning host within a month! I am so grateful to have worked with Arnie. He was wickedly smart, gracious, creative, funny and one of the nicest people in our business. I’ll miss him terribly.
Jim MacLeod, President & CEO Radiocorp Management, former President Numeris, BBM Nielson:
Much of the success we found with K Lite FM in Hamilton was due to Arnie. While I had been managing stations and groups, K Lite was the first venture where I had my name on the licence. Arnie started working with our PD, David Jones – another great find – and instilled in us the discipline to be great. What had once been what stations liked, became the discipline that started with finding out what the core listeners liked and sticking absolutely to that. Novel idea. Logic, even. Hard work, too. One of the acts was Hootie and the Blowfish, and for some reason I did not like their name. Great music, bad name. Well, resistance was futile in the face of that calm Arnie persuasion and onto the playlist they went. For years, every time I heard Hootie and the Blowfish, an image of Arnie popped into my head! K Lite quickly dominated both BBM numbers and revenue reports and 23 years and multiple owners later, the station is still the force to be reckoned with in Hamilton. Yeah, we did okay and then some, and that programming foundation was laid by Arnie Celsie. A long overdue thanks, my friend.
Ian Walker, JACK FM and JACK FM 2 Oxford, UK
I first met Arnie in 2008 and it was love at first sight! It was so refreshing for me to meet a radio contemporary from across the pond that was so passionate and energized about creating a new radio brand for the UK that would ‘shake’ up the industry. Arnie’s colourful personality along with his dogmatic determination to get things done has been a driving force behind the success of JACKfm Oxford (the most awarded local commercial radio station in UK history). Arnie’s guiding hand and positive and sometimes cutting, critical feedback allowed our small team to build a radio station that is now enjoying its highest-ever listening figures, whilst also enjoying record revenues. I had the pleasure of spending a week with Arnie in Oxford designing JACK 2, the first-ever JACK brand extension. Arnie always challenged, was a magnificent sounding board and never ever let a good idea go to waste. I also had the pleasure of embarking on a road trip to Bolzano, Italy with Arnie. After our client visit, Arnie and I managed to polish off two bottles of Barolo together and I have never laughed so much. Arnie Celsie was a one of a kind!
Larry Gifford, Senior PD, CKNW NewsTalk 980
It is not overstating facts to say that without Arnie Celsie, I would not likely be working in Canadian radio. I first met Arnie when he cold-called me. At the time, I was programming KIRO Radio in Seattle. He was very complimentary and made a rather forward request. He wanted to send some Rawlco managers to Seattle to see what we were doing and how we were doing it. He was persistent and assured me our secrets were safe with him. After some internal hand-wringing, we relented. He was grateful for the access and kept in touch over the years. Going through old emails of his this morning, I was reminded how we shared thoughts on talent, format clocks, jingle packages and more. Eventually, Arnie recommended me for a job in Vancouver (that I didn’t even know I wanted) and introduced me to another great radio mind, Brad Phillips, who was GM of Corus Radio Vancouver at the time. I’m very thankful to have met Arnie and more so to have learned a couple of great lessons: knowledge is better when it’s shared, connecting people is rewarding and always answer your phone, because you never know who might be on the other end. Radio lost a great friend and champion, rest in peace Arnie.
Julie Adam, SVP of Radio, Rogers
I loved Arnie Celsie. He was a force. A creative spark. A radio trailblazer. And just a great human being. On the business side, I was inspired by how he challenged every situation with questions like “what if?” or “how about?” or “how can we make it better…different…special?”
On the personal side, I loved hearing him talk about his family and his wonderful trips to Italy. He did that a lot. He was a family man and I admired that. I’m grateful that I had the chance to know Arnie and will cherish his “what if…” attitude forever. RIP Arnie Celsie. You will be missed but you will never be forgotten.
Gary Miles, former CEO, Rogers Radio
Arnie, I still tell the story to all that I have mentored about senior radio executives and hordes of minions all sitting around at 4 p.m. on a Friday afternoon as you went line by line, and white sheet by white sheet, through the monitor results with the capper being: “And now I would like to highlight the promotion/position statements of XYZA,” and you flipping the page to show a blank white sheet and saying “there are no positioning statements and promotional activity.” Everyone was on the floor holding their sides. As you know, this became part of Rogers programming lore. As in baseball, we played in the sun and the rain and the cold and played day in and day out. You Arnie, always played 100% of the time and won more often than anyone.
James Stuart, VP/GM Radio/TV Western Canada, Bell Media
Arnie Celsie was the smartest man in the room. He was a brilliant programmer who was always one or two steps ahead of everyone else. A new format? Arnie thought of it before you. A new way to do a typical format? Arnie was way ahead of you. A format design that attacked your station? Arnie won before you knew it was happening. It was an honour working with the man. He made me a better programmer and he made me a better broadcaster. I can’t say I knew him well personally, because we never had that relationship. Ours was based on him helping me get better when we worked together or me trying to figure out how to beat him when we didn’t. When Arnie came to monitor to our station, the feeling in my gut was worse than the day a book would be released. Arnie’s word and review held more sway on how the station was really performing, than ratings would. You might get a bounce in ratings, but Arnie could see through a bad station getting lucky with ratings. I may not have liked it when he took me to task on a poorly-created clock or a bad jock decision, but he was right. Radio around the world, has lost a champion.
Arnie was diagnosed with terminal cancer in November. Upon his diagnosis, his doctor asked what was on his bucket list. Arnie replied as honestly and as tersely as any opinion he ever delivered to a client: “I don’t have anything on my bucket list. I’ve done everything I wanted to do.”
Most people talk about it. He did everything that he wanted to do. What did he do with his time? He chose those 90 days to write a children’s book for his grandson. Arnie’s passing makes us all poorer, but better for having known him.