Gary Slaight to receive special Junos honour

Radio broadcasting mogul Gary Slaight will be honoured for his contributions to the Canadian music industry at the 2012 Juno Awards, organizers announced Wednesday.
Gary Slaight, seen at left with Astral Media CEO Ian Greenberg in 2007, is the latest recipient of the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

Radio broadcasting mogul Gary Slaight will be honoured for his contributions to the Canadian music industry at the 2012 Juno Awards, organizers announced Wednesday.

The second-generation broadcast guru, who is president of Slaight Communications and founder of Slaight Music, is the 2012 recipient of the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award, given by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

"He's not only distinguished himself as a music innovator, he has made it his mandate to proactively support our nation's talented artists," CARAS president Melanie Berry said in a statement.

Slaight worked at labels Quality Records and WEA Records and at Toronto rock station Q107, where he rose to the posts of vice-president and general manager. In 2000, he took over leadership of his father Allan Slaight's Standard Broadcasting Corp., Canada's largest private radio network. In 2007, he negotiated the deal to sell Standard's 52 radio stations to Astral Media for more than $1 billion.

A champion of homegrown talent, he also created the National Songwriting Contest and the Canadian Radio Music Awards.

Organizers will pay tribute to Slaight at the 2012 JUNO Awards in Ottawa on March 31.

The senior Slaight won the Grealis Award in 2005, with other recipients including Guess Who producer Jack Richardson, True North record label founder Bernard Finkelstein and broadcasting guru Moses Znaimer.