Arthur Weinthal (1932-)
Pioneer - Member of CAB Hall of Fame
Weinthal, Arthur (1932- )
Arthur Weinthal was born in Montreal on January 12th 1932. He was educated at Herbert Symons public school, and then at Montreal High School, and later attended McGill University, majoring in English and Psychology. His first job in broadcasting was in 1953, as the night news editor for CFCF Radio; a year later he was promoted to Program and Production Manager for the station, and he later moved on to become a producer of radio and television commercials for Harold F. Stanfield Advertising. In 1960, he was hired by Ronalds-Reynolds, where his accounts included Texaco and Timex. While there he met executives from the newly formed CTV network who were pitching programs for Arthur’s clients, and in 1962 he accepted an offer to join the network in Toronto as Executive Producer for daytime programs.
In 1966, Arthur was named CTV's National Program Director, and in 1973 he became Vice-President and Director of Entertainment Programming, with responsibility for all the Canadian-produced entertainment and co-production elements of the CTV network schedule. Some of the major CTV series to fall within his responsibility were A Go Go ’66, It’s Happening, Excuse My French, Stars on Ice, Thrill of a Lifetime, Search and Rescue, The Campbells, Circus, Check It Out, Katts and Dog, My Secret Identity, Night Heat, Swiss Family Robinson, E.N.G., Neon Rider, Counterstrike, and Due South . He was made Vice-President, Programming, in 1994, and in 1997 was named Group Vice President, Creative Director of the Network.
On September 9th 1980, Arthur spearheaded the organization of the Telethon that CTV put together at short notice only a week after Terry Fox was forced to end his cross-Canada Marathon of Hope to raise money for cancer. The Telethon eventually raised over $14,000,000.
From 1993 to 1998 he served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Film Centre.
As one of Canada's most-respected production executives, Arthur Weinthal made a significant contribution to television programming in Canada. Through his expertise, guidance and dedication, he contributed greatly to the high quality and quantity of the programming on the nation’s television screens. On Arthur’s retirement from CTV, news anchor Lloyd Robertson said of him: "Arthur is a true Canadian original……someone who has kept alive the tender plant of Canadian drama and entertainment in the extremely competitive world of private television. We hail him as a hero.”
After retiring from CTV in March 1998, Arthur found his many skills in demand as a consultant, notably to Alliance Atlantis on the programming of their specialty channels. In 2000 he chaired the committee of the Corus Entertainment Children/Family Programming Fund, and in 2001 he did consulting work with the CBC on their international sales activity. In the same year he was made an Honorary Lifetime Director of the Banff Television Foundation, having been Chairman of its Board of Governors, 1999-2001.
Over the years, Arthur Weinthal gave his boundless energy and enthusiasm to numerous organizations - among them, the Children's Broadcast Institute, the Broadcast Executives' Society, and the Banff Television Festival. In 1994, he was the recipient of CFTPA's Jack Chisholm Award for lifetime achievement, and in 1997, the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television's Academy Achievement Award.
In 1997, the Arthur Weinthal Award was endowed in his name at Ryerson University, to mark the demonstration of “exceptional capacities promising success in the industry while completing a senior year internship” in Ryerson’s School of Radio and Television Arts.
In 1999, Arthur Weinthal was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame.
Written by Pip Wedge - March, 2007