Richard Sienko (1935-)

Year Born: 
1935

Pioneer

Sienko, Richard (1935- )

Born in  Toronto Ontario on November 30, 1935, Richard "Dick" Sienko moved to Georgetown Ontario with his parents in 1939 where he  went to Public and High School graduating in 1955.

Moving to Toronto, he worked for Confederation Life for 3 months and then joined Radio and Television Representatives in September 1955 as a junior.  Learning the  business of broadcast advertising sales from the bottom, he became a junior sales person in January 1956.  He  decided to extend his broadcast experience by working in radio stations,  so in Spring 1957 he became Promotion Manager of CFQC AM Saskatoon, followed by a sales position at CJOB AM Winnipeg in February 1958.

He then moved back east to help put CKAR AM Huntsville on air in the spring of 1958, first as a salesman and later as sales manager.  In Spring 1959, he joined the sales staff of CBC in Toronto, when CBC Radio was then accepting commercials.

In Spring 1961, he joined Hardy Radio & Television  in their Toronto office.  He was appointed Radio Sales Manager January 1962, and then moved through various management positions before becoming Executive Vice President and  Toronto manager  in 1974.  By then, the company had become Tele Capital Unicom.

After Dick had spent 15 years at Hardy/TeleCapital a change in corporate direction found him looking for a job in the Spring of 1976.  It was then that he decided to form his own rep firm.   First identified as a division of R.S. Sienko Ltd.,  the firm started business on September 1, 1976. It was later named as Target Broadcast Sales. Target was owned by Richard and his wife  Donna, who would remain active till her retirement in September 2004.  The first group of stations to have National representation by Target was located in Smithers, Prince George, Kamloops, Kelowna, Cranbrook and Trail.

Dick was a one man band, renting space for the first year from Andy McDermott Sales, another rep firm.  In December 1976, Dick picked up representation of a group of stations in Quebec, so he opened an office in Montreal which later became known as Radio Unie/Target. 

In Spring 1977, he opened his own office with sales and inside staff in Toronto.  By then, he was representing radio stations coast to coast in Canada and Radio and Television stations in the United States, including the oldest radio sales firm in the U.S., Katz Radio. 

In Spring 1994, Target opened an office in Vancouver and in late 2006 opened an office in Halifax. (For a more detailed history, please click on this link to Target Broadcast Sales).

During his career, Dick served the industry well , sitting on such boards as the CAB, RMB, TVB, BES, CABR, and BBM.  He was active in local sports in Agincourt and served on various regional and local Boards for the Baptist Church. He officially became Chairman of the Board of Target Broadcast Sales when he and Donna sold the firm to son Stephen in 2006, and remained active with Target and the industry.

In 2009, Dick was saluted by the British Columbia Association of Broadcasters with their Friend of the Industry Award, and in 2011, the Ontario Association of Broadcasters made Richard " Dick" Sienko their recipient of the  OAB Lifetime Achievement Award, for services to the broadcasting industry, at their Annual Meeting on October 20th.  

Written by Pip Wedge - January, 2014

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