Year Born: 1911
Year Died: 1981
Year of Induction: 1985
Pioneer – Member of CAB Hall of Fame
Davidson, Jack M. (1911-1981)
Bank clerk – automotive jobber – radio advertising salesman – broadcasting executive.
Jack Davidson’s education in costing and accounting in Mitchell, Ontario, served him well in later years when he became one of three executive assistants to Roy Thompson when he owned Northern Broadcasting.
However, his first years with a Thompson station (CJKL Kirkland Lake) beginning in 1934 found him in the role of “Jack-of-all-trades” – announcer, operator, salesman, copy writer. Jack learned quickly and well, and two years later was appointed Manager of CJKL.
When Thompson and Senator Rupert Davies gave Peterborough its first radio station (CHEX) in 1942, Jack moved from Kirkland Lake to become its first Manager. This led to another Davies-Thompson collaboration – the birth of CKWS Kingston later the same year with Jack at the helm.
With stations in North Bay and Timmins, Thompson decided he needed a supervisor for the five – and Jack got the job, and was headquartered in the Thompson office in Toronto.
Next came TV in these same centres, and Jack was named General Manager of Northern Broadcasting Limited
In 1956, Jack was elected President of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters.
In 1957, he accepted Lloyd Moffat’s invitation to join him in Winnipeg as Executive Vice President of Broadcasting Station CKY which also saw a TV station in its future. CJAY-TV went into operation in 1961 with Jack as President and General Manager.
Jack Davidson opened the doors to broadcasting for many starry-eyed young Canadians who went on to successful careers in the industry, and who, gladly, would have endorsed his posthumous nomination in 1985 to the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame.
Written by J. Lyman Potts – September, 1996