Thanks to the donations of Sydney-based Marie Slaight, Eastside Radio 89.7FM new broadcast studio is being named The Allan Slaight Studio.
89 year-old Allan Slaight, widely considered a Canadian entrepreneurial trailblazer and rock ‘n roll radio pioneer, now has three generations of descendants living in Australia and Marie is eager to celebrate her father’s extraordinary broadcasting career, while simultaneously supporting Eastside Radio’s decades-long jazz related programming, of which she is a long-time listener.
Born in Galt, Canada in 1931, Slaight began his broadcasting career at age 17 as a news reporter and host of his own late-night jazz show ‘Spins and Needles’ at CHAB in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.
He moved to Edmonton, working in radio news and programming until being appointed National Sales Manager at CHED. He caught the attention of CHUM Radio in Toronto and was hired to invigorate the station’s programming.
Slaight’s entrepreneurial spirit, programming and promotional savvy helped to transform the 24-hour rock ‘n roll station, into “probably the most imitated radio station in North America at the time,” said Slaight.
In 1966, Slaight left the station to co-ordinate sales at Radio Caroline, the UK’s notorious pirate radio station. In 1970, he established Slaight Communications and acquired Toronto-based radio station CFGM, and then Montreal station CFOX.
In 1977 Slaight Communications launched Q107, a new Toronto rock and roll radio station.
Slaight purchased Standard Broadcasting Corporation in 1985 and under his stewardship, it expanded from seven radio stations to a network of over fifty Canadian radio stations. By 2003, Standard was the largest privately-owned multi-media company in Canada.
He also co-founded Canada’s first NBA team, The Raptors.
Slaight has maintained a life-long interest in conjuring and magic and is the author of a number of magic titles, including The James File, the largest work ever published on magic.
An inductee into the Broadcast Hall of Fame, Member of the Order of Canada, and recipient of the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award for his contribution to Canadian music industry, Slaight also has a long history of philanthropic activities and is co-founder of the Slaight Family Foundation.
Eastside Radio 89.7FM Managing Director Tony Smythe says: “We look forward to a long relationship between the station, Marie Slaight and The Allan Slaight Studio and are grateful for the opportunities his lifetime contributions to media now affords the future of our community radio station, an established cultural icon.”