PREMIER COMMUNICATIONS LIMITED – VANCOUVER
Premier Cablevision Limited as it was known when I moved to B.C. as the President and CEO was the largest Cable TV company in Canada. It was also one of two pioneers in the Cable Television field (the other being Canadian Cablesystems Limited based in London, Ontario). It had cable TV operations in Alberta and Ontario as well as being the dominant player in B.C. with operations in Vancouver and Victoria. It even had Cable TV operations in Dublin and Waterford, Ireland.
It was however a traditional Cable Television company. I was brought in as President and CEO on April 1, 1979 to bring the new Wired City perspective to the company. We expanded into the United States, participated in the launch of Pay TV in Canada and pioneered some new approaches to multicultural programming.
The company however needed economy of scale and a rationalization of the Cable Television industry in Canada was very necessary. In 1980, the company merged with Canadian Cablesystems Limited which itself had recently been acquired by Rogers Cable TV. I became the Chair of the newly created cable giant under the leadership of Ted Rogers.
During my time in the cable industry, I chaired the Strategic Planning Committee of the Canadian Cable Television Association and was the President of the Cable Telecommunications Research Association.
It was these activities that led to the attached talks from about 1979 to 1983 when I became involved in the application for mobile telephone licenses in Canada.
3. The Unwired City
A paper in 1979 looking forward to the 1980’s and 90’s when there would be a mixture of the wired and unwired worlds – an interesting prediction given my later involvement in wireless telephony.
5. Fireside Chat
I continued my approach of having regular fireside chats with the staff. However as the Premier personnel were in several countries and many locations, I started to videotape these. This one was January 1980.
15. Community Leaders in Victoria, B.C.
A breakfast meeting in Victoria to explain the reasons for the recent merger between Premier Communications Limited and Canadian Cablesystems Limited, October 22, 1980.
19. Freedom to Choose
A talk to the Rotary Club of Vancouver on January 25, 1983 shortly after the introduction of Pay TV. This Pay TV package has included the Playboy channel which aroused a significant backlash from some women’s organizations. I managed to pour fuel on the fire unintentionally.
21. You Take the High Road
An overview of Cable TV as a future market for satellite services. This was given to the management group of Telesat Canada in Ottawa on June 28, 1983 and forecasts the extensive use of satellite delivered programming in conjunction with cable.