Ralph Connor

Kenora, Ontario

July 29, 2013

Ralph Connor can easily be placed in our category of “Visionaries & Pioneers”! He was a lifelong broadcaster, a former Sudbury Alderman, husband, father and grandfather.

To suggest he was a lifelong broadcaster is to reflect only on the very least of his accomplishments. It is what he brought to broadcasting in Sudbury that would reflect his vision and ideas of what CKSO Radio and TV could and would become. He would become known as a tough taskmaster. His direction and leadership created an impact on broadcasting not only in Sudbury but across Canada.

It was radio that brought Connor to Sudbury. He came to work as an overnight host on CKSO Radio in 1950. He wouldn’t be satisfied once he discovered that there were new challenges and opportunities within arms’ reach. He moved into the television department and soon became General Manager of both CKSO Radio and TV by the mid-1950s. In fact, Ralph Connor had helped launch CKSO TV as the first privately owned television station in Canada. To accomplish this Ralph found himself in rather intense negotiations with the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission. In an August 14, 2013 newspaper article, The Sudbury Star quotes George Lund, former CKSO Radio and TV Manager, describing Ralph as an innovator, “he looked ahead and he pushed hard, and a lot of people would have thought he was a very difficult guy to deal with because he pushed so hard, but that was his nature”. Connor would also be instrumental in establishing another milestone by aiming to go colour, thus becoming what is believed to be the first private station in Canada to broadcast in colour.

Ralph Connor did not confine his leadership skills and vision within the walls of Cambrian Broadcasting in Sudbury. He was also active in municipal politics. Sitting for two terms on city council, Connor served as Alderman representing what was then Ryan Ward. As Councillor, he played instrumental roles in projects like the Art Gallery, the Bell Park Amphitheatre, Laurentian University and Adele Samson Centre School. Part of Ryan Ward included the Donovan where he especially garnered love from his many Ukrainian constituents there. Ralph himself shared their Ukrainian heritage.

In another chapter of Ralph’s life and careers, he ran in the 1974 Federal election aiming for Member of Federal Parliament in the House of Commons on behalf of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. He was a candidate for Nickel Belt. He came in third, with New Democratic Party incumbent John Rodriguez holding on to his seat.

Ralph Connor would leave Cambrian Broadcasting in 1975. He served for a time as General Manager at CHEX in Peterborough. Connor remained in the broadcast industry throughout the years as a consultant. He is credited with establishing CJAX 92.5 FM Radio in Edmonton and CJAY 92 FM Radio in Calgary. Though he spent much of his life in Alberta, Connor always said his heart was in Sudbury. He was born in Kenora.

Ralph Connor passed away on July 29, 2013 in Sudbury, in his early 80s. He left behind his wife, Jan Browning, a son Mark Browning, a daughter-in-law Jess Nadel and a grandson Woodrow. Among the online condolences, Larry Gavin, a former executive at Cambrian wrote, “Ralph had a formidable influence on all who knew and worked with him, launching many top executive careers in the broadcast industry.”

One of Ralph’s passions was his collection of thousands of vinyl albums. As a record and music collector, he did research everywhere he travelled to become acquainted with musical artists. He also loved to research the most interesting spots in which to dine and to visit. Connor’s son Mark, picked up his father’s enthusiasm for vinyl records. Mark Browning is the owner of Sudbury based “Cosmic Dave’s Vinyl Emporium” and “Cosmic Dave’s Guitar Emporium”.

Giftofvision - Sneakers search engine | Women's Nike Superrep