Terrance “Terry” Coles (1937-)

Terrance Terry Coles
Terrance “Terry” Coles

Year Born: 1937

Year of Induction: 2009

Member of CAB Hall of Fame

Coles, Terrance “Terry” (1937- )

Terry Coles was born in Acton, Ontario, on January 18th 1937, and after doing grade school in Acton he went to university at St. Francis Minor Seminary in Milwaukee, Wisconsin . There, listening to Earle Gillespie do play-by-play for the Milwaukee Braves, as well as hearing the afternoon radio DJs on WOKY, piqued what was to become a lasting interest in radio.

 In the meantime, Terry spent some interesting years working with the Avro Arrow production team, who told him he was making a big mistake when he decided to leave to take up his first on-air broadcasting opportunity in October of 1955 at CJKL, Kirkland Lake, Ontario. Ironically, he was to interview Crawford Gordon, President of A.V. Roe, on the morning of the Arrow’s cancellation by John Diefenbaker.

After stints at CFJB, Brampton and CKLC, Kingston, Ontario, Terry moved to television with CFCL-TV, Timmins, Ontario in October of 1961. Over a period of 18 years with J. Conrad Lavigne and the development of the Mid-Canada Television System, Terry went from being a staff announcer to Vice-President & General Manager.

In 1979, CFCN-TV in Calgary beckoned and Terry served as President & General Manager until his move to CKY-TV, Winnipeg as General Manager in 1986.

In 1987, the late Geoffrey Conway looked to Terry’s assistance with his purchase of CKLW-AM & FM in Windsor/Detroit. While President of CKLW, Terry was named Senior Vice-President of CUC Communications with emphasis on Geoff’s application for a youth TV channel to be called YTV. While a member of the YTV Board of Director’s Terry was named Acting President of YTV Canada, Inc. in 1994.

In 1995, Shaw Communications acquired CUC Communications. JR Shaw then invited Terry to join Shaw as Vice-President, Broadcasting and President of Sega Channel. When Sega Channel was dissolved, Terry took retirement from Shaw on June 30th, 1997.

As is often the case with retired broadcasters, Terry did some consulting work which led to Michigan where he started work on a Catholic radio network for Tom Monaghan, the founder/owner of Domino’s Pizza Corporation.

Then came an opportunity to invest in a new radio start-up company called The Vista Broadcast Group, Inc. Named to the Board of Directors, Terry was then asked to consider joining the growing company as President & Chief Operating Officer. From one station in Duncan, BC, the company owns more than 20 stations in Alberta, BC, & the Northwest Territories.

Terry served the industry on the boards of the CAB ( Vice-Chairman of the television board), the WAB (one year as President), the MAB, TvB, The Alberta Motion Picture Development Corporation, and The Banff Television Festival (Founding Director). He also was a member of the Program Committee of the CTV Televsion Network Ltd. and later a member of the Executive Group of AltaWest Television Limited, a division of CanWest Global.

Involved in a number of charities over the years, Terry now serves on the Board of The Youth Orchestra of the Americas, based in Washington, D.C.

Terry Coles was inducted into the CAB Hall of Fame in 2009.

Written by Ross McCreath – November, 2009