Ron Johnston

Ron Johnston - CKSO AM FM TVBirthplace
London, Ontario

September 21, 1950

First Media Job
CJOE Radio, Operator

Coming to Sudbury in 1973, Ron Johnston was no rookie in the business. He became an area household name at CKSO Radio and Television. His career started with a part-time job as an Operator at CJOE Radio in London from September of 1967 to February of 1968. From February of 1968 through to November of that year, Ron was stationed at CJCS Radio as an Announcer in Stratford.

A major career move took him to Peterborough before the end of 1968 where he worked at CHEX Radio and Television. He started there as an all-night disc jockey. He moved to afternoons a year later and then to television. Ron was somewhat reluctant to make that move to TV but found himself helping out on the television side of the CHEX operation by anchoring newscasts from time to time and eventually becoming a staff announcer between radio and television. He remained there for five years.

Ron JohnstonIf Ron’s initial reluctance to television was any kind of impedance, he sure recovered and developed a desire to learn and do more. He knew he would have to make a move to gain that experience and so he set his eyes on Sudbury. In a July 2010 newspaper interview, Ron was quoted, “CKSO was an opportunity to try a little larger market and to do news specifically. Here I was doing all kinds of things but the move to Sudbury would allow me to focus just on news, which I had developed quite an affinity for.” So, he picked up stakes and made the move to Sudbury in 1973. He did some radio hosting on CKSO AM and then became a regular evening news anchor on CKSO TV. Leaving Sudbury in 1976 Ron Johnston headed next for Kitchener, his southwestern Ontario roots, where he remained for 21 years. He wore several hats at CKCO Television including that as News Anchor, then News Director and finally, by 1994, became Program Manager. Taking on this roll was cause for some concern for Ron in that he would no longer be on the air. Looking ahead, he knew that moving into management would be ideal in furthering his career in broadcasting. CKCO TV ownership included CKKW AM and CFCA FM, both to which Ron was assigned News Director from September of 1985 until September of 1993 when the company divested itself of both AM and FM. The stations went to the CHUM group and Ron remained with CKCO TV until 1997.

Nancy Whiting (CKSO TV Winners Circle)In 1997 Ron Johnston was offered the position of General Manager at CHEX TV in Peterborough. Making the difficult decision to leave Kitchener, he made the move back to Peterborough, but just to make sure he was doing the right thing, he made a point of staying in the city for a few days to ‘test the waters’. To Ron’s delight Peterborough had remained just as he experienced the city in the past but he would discover even more to his liking. While temporarily residing at the Holiday Inn Ron noticed from his window one evening that there were several people walking down the street and headed for a nearby park. Out of curiosity he followed them and discovered the Festival of Lights, where Kim Mitchell was on stage. Ron stayed for the whole evening taking in the concert, a boat show and fireworks. He immediately decided he would get involved with this annual event should he decide to stay.

Ron did decide to remain in Peterborough and at CHEX until he retired in 2008. He became involved with Festival of Lights which eventually became known as the Peterborough Musicfest. He served as Board Chair. Ron’s involvement with the community became quite extensive volunteering for many worthwhile causes. These included being a member of the Board of Directors of Crime Stoppers of Peterborough - Northumberland, the Capital Campaign for YMCA Peterborough, Media Advisory Committee for the Peterborough Regional Hospital Foundation, and Media Advisory Chair for the YWCA Peterborough, Northumberland and Haliburton.

Now retired, Ron has returned to his hometown of London where most of his immediate family reside. In addition to family, he enjoys traveling.

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