Duff Roman (1938-)

Duff Roman
Duff Roman

Year Born: 1938

Year of Induction: 2001

Like so many Canadian broadcasters, Duff Roman, while born in Saskatchewan, hung his hat in the three Prairie Provinces before deciding to settle for Toronto. He got his start in radio in his home town of Swift Current with CKSW, moving later to CHAT-AM/TV in Medicine Hat, to Winnipeg’s CKRC and CFRW, and to Edmonton’s CHED.

Ontario became his next target, and he quickly became a popular on- air personality with CKEY, then CKFH (which became “The Fan”) and to CHUM. For a time, he also owned his own record label – Roman Records – where he recorded and managed the careers of the Paupers and a young David Clayton-Thomas.

In 1974, Duff was appointed Program Director of CHUM – FM. Ten years later, as Operations Manager, he directed the re-positioning of CHUM-FM as an Adult Rock radio station, in 1996, he was appointed Vice-President Industry Affairs, CHUM Limited, and in 1999 assumed the added responsibilities of Vice-President, Digital Radio Operations.

For his work in many aspects of the broadcasting industry, Duff has received numerous awards and accolades, including the Ontario Association of Broadcaster’s “Broadcaster of the Year”. He chaired the CAB’s Board of Directors as well as serving as Co-Chair of the CAB’s digital Radio Rollout Committee. Other posts include President of Digital Radio Roll-Out Inc., a member of the Advisory Board of Ryerson Polytechnic University and President and a Director of FACTOR, the Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Records, of which he was a founding member.

In 2001, Duff Roman was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame, and in March 2006, was one of the first broadcasters inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame. In October 2010, Duff received the OAB Lifetime Achievement Award. In March 2017, he received the 11th Annual Music Managers Forum – Brian Chater Pioneer Manager Award. 

On March 16, 2019, Duff received the highly coveted 2019 Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award for his ongoing contributions and dedication to the Canadian music industry. 

The Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award recognizes individuals whose work has significantly impacted the growth and development of the Canadian music industry. The prestigious award is named after Walt Grealis, legendary Canadian publisher and music industry leader. The 2019 award was presented to Duff at the 48th Annual JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards on Saturday, March 16 at the London Convention Centre in London, Ontario.