Year Born: 1947
Year of Induction: 2003
Member of CAB Hall of Fame
Viner, Tony (1947- )
After graduating from Western University in 1972 and beginning a career in the oil industry, Tony Viner staked a claim in broadcasting in 1973 when he became a national sales representative with Paul Mulvihill Radio Sales, and subsequently was appointed Sales Manager for CFCF Radio in Montreal.
In 1977, he joined the newly-licensed CILQ-FM in Toronto as General Manager and was responsible for launching the station.
In February 1982, Tony joined Rogers Broadcasting as Executive Vice-President and General Manager of its two Toronto radio stations, CHFI and CFTR. In September 1989, he was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Rogers Broadcasting Limited, and in 1997 was named President and Chief Executive Officer of Rogers Media Inc. In this role, Tony became responsible for the Rogers Radio Group, OMNI Television, Rogers Publishing, Rogers Sportsnet and the Shopping Channel (TSC).
By 2003, radio station ownership numbered 43 and television 10.
An example of Tony’s pursuit of opportunities to give his company competitive advantages was the establishment of the Satellite Radio Network (SRN) to provide programming services to over 150 stations; this was one of the first satellite networks in North America to utilize addressable technology. Others included support for DAB, the digitalization of the studio facilities of CFMT and the Shopping Network (TSC), extension of CFMT services to London and Ottawa and computerized radio on air presentation systems.
Tony also keenly pursued opportunities afforded by regulatory changes; growth of TSC as a result of full-motion video, station acquisitions stemming from relaxation of ownership rules; AM/FM conversions and OMNI 1 & 2.
Tony’s record of involvement in community and broadcasting affairs included the Chairmanship of the Capital Committee of the West Park Healthcare Centre, membership on the Board of the Toronto Blue Jays, Chairmanship of the Radio Marketing Bureau, the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement and the CAB Radio Board, and as a member of the CAB Executive Committee. He actively supported the inception of Canadian Women in Communications (CWIC)
In recognition of Tony’s significant contributions to broadcasting and to fellow Canadians, Tony was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal.
In 2003, Tony Viner was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame. On November 4th 2008, Peter Viner was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame. On November 6th 2012, Tony and his brother Peter were inducted into the new Ontario Association of Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame.