H. Frank Lewis (1939-)
Pioneer - Member of CAB Hall of Fame
Lewis, H. Frank (1939- )
H. Frank Lewis ( the H stands for Harry, but he was always known as Frank) was born in York, P.E.I. in 1939. On leaving school, his first job was in retail sales. His first job in broadcasting was in 1966 as a junior salesman with Island Radio’s private CBC affiliate CFCY-AM Radio, founded in 1924 by CAB Hall of Fame member Col. Keith Rogers, in Charlottetown, P.E.I. He quickly demonstrated his ability to generate new revenues for the station and within a year had been made sales manager.
When Island Radio’s assets were bought by Eastern Broadcasting in 1971, Frank was made Vice President and General Manager of CFCY, and he would remain in this position for the rest of his remarkable broadcasting career. The personality that had served Frank so well as a salesman was equally effective in engendering unswerving loyalty and support from all those who had the good fortune to work for and with him in the radio industry, both inside and outside CFCY.
Frank led his team successfully and smoothly through many changes during his 33 years at the helm, including the advent of new competition from CHTN-AM in 1974, CFCY’s disaffiliation from the CBC in 1977 (when the Corporation opened its own station in Charlottetown), the acquisition of ownership of the station by Maclean Hunter (through its majority holding in Maritime Broadcasting Co. Ltd) in 1986, office and studio moves in 1973 and again in 1990, and a change in format to country music in 1996. In 1996, CFCY was named by the National Post as one of the100 best companies to work for in Canada.
During his time at CFCY, Frank Lewis ensured that his station was a very active participant in the life of the Charlottetown community. The Frank Lewis Roast raised significant sums of money for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and CFCY was a major supporter of the Charlottetown Festival.
Personally, Frank was very active in the Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce, was on the Board of the Confederation Centre of the Arts for several years, and in 2002 he received the Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I. President’s Award “for outstanding dedication and commitment to the development of tourism in the province.” He also served on the Prince Edward Island Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame Board of Governors.
Frank retired from his job at CFCY in December 2004, but within a few months had been hired as a consultant for NewCap Broadcasting's CHTN in Charlottetown and established Hot 105.5 for them the following year. He left that position upon his appointment as Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island and member and Chancellor of the Order of Prince Edward Island in August 2011.
In November 2006, H. Frank Lewis was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame.