Doug Holtby (1947-)

Year Born: 
1947
Year of Induction: 
2005

Member of CAB Hall of Fame

Holtby, Doug (1947- )

Doug Holtby was born in Vancouver in 1947, and moved to Edmonton at the age of 15. He received his Chartered Accountant designation from the University of Alberta in 1972.

In 1973, he joined Allarco Developments Limited as Assistant to the Controller, just as the company received its licence for CITV-TV, which went on the air in September of that year. A month later Doug was appointed General Manager of the station.  In 1976 he was appointed President of CITV and a Director of Allarcom Limited (formerly Allarco).  Doug was instrumental in achieving ongoing production of the Second City program SCTV, which had not been felt to be viable by an large eastern based broadcaster but went on to enjoy multi-year success due to the production opportunity and funding provided by Doug and the Allarcom team.

During Doug's tenure, Allarcom expanded rapidly to include Allarcom Pay Television (Superchannel), CKRD-TV Red Deer, and Allarcom Studios, which was western Canada's largest and most technically advanced post-production and film studio.  Allarcom also had an ownership position in Canadian Satellite Communications (CANCOM), and Doug became a Founding Director of this national satellite television service for remote and underserved communities. He served as a CANCOM director from 1980 to 1996.

In 1989, Doug moved back from Edmonton to Vancouver to join WIC Western International Communications Ltd. as Executive Vice-President, and later that year was appointed President and CEO.  In 1981, WIC acquired the assets of Allarcom and WIC became one of Canada's largest broadcast companies. Doug was Chair of WIC subsidiaries Western Radio Group Ltd. (11 radio stations), Western TV Group Ltd. (8 TV stations across Canada), Western Broadcast Sales Limited, and Allarcom Pay Television Limited.  During this time Doug was a director the CTV Network.

Doug left WIC in 1996 but remained active in the broadcasting industry through his involvement as a CanWest Trustee and a director of ROB-TV until 2001.  He then resigned his Directorships to pursue with others what proved to be a successful application for the licence for Vancouver's first multicultural TV station Channel M.

Doug was also a founding board member of Bell ExpressVu satellite service, using his experience with CANCOM and Superchannel to help develop this new venture.

He was also active in many industry associations: Past Chairman CAB Television Board, Board member - The Canadian Journalism Foundation, Past Committee member, Governor-General's Performing Arts Awards,Past member, The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and Past member, Industry Canada's Information Highway advisory council, 1994.

Doug was also involved in community affairs, as Board member of the BC Special Olympics, Co-Chairman Sports Celebrity Festival for Canucks for Kids Fund, and Chairman, Vancouver area Selection Committee, Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation

In 1992, Doug was the recipient of the B.C. Association of Broadcaster's "Broadcaster of the Year" award. In 2002, he was honoured with the Special Olympics "National Volunteer of the Year" Award.

In 2005, Douglas Holtby was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' Hall of Fame.

Written by Ross McCreath - October, 2005

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