Clive Eastwood (1921-2015)

Clive Eastwood
Clive Eastwood

Year Born: 1921

Year Died: 2015

Year of Induction: 2000


Eastwood, Clive (1921- )

Clive spent 50 years at radio station CFRB Toronto, overseeing engineering as CFRB grew from a pioneer 10-kW station to the giant 50-kW, most listened-to station in Canada.

He was born in Toronto.  A high-school classmate introduced him to the North Riverdale Radio Club, a group of licensed amateur radio enthusiasts.  There, Clive bought used-parts to build radio equipment.  From that experience he developed a desire to take a course in electrical engineering but couldn’t afford the fees. 

In the fall of 1938 he found himself cycling and busing to CFRB’s transmitter plant at Aurora, 30 kilometres north of Toronto, where he learned to maintain and install equipment and relieved the transmitter operators as necessary.  Later he progressed to studio operator. 

After three years at CFRB he was able to go to the University of Toronto.  He graduated as an electrical engineer in 1945 and a year later was registered as a professional engineer.

Clive returned to CFRB as assistant to the vice-president of engineering, Elsworth Rogers, who was working on a plan to increase CFRB’s transmitter power to 50-kW.  But the CBC’s board of governors had reserved all AM clear channels for the CBC, including CFRB’s 860 kHz frequency.  The CBC’s CJBC on 1010 was to take over 860. Thus CFRB applied to use 1010 kHz.  The application was approved and CFRB went ahead with its 50-kW plans on the new frequency at a site near Clarkson.  On September 1, 1948, CFRB became Canada’s first private station with power greater than 10-kW.  On that day, Clive was promoted to chief engineer, and two weeks later he married Jeanette (Jan) George.  They had four children.

In 1953, Clive helped put CKLW-TV Windsor on-air (partly owned by CFRB shareholders). 

In 1960 he was in charge when CFRB-FM’s new transmitter plant went on air from the Bank of Commerce building.  At 200-kW, it was Canada’s first high-powered FM station. 

Clive’s responsibilities expanded when CFRB’s owner, Standard Broadcasting, bought CJAD Montreal in 1962.  In the next year a new station, CJFM-FM, was established .  In 1963-64, a new AM transmitter plant was built for CJAD with a power increase to 50-kW during daytime hours. 

From 1963-65 Clive was responsible for planning and installation of new offices and studios for CFRB and its FM station, now CKFM. 

In 1969 he was appointed vice-president of engineering for CFRB Limited.

In 1971 new towers were built for CFRB’s transmitter plant which improved the coverage significantly. 

During 1972/3, CKFM’s transmitter was moved to the taller Commerce Court building for improved coverage.

Also in 1973, the CBC was to set up a group to install and own a master FM antenna on the CN Tower but CBC personnel were so involved in planning CBC’s television operations at the Tower that they had no time to handle the FM work.  Clive took the lead and organized five FM stations to create Master FM Limited.  That company bought the master FM antenna system at the CN Tower and the stations went on air from the Tower in 1976.  Clive was elected president, an unpaid position he held for several years.

In 1980 he oversaw construction of a new transmitter building with two new transmitters for CFRB. 

Clive retired from CFRB in 1986.  Then he took a part-time job as chair of the CN Tower’s co-ordination committee, retiring from it only in 1999.

Through the years, Clive served on many broadcast committees, representing the Canadian Association of Broadcasters on several of them.  The most significant was as chair for 21 years of the Broadcast Committee of the Canadian Radio Technical Planning Board which developed broadcast standards adopted by the federal Department of Transport. 

In 1962 Clive received the CAB’s engineering award for his work on the CRTPB for the development of FM multiplex stereo standards.  In 1985 the CAB gave him both its Engineer of the Year Award and its Outstanding Technical Achievement Award.

Clive Eastwood died on October 11th 2015.