Paul Ski started in the radio business in the mid-’60s at CHLO-AM St. Thomas, Ontario, while he was still in 10th grade. He learned the ropes operating for several of the announcers, later hosted the afternoon drive shift and eventually became the program director.
While working for CHLO, Paul took the time to listen to all the major stations in the market, and later recalled: “That was the era of the Big 8 [CKLW/Detroit-Windsor, Ontario], and the other great powerhouses, like WABC [New York] WHK [Cleveland], WKNR [Detroit] and WBZ [Boston]. They were all great motivators for me while I was doing my homework.”
Paul’s early work in afternoon radio made him popular with the younger listeners and he was soon in demand to host local dances – and, rumour had it, to join a poker school downstairs afterwards.
In 1970, Paul joined CKSO-AM-FM Sudbury, Ontario, as program director. “I continued working full-time”, he remembered, “… and then had an opportunity to get into sales and programming management with the station. In 1972, I moved over to CHUM in Ottawa as CHUM’S program manager”.
Paul then in 1976 went on to manage CHUM’s radio stations in Halifax. In 1977, C100 was licensed in Halifax, and Paul also added that station to his managerial responsibilities. Paul found time to earn a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver in the mid 80’s.
In 1986 Paul Ski became Chilliwack/Abbotsford/Vancouver radio station CFUN’s general manager on the station’s launch. In 1987, Paul was appointed vice president responsible for CHUM radio operations in Western Canada and program development at CFRA / CFMO-FM Ottawa and CJCH / CIOO-FM Halifax.
Paul was named Broadcaster of the Year in 2002 by the British Columbia Association of Broadcasters. In March 2003 he was appointed President of CHUM Radio.
On December 20th, 2007 Rogers Radio Division named Paul Ski as CEO of its Radio Division. In 2013, Paul added responsibilities for day-to-day operations in the Toronto radio market as well as heading the integrated Rogers conventional TV and radio stations in Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.
On May 8th 2014, the Canadian Music Week celebrations in Toronto included the induction of Paul Ski into the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame. Ski’s achievements and longstanding career were honoured with the Allan Waters Broadcast Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the broadcasting industry in Canada.
In December 2014 it was announced that Paul Ski would be retiring at the end of the year.
Written by Pip Wedge – May, 2014