Year Born: 1932
Year of Induction: 1992
Pioneer – Member of CAB Hall of Fame
Butler, Joseph V. (1932- )
Joseph V. Butler is a pioneer in the broadcast industry in Newfoundland and Labrador. He has made a number of significant contributions including those which initiated the first broadcasting services to rural areas of the province.
Mr. Butler became more involved with VOCM, the Colonial Broadcasting System, after his father was killed in a plane crash in 1954. In 1936, the late Joseph L. Butler worked with Walter B. Williams, founder of VOCM radio service. Mr. Joseph L. Butler dedicated his life to the field of communications and to making a force for change in Newfoundland.
Joseph V. Butler, following his father’s untimely death, began a period of expansion both in the headquarters station of VOCM St. John’s and into rural areas. The St John’s station increased its power from 1,000 watts to 10,000 in 1958. It subsequently became the first station to extensively use computers in a province-wide news operation, the first and only station to install its own weather radar and the first station to deliver its signal across Newfoundland by satellite.
In 1961, Mr. Butler opened the first radio station at Marystown on the South Coast of Newfoundland, first at 1,000 watts and subsequently at 10,000 watts. One year later in 1962, he opened the first private radio station in Grand Falls in Central Newfoundland, a 10,000 watt facility. A station was opened in Gander in 1968, in Baie Verte in 1971 and in Clarenville and Carbonear in 1981.
In 1982 a new FM station was added to the service in St. John’s and in 1989 an FM station in Clarenville.
In addition to his broadcasting achievements, Mr. Butler was proud of his accomplishments for a number of charities in Newfoundland and Labrador and for assistance to children. A foundation he chaired, in Newfoundland and Labrador, the VOCM Cares Foundation, raised more than 3.5 million dollars for charity over 16 years and distributed this money to 170 registered charities including contributions to The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada, the various hospital foundations and the crime prevention activities of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.
In 1991, Mr. Butler was awarded Honorary Life Membership in the Atlantic Association of Broadcasters. In 1992, he was honoured again when he was named a Paul Harris Fellow. Later in 1992, he was inducted into the CAB Hall of Fame.
Written by J. Lyman Potts – November, 1996