Year Born: 1931
Year Died: 2016
Year of Induction: 1991
Member of CAB Hall of Fame
Acton, Gerald “Gerry” (1931-2016 )
For many members of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, the CAB and Gerry Acton were synonymous. Until his retirement July 31, 1991, as Vice-President, Services, Gerry was the CAB’s longest-term employee. He was the “transmitter” of information to members and the “antenna” for feedback to the Association.
Gerry joined the CAB September 26, 1951 as a recording operator for the Radio Bureau – a public service division of the CAB. His first job was recording quarter-hour broadcasts by Members of Parliament on 16-inch transcriptions for the “Report From Parliament Hill” radio series. Lacking land-line communication, the discs were expressed individually to stations covering the MP’s areas, enabling the elected representatives to keep their constituents abreast of on-going matters in Ottawa.
In 1962, Gerry moved to Toronto as manager of the CAB’s newly-formed Program Exchange service. He succeeded Ruth Hancock as the CAB’s Toronto office manager in 1973, and also served as Executive Secretary to the Central Canada Broadcasters Association (CCBA), as well as the Broadcast Executives Society.
In 1974, Gerry returned to Ottawa as Director of Industry Relations and Public Affairs; was appointed the following year to Director of Member Services, and in 1986 named a Vice-President.
During his forty years with the CAB. Gerry was a loyal and dedicated employee, working tirelessly to assist the growth and development of the Association and its membership. His patience, unflappable nature, knowledge of people in the industry and his outstanding commitment to private broadcasting, made him a valuable resource to the Association and its members.
Following retirement, Gerry continued to serve the CAB on a contract basis, and maintained his role with the Ontario Association of Broadcasters (successor to the CCBA) as Executive Director.
Gerry Acton was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame in 1991. He died in Ottawa on October 11th 2016.
Written by J. Lyman Potts – September, 1996