Biography

Pioneer - Member of CAB Hall of Fame

Snelgrove, Ralph J.

(1914-1990)

In 1940, the owner of newly-licensed CFOS Owen Sound began a search for a manager for his station. He found him working for Ken Soble at Metropolitan Broadcasting in Toronto. Ralph Snelgrove, and spent  9 years at the helm of CFOS.

He launched his own station - CKBB at Barrie, Ontario, and in 1965, added a part-time satellite - CKCB at Collingwood.

In 1955, Snelgrove obtained one of the first television licences issued in Canada and built CKVR-TV at Barrie, to which he subsequently added three repeaters. Some attempts were made to move the transmitter closer to Toronto, without success.

In due course, CKVR-TV was bought by the CHUM organization, and Ralph Snelgrove became a director of CHUM Limited. CKBB and CKCB were acquired in 1983 by Katenac Holdings.

Ralph played a leading role within the radio-television industry. He was the first president of the Central Canada Broadcasters' Association when it was formed, and he served for many years as a director of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters. He was elected CAB president in 1948.

Ralph Snelgrove was truly one of the leading citizens of the Barrie community - a school trustee (chairman for three years), an alderman, a president of the Chamber of Commerce, and involved in dozens of other activities. He was well-known for his philanthropic undertakings. Sir Wilfred Laurier University bestowed on him an Honorary Doctorate Degree at Georgian College.

In 1985, Ralph Snelgrove was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame.

In 1990 Ralph Snelgrove passed away.

Written by J. Lyman Potts - April, 1996

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