Legendary broadcaster Joel Aldred, who has died at age 91, leaves behind a giant footprint as a radio and television personality and businessman who helped shape the face of communications in Canada and the United States. Aldred was also a decorated bomber pilot in the Second World War, serving as squadron leader and acting wing commander. He won a Distinguished Flying Cross.
Famous for his voice, Aldred had an international broadcasting career that lasted for over 50 years. He started as a radio announcer with the CBC in 1945. He claimed to be the first person ever fired from the CBC when, in 1949, he referred to the network as a ''socialistic monopoly'', creating a political stir at the time. Undeterred, he went on to build a successful broadcasting career and in the 1950's, became one of the highest paid and most in-demand advertising Broadcasters in Hollywood.
In 1960, Aldred formed a business corporation, Aldred-Rogers Broadcasting, with the late Ted Rogers, and they, with other investors (Telegram Corporation and Foster Hewitt Broadcasting), launched CFTO Television, which eventually became the CTV Television Network. As the first President at CFTO, Aldred was instrumental in modernizing television in Canada, bringing in the first colour TV broadcasting equipment.