Year Born: 1930
Year Died: 2010
Year of Induction: 2000
Hind-Smith, Michael (1930-2010)
Michael Hind-Smith was one of seven CBC staffers who had been with the Corporation when Her Majesty the Queen ascended to the throne in 1952, and when Her Majesty the Queen visited the CBC’s Toronto studios in October 2002, he and his colleagues were presented to Her Majesty as part of both the Queen’s and the CBC’s Jubilee celebrations.
Michael was born in Windsor, England on October 7th 1930, and educated at St. George’s, Harpenden, and the Brighton College of Art. He sailed for Canada on the last voyage of the RMS Aquitania, arriving on March 12th 1948 He joined his father in Vancouver, and financed his education by pulling wet logs out of the Fraser River, buying fish at the River’s Inlet Fish Cannery, and serving tables on CP’s steamship run to Seattle. He later obtained an Honours degree in Political Science at U.B.C., and moved to Toronto in 1951 to attend the school of Graduate Studies at U of T.
In 1952, CBC Chief Producer Mavor Moore, who had seen Michael working as an intern in broadcasting at the United Nations headquarters in New York, hired him to host Pro and Con, CBC’s first television discussion program and the forerunner of Nathan Cohen’s Fighting Words.
Shortly thereafter, Michael joined the CBC as a public affairs and special events producer, working first in Winnipeg and then moving to Ottawa in 1955. While there, in 1957 he directed the Queen’s first-ever broadcast direct to the people of Canada, and in 1959 he was television production coordinator for the Opening of the Lawrence Seaway by the Queen and President Eisenhower, seen live throughout North America.
In 1960 he became Station Manager of CBC’s Toronto station, CBLT, but in 1961 he was lured away to the new private network, CTV, as National Program Director, and later Vice-President, Programming. During his five years at the network, he oversaw the introduction of CTV’s first national newscasts, and the long-running public affairs program W5. Shortly after the affiliated stations took over ownership of the network in 1966, Michael left CTV to act as a consultant to the Power Corporation of Montreal, in its application for a new satellite-based television network. He then joined Foster Advertising as Vice-President Media and Programming. In 1972, he was hired by Maclean Hunter to set up M-H Video, to develop videocassette programming for business and government.
In 1975 Michael was appointed President and C.E.O of the Canadian Cable Television Association in Ottawa, where he played a key role in the introduction of the many new specialty channels that were to be delivered direct by satellite to cable, and ably represented the association at many CRTC Hearings. He retired from the C.C.T.A. in 1990, and at that time was named to the CCTA Honours List, and received the E.S. Rogers Sr. and Velma Rogers Graham Award “for outstanding contribution to Canadian broadcasting.”
Michael Hind-Smith died on December 3rd 2010 of pneumonia.
Photo credit: copyright Karsh: Ottawa
Written by Pip Wedge – October, 2002