Trina McQueen (1943-)

Trina McQueen
Trina McQueen

Year Born: 1943

Year of Induction: 2002

Member of CAB Hall of Fame

McQueen, Trina (1943- )

Trina was born in Belleville, Ontario, in 1943. After completing high school at Belleville Collegiate, she studied journalism in Ottawa at Carleton University, which led to a reporting job at the Ottawa Journal. There she came to the attention of CTV producer Peter Reilly, who in 1966 invited her to move to Toronto to be co-host of the new public affairs program W5, while also doing reporting for CFTO news. She later became a full-time reporter for CFTO.

In 1968 Trina moved to the CBC as an on-air reporter, and by 1976 she had moved behind the cameras to become executive producer of CBC’s The National and News Specials. In the ensuing years she held various positions in journalism, entertainment programming, business operations and advertising sales. She became Network Program Director for CBC English Television in 1980, and in 1988 she returned to her news roots as Vice-President of Television News, Current Affairs and Newsworld.

New horizons opened up for Trina in 1993, when then NetStar CEO Gordon Craig invited her to join his team who were applying for a new specialty cable channel, a Canadian version of the US Discovery Channel. After 25 years at the Corporation, Trina decided to make the move back to the private sector, and signed on with Discovery.

Nearly a year later, Trina and her colleagues went before the CRTC and made a strong presentation, which persuaded the Commission to grant them a licence in 1994. Discovery launched the following year, and quickly became one of the most popular of the new speciality services.

The phone call from Ivan Fecan, President of CTV, came in the spring of 1999. Trina and Ivan had worked together at the CBC some years earlier, and while their respective responsibilities at the Corporation occasionally caused some friction, there remained a healthy respect between them, and when Ivan became President of CTV, he persuaded Trina to join him as Executive Vice-President of the Network.

Trina joined CTV in August 1999, with responsibility for not only the Network’s programming, sales and operations, but also for those areas at the stations and specialty channels owned by CTV. She was immediately involved in the Network’s application to acquire NetStar Communications, which owned TSN and RDS, as well as a majority shareholding in the Discovery Channel, her former employer. This application was granted in March 2000.

In September 2000, the CRTC heard an application by BCE Inc to buy CTV, and the acquisition was approved in December of that year. This was followed on January 9th 2001 with the announcement of the formation of Bell Globemedia, a company unifying CTV, The Globe and Mail, Globe Interactive and Sympatico under one umbrella, with Ivan Fecan as President and CEO.

Trina McQueen was simultaneously appointed President and COO of CTV, and was immediately immersed in preparations for a License Renewal application for the Network, which was heard by the CRTC in April, and granted in August 2001.

In December 2001, and to the surprise of many, Trina announced her resignation as President of CTV.

Trina received honorary degrees from Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax, Carleton University in Ottawa, and the University of Waterloo. She has also received the Crystal Award from Canadian Women in Film and Television, the Woman of the Year Award from Canadian Women in Communications and the A.D. Dunton Award from Carleton University.

In 2002, Trina McQueen was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame.

In 2005, with the approval of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Trina McQueen was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.

In January 2009, Trina became the first Adjunct Professor in the Arts and Media department of Schulich School of Business at York University. This chair later became the CTV Professorship of Broadcast Management.

On December 2nd 2014, TVO’s Chair of the Board of Directors, Peter O’Brian announced that Trina McQueen had been appointed to the Board as the new Vice-Chair for a three-year-term (May 2016-May 2019).

“Trina brings a wealth of experience to the Board of Directors,” said Peter O’Brian, Chair of the Board of Directors, TVO. “Her long career in journalism and media is an immeasurable asset to TVO, as we move forward with our strategy to be Ontario’s partner for digital education and to provide the digital public space for Ontario-perspective in-depth current affairs.”

On June 15th 2018, Trina McQueen was inducted into the CBC News Hall of Fame.

Written by Pip Wedge –