The Swashbucklers

The Swashbucklers

The Story of Canada's Battling Broadcasters

Book - 2001
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From its beginnings, broadcasting in Canada has been a battlefield, with the larger-than-life entrepreneurs who fell in love with the new medium locked in battle with government and meddlesome "do-gooders" impressed by the cultural power of radio. The first fight of the radio pioneers was over advertising, and initially, the private broadcasters won: commercials were here to stay, making radio an immensely profitable industry. But the biggest battle of the early years was between private broadcasters and those who lobbied against the new commercial adventurers: should the airwaves be used to sell things and entertain, or to enrich and educate Canadians? The struggle consumed both sides for years, even after the establishment of national public radio in 1936. The advent of television in the early 1950s merely moved the war to fresh terrain. By the early 1980s, the private broadcasters appeared to have won, but a new player arrived on the scene -- the cable industry. The proliferation of specialty channels threatened the end of mass, national audiences for television, but in an ironic twist, the small, specialty audiences for cable awoke private broadcasters to the need for specialized Canadian programming. The swashbucklers who battled for control of the airwaves -- and over what is broadcast on them -- have left behind them a rich record, one that Nash brings to life in this vivid and entertaining story of the men -- the Sedgwicks of Toronto, the Siftons of the Prairies, the Thomsons of Ontario, the Bassetts and the Rogers of Toronto, the Aspers of Winnipeg, the Shaws of Calgary, the Chandlers of Vancouver, the Peladeaus of Quebec, along with Moses Znaimer of CITY TV and Ivan Fecan of CTV -- who together have entertained us (and tried to sell us things) in the privacy of our living rooms for much of this century.
Publisher: Toronto : M&S, c2001.
ISBN: 9780771067747
Branch Call Number: 384/.54/0971/Nas 6173mb 1
Characteristics: 312 p. : ill.


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