W. Victor "Vic" George (1904-1990)
Pioneer - Member of CAB Hall of Fame
George, W. Victor "Vic" (1904-1990)
Vic George was a Canadian radio pioneer whose career spanned more than six decades and included virtually every facet of radio, television, entertainment and advertising. In 1923 he joined the radio division of Canadian National Railways, which owned CNRO Ottawa and with other stations that followed in Moncton and Vancouver became Canada's first radio network.
Vic functioned in all capacities as transmitter operator, writer, announcer and producer as the occasion demanded. In 1924, he transferred within CN's network to CNRA Moncton, New Brunswick where he supervised the company's Atlantic Region radio broadcasts. A highlight at CN Radio was the first-ever network broadcast for the Diamond Jubilee of Canada's Confederation.
With the dissolution of CN Radio in 1931, Vic moved to Montreal's CFCF as Manager. At CFCF, he used CN telegraph circuits in the evening hours allowing stations from London, Ontario to Halifax, Nova Scotia to exchange Canadian programs.
He helped produce programs, which were sponsored by national advertisers and fed from CFCF to networks of various stations. In 1934, he conceived and created the first two way trans-Atlantic broadcast to cover the British Empire Games at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Vic left CFCF in 1935 to concentrate on program production and opened an advertising agency in Montreal.
In 1941 Brigadier James Moss of the Canadian Army asked Vic to set up an army entertainment unit for a CBC show on Sunday night with over 100 performers. The troupe was expanded and they were stationed in the UK to entertain Canadian forces overseas. For his services in the war, Vic was promoted from Major to Lieutenant-Colonel.
In 1948, he returned to Marconi to head up the broadcasting division, and oversaw applications for an FM license, the development of television, and a TV licence. He was appointed Director of Public Relations for Canadian Marconi in 1952, but transferred to England to represent the Canadian company with its newly -acquired parent, English Electric, in 1954. Vic returned to Montreal as Assistant to the President in 1957. He was promoted to General Manager and President, a post he held until retirement in 1967.
Vic George was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame in 1983.
W. Victor George died in 1990.
Written by J. Lyman Potts - September, 1996