You could call him Mr. Broadcasting, since he has been actively engaged in most phases of this industry for fifty-five years (excluding service time in the Canadian Infantry during WW2).
He is Uncle Lew Roskin, and he began his career in 1937 at CJOC, Lethbridge, as a general announcer specializing in sports. In 1946, Lew established the Program Department of the new radio station, CJOB, in Winnipeg, and the following year he moved back to Alberta to become Program Manager at CFRN, Edmonton. In 1950, he was appointed General Manager of CJDC, Dawson Creek, B.C. Four years later, Lew moved to CFCN, Calgary, as General Manager there. In 1955 he joined CHED, Edmonton, as Sales Manager and Assistant to the General Manager. Six years later, in 1961, Lew was named General Manager of CKLG, Vancouver, but he returned to Edmonton in 1965, and, with Murray Dyck, established CHQT where he served as General Manager, and later as Vice-President, Corporate Affairs.
In broadcasting, Lew did it all —commercial writing, creative production writing, producing, general announcing, special events, sales and program management, promotion and publicity. Community minded, he was active in numerous community organizations from Winnipeg to Vancouver, and served on the executives of many of them. He was twice named as Director of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, was Director and President of the Broadcasters Association of Alberta, and President of the Western Association of Broadcasters. At one time, he was declared Man of the Month in an Edmonton Chamber of Commerce publication. In the year 2000, Lew was appointed to the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame, an honour well deserved for his many contributions to broadcasting through the years. He officially retired in 1992, but 2007 saw him still involved in broadcasting as a consultant in his company Roskin Telecommunications.
Lewis Ross “Uncle Lew” Roskin
July 16, 1920 – December 26, 2009
With deep sadness, our family announces the passing of our Dad (‘Uncle Lew’, as he was affectionately known to many) at 89 in hospital after complications from a fall at his home. Dad was born in Moose Jaw, SK, and is survived by his five children, Rick (Pat), Robin (Ron), Craig (Joan), Deborah Gray, Lance, eight grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and his sisters, Sally (Leon) Furgatch, and Lori (Avi) Gistrak. He was predeceased by parents Samuel and Molly, and by his former wife, Elizabeth. With the exception of military service during WWII, he had always worked in radio. At 17, Dad entered the broadcast industry in 1937 as an announcer at CJOC, Lethbridge, then worked up the ranks at CJOB, Winnipeg; CFRN, Edmonton; CJDC, Dawson Creek; CFCN, Calgary; CHED, Edmonton; CKLG, Vancouver; culminating as co-founder, President and GM of CHQT, Edmonton. Dad was elected to many positions within the radio industry, including Director, Canadian Association of Broadcasters; President, Western Association of Broadcasters; member CAB ‘Half Century Club’; Lifetime Membership in WAB; CAB ‘Golden Jubilee Award; and in 2000, elected to the CAB ‘Hall of Fame’. Dad had a gift for communicating with young and old, on simple or complex subject matter, always making people feel comfortable, and always making time for his children. At Dad’s request, a private family funeral was held on Monday, December 28th, in Edmonton. A ‘Celebration of Life’ will be held in 2010. As Dad undoubtedly said many times during his early broadcast days behind the mic, “Stand by!”