Canadian Ambition

The man whose company dominates the Canadian cable television industry is being profiled on TV, and no, it’s not going to be on the local-access cable channel. “The Life and Times of Ted Rogers” is airing across Canada on CBC Television’s “Life & Times”, Tuesday, October 19, at 9:00 P.M.

The show profiles the life of Canadian media mogul Ted Rogers, and takes viewers from the hallowed halls of Upper Canada College to the fraternities of University of Toronto; from Toronto’s Forest Hill to the Muskoka Lakes; and from political backrooms to corporate boardrooms.

Along the way, CBC promises a candid look at the great Canadian media baron, and from early reports, this may just be the case. Entitled “Ambition: The Life and Times of Ted Rogers”, the production is not the typical biography of a business leader.

Whatever your own opinion of Ted Rogers and his media empire, there’s no denying that his personal story is an interesting one. The tube invented by his father Edward Rogers Sr. in 1923 meant radios no longer needed noisy, leaky batteries and could run on household current. His company, “Rogers Majestic”, was a world leader until the day he died — at only 3years old. The executors of Rogers’ estate sold off the company and his radio station, CFRB.

Since then Ted Rogers has been fighting — to re-build the family empire he considered his birthright, and, as his friend The Hon. Hal Jackman argues, “for the approval of his father who was not even aware of Ted in his later years.” Now, according to the film’s producers, the 67 -year old Ted Rogers’ ambition is to “keep Rogers Inc. in the game, when family businesses can no longer compete…and as his own health falters.”

With a wealth of interesting material and a long, colourful history, this may be one Canadian biography that is well worth watching on Oct. 19.