Harold L. “Hal” Davis (1924-1998)

Harold L. "Hal" Davis
Harold L. “Hal” Davis

Year Born: 1924

Year Died: 1998

Year of Induction: 1996

Pioneer – Member of CAB Hall of Fame

Davis, Harold L. “Hal” (1924-1998)

In 1941, CJCA Edmonton staged an “Announcing Contest”. The winner was Hal Davis. The prize – two weeks employment with CJCA. It was the start of a long and impressive career in radio broadcasting

While attending the University of Alberta from 1941 to 1943, Hal did part-time work at the university’s radio station – CKUA, and worked the summer of ’42 at CJCA.

Serving in the RCAF from 1943-45, and while stationed in Calgary, there was some part-time work at CFAC. On discharge, Hal did a stint as a disc jockey at New Westminster’s CKNW, leaving there in September to enroll in Lorne Greene’s Academy of Radio Arts in Toronto, from which he graduated cum laude in April of 1947.

The same year, Hal began his long association with CKNW – first, as Copy Chief; 1950 – Production Manager; 1956 – Program Director; 1959 – Assistant Manager/Program Director; 1974 General Manager.

In 1978, Hal was appointed Director of Research – Radio for CKNW’s parent – Western Broadcasting Company Limited (later, Western International Communications (WIC)). Retiring in 1989, Hal continued at CKNW as a consultant and broadcaster.

Hal set a remarkable record in radio annals when, in 1991, he chalked-up 35 years as the voice of CKNW’s 8 am news. Also, he hosted a Saturday night music program on ‘NW. for a span of 20 years.

In the news area, Hal conceived, organized and developed B.C. RADIO NEWS, (later WESTERN INFORMATION NETWORK (WIN)), directed it until 1988, and making it the first private information network in Canada to be transmitted by satellite.

On the local scene, Hal was an Administrator of the CKNW ORPHANS’ FUND, and a member and chair (1972-89) of BROADCAST COMMUNICATION ADVISORY COUNCIL at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

Active in the affairs of the broadcasting industry, Hal was a director of the British Columbia Broadcasters Association (80-85), and president from 82-84. He served as a director of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters from 83-84.

In 1985, he was named BCAB Broadcaster of the Year in recognition of his development of the WIN network.

In 1996, Hal Davis was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame.

He died on November 1st 1998.

Written by J. Lyman Potts – December, 1996