Harold R. Carson (1895-1959)

Year Born: 
1895
Year Died: 
1959
Year of Induction: 
1985

Pioneer - Member of CAB Hall of Fame

Carson, Harold R. (1895-1959)

Pioneer entrepreneurial radio broadcasting group management innovator, Harold Carson, in 1926, purchased CJOC Lethbridge.  

In 1934, formed partnership with James Taylor and Hugh Pearson which became the nucleus of the All-Canada Mutually Operated radio stations (ACMO), progressively owning (or owning-in-part) and managing CFAC Calgary, CJCA Edmonton, CJOC Lethbridge, CJAT Trail, CKCK Regina, CFGP Grande Prairie, CKOC Hamilton, CKRC Winnipeg, CKWX Vancouver and CJVI Victoria.

Also in 1934, Carson founded United Broadcast Sales, Toronto as a national sales representative; 1936 dissolved UBS, and with partners purchased All-Canada Radio Facilities and located offices in Montreal, Winnipeg and Vancouver.

Sensing their stations' need for additional drama and entertainment programming, he created a program division for ACRF to produce and distribute transcribed radio programs. He travelled, by train, to New York, Chicago and Hollywood to get Canadian rights, and in many cases world rights to US syndicated program..  By 1940 All Canada's Program division had the largest library of transcribed programs in the world.

1953, saw ACRF expanded into TV sales and it became All-Canada Radio & Television Limited and by 1954 he expanded the firm into TV broadcasting with corporate partnerships in CHCH-TV Hamilton, and CHCT-TV Calgary.

He was noted for selecting people for management positions and letting them prove that they could do the job, and broadening their skills by moving them from station to station as opportunities arose. 

Following his death in 1959, Selkirk Holdings Limited was formed with the head office moved from Calgary to Toronto. Over the next five years the various stations owned or partly owned by Taylor Pearson & Carson and the Southam group were realigned under the Selkirk banner until 1965 when the name was changed to Selkirk Communications Ltd, and went public. All-Canada also came under the Selkirk umbrella. Armadale (the Sifton group) stations did not participate in Selkirk which also bought Armadale’s interest in All-Canada Radio & Television.

Harold Carson played a leading role in the strengthening and development of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters. As President of various broadcasting entities, he made an extraordinary contribution to the enhancement of the industry.

In 1985, Harold Carson was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame.

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