J. Stuart MacKay (1918-1986)

Year Born: 1918

Year Died: 1986

Year of Induction: 1986

Pioneer – Member of CAB Hall of Fame

MacKay, J. Stuart

On graduation from high school in 1937, Stuart MacKay embarked on a broadcasting career as an announcer with CJCA, Edmonton, then managed by the All-Canada Mutually-Operated Stations (ACMO).

Moving from announcer-writer through production, programming and sales to station management, he was posted to Winnipeg (CKRC) in 1940, Vancouver (CKWX) in 1942,  and Regina (CKRM) in 1948.

In 1949 he moved to Toronto, where he rose to become President and General Manager of All-Canada Radio Facilities Limited (which later became All-Canada Radio and Television Ltd), followed in 1965 by the Presidency of Selkirk Communications Limited, the newly formed holding company which included All-Canada and the All-Canada owned group of radio and TV stations. 

During his regime, Selkirk grew to include ownership in a number of Canadian radio and TV stations; invested in cable companies, movies and record production facilities, established Canada’s largest broadcast sales organisation and expanded Selkirk’s international operations by developing interactive cable systems in Texas and Florida, and setting up the first commercial radio station and privately-owned radio news network in England.

In 1984, MacKay retired, and assumed the function of Chairman of the Board.

In 1985, Stuart was awarded a Ryerson Fellowship in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field of private broadcasting.

Stuart MacKay was a strong supporter of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters and served on several of its committees. One of his proudest achievements was setting up the CAB Program Exchange, which encouraged stations to swap taped programs on Canadian subjects and those which featured Canadian talent.

In 1996. the School of Radio and Television Arts, Faculty of Applied Arts, Ryerson Polytechnic University announced the inauguration of the J. Stuart MacKay Communicator of the Year Award to honour Canadians who had made a significant contribution to human values in broadcasting/electronic media, as managers, producers, writers, performers or in other professional capacities.

J. Stuart MacKay died on July 2nd, 1986. Later that year, he was inducted posthumously into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame.