Patrick Cardinal as an Edmonton Broadcaster

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Patrick Cardinal as an Edmonton Broadcaster

Postby jon » Sat Apr 30, 2016 11:12 am

I thought it made sense to start a new thread, to focus on Patrick Cardinal's impact on Edmonton broadcasting. Although he was, to the best of my knowledge, never heard on Edmonton's airwaves, he had a tremendous amount to do with the on-air sound of several stations here, during some of their most successful ratings periods: Power 92, Capital-FM, K-97, Virgin 104.9, The Bear and TSN 1260.

I won't include the Edmonton Journal obituary, as it is word for word from the Globe & Mail article.
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Re: Patrick Cardinal as an Edmonton Broadcaster

Postby jon » Sat Apr 30, 2016 11:17 am

Life & Times: Edmonton radio executive Patrick Cardinal lived a life full of friends
Gordon Kent
Edmonton Journal
Published on: April 29, 2016
Last Updated: May 1, 2016 9:12 AM MDT

Patrick Cardinal, 1961 – 2016

Patrick Cardinal turned a childhood fascination with radio into a successful cross-Canada career that will culminate with a posthumous induction into the Canadian Music and Broadcast Hall of Fame.

Despite the hard work and long hours he put in at numerous stations — his final position was general manager of The Bear, 104-9 Virgin Radio and TSN 1260 for Bell Media in Edmonton — Cardinal never saw his work as just a job.

“Most people in the radio business get the radio bug. Once you have it, it’s something you’re passionate about your whole life,” colleague and longtime friend Ross Winters says.

“He loved every aspect of it … Once it’s in your blood, it’s not really a job. It’s kind of a hobby you’re paid for.”

Cardinal, who died of pancreatic cancer April 19 at age 54, recorded himself on cassette as a kid and joined his high school radio club before taking his first paying on-air job in 1979 with CJRL in Kenora, Ont.

That led to positions in Winnipeg, Vancouver, Hamilton, Edmonton and Toronto as he rose into senior management,

Winters describes him as the life of the party, someone happy to be on the giving or receiving end of a practical joke, a boss for whom people liked to work.

“The job is to get good ratings for the radio station and to lead in certain demographics in a market. He had a good vision for what that would take. He wasn’t afraid to take risks.”

One of those risks was bringing American shock-jock Howard Stern’s show to Toronto’s Q107 in 1997.

The high-profile move paid off with soaring ratings. To control what went on the air from the controversial New Yorker, Winters says Cardinal had a producer edit Stern’s unacceptable bits.

Another successful move was helping launch JACK FM in Vancouver, a popular “adult hits” format now licensed in dozens of locations in North America and Europe.

“A lot of people in the industry thought this was another fad, but it came out of the box No. 1 in just about every demographic,” says Jim JJ Johnston, who knew Cardinal from the time they worked for opposing Winnipeg radio stations in the early 1980s.

“He was a master programmer.”

He calls his friend a maverick who lived and breathed the business, enjoying friendly arguments about what worked and what didn’t.

“He wanted to do things his own way, do them fast and get it done, not unlike a lot of us guys,” Johnston says.

“Most of Pat’s friends were radio people. He loved to talk radio, the characters in radio, the formats, the technology.”

He also loved to travel, flying to Los Angeles or elsewhere to hear what was going out over the airwaves in the days before streaming audio.

In 2008, he became operations manager for Newcap Radio Group Edmonton, later taking over as program manager for Newcap Alberta.

He was named general manager in 2011 of Astral Radio’s Edmonton stations, now owned by Bell Media.

He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2014. For about the last year he was off work to battle the disease, moving to Vancouver to be near friends and family, including son Kael, his only child.
Patrick Cardinal, on the right, in hospital with his son Kael.

Cardinal survived far longer than doctors expected and did his best to make that time count.

“He would be on a plane to New York or on a plane to Boston or Chicago or Toronto regularly to see his friends,” Johnston says.

“If you’re having a golf trip, Pat would be the first guy to go.”

As he lay in a hospital bed on what turned out to be the last full day of his life, about 25 people close to him took part in a conference call.

Once all the greetings were over, they came to the point — he’ll be inducted into the Broadcast Hall of Fame May 5 during Canadian Music Week celebrations in Toronto.

“Pat just completely lost it. There’s not a dry eye that watched … It meant a lot to him,” Johnston says.

“We’re all so happy we got to him by the time we did. We gave him the best send-off anybody could ever have … The funniest part is, after he collected himself, he says ‘Now I’m going to have to figure how to get the (obscenity) to Toronto.’ ”

Cardinal died the next day, his two ex-wives and his son among the people by his side.
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Re: Patrick Cardinal as an Edmonton Broadcaster

Postby jon » Sat Apr 30, 2016 11:21 am

Tait on Eight
Cam Tait: Patrick Cardinal ruled the airwaves
By Cam Tait
Edmonton Sun
First posted: Sunday, April 24, 2016 03:59 PM MDT
Updated: Sunday, April 24, 2016 04:15 PM MDT

We never listened to Pat Cardinal’s voice on the radio in Edmonton, but we heard his broadcasting brilliance and creativity through others.

Pat died at the age of 54 in Vancouver Tuesday night after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer two years ago.

His first connection to Edmonton was in the early 1990s, when he was program director of Power 92, now Fresh Radio 92.5. Rob Christie and Audie Lynds were the morning show co-hosts on Power 92.

The show became No. 1 in Edmonton. Christie said under Pat’s direction, Rob and Audie in the Morning was nominated for the best humour and comedy show at the International Radio Festival in New York.

“After a couple of tries, we eventually won the gold medal,” said Christie, adding Power 92 is still the only Canadian radio station to capture the prestigious honour.

“One of my best memories of Pat is walking through Central Park in New York after lunch at Tavern on the Green and looking forward to the award show that night in Manhattan,” said Christie. “Pat was there with the programming and promotional support that enabled our show to be recognized on the world stage.”

In 1994, Christie left Edmonton for Toronto, before going to Vancouver. He came back to Edmonton and worked for Magic 99.3 FM, before being re-united with Cardinal and Lynds again in 2008 — this time at 96.3 Capital FM.

“I thought it would be a great opportunity for Audie and I to reunite,” said Christie who is still working the morning show on Capital FM with Audie.

“He was a real student of the craft (in radio). That is becoming a rare quality. He knew everything there was to know about radio, from programming and promotions, to music and marketing. He knew the importance of knowing everyone in the business, and had a contact list that was the envy of every broadcast executive in Canada.”

After programming Newcap Radio’s Capital FM and K-97, he became general manager of three Edmonton radio stations owned by Bell Media — 100.3 The Bear, 104.9 Virgin Radio and TSN 1260.

Edmonton Sun Page 6 columnist Marty Forbes met Pat in the 1980s, when the two were competing radio programmers. When Forbes retired from Bell Media, Cardinal took his job.

“The nice part, for me, was when he ended up sitting in the office that I held for 18 years here in Edmonton after I retired,” said Marty. “So obviously, it was a nice connection and pleased that he got to fulfil his dream of becoming a GM in the radio business.

During one of his last days alive, Cardinal found out he is going into the Canadian Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame, where he will be posthumously inducted May 5 in Toronto.

A Winnipeg native, he began his radio career in 1979 as an announcer at CJRL in Kenora, Ont. After being behind microphones as an announcer, he had various programming jobs in Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto.

How are people remembering him?

We’ll leave that to Christie.

“When I think of Pat Cardinal, I am reminded of the famous Abraham Lincoln quote: ‘In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.’ ”

(Cam Tait is the special projects advisor for Challenge Insurance.)
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