根据资料，罗渣士1933年5月27日出生于安大略省多伦多市，曾荣获加拿大勋章,文学士，法学士,科学博士。他的父亲老爱德华·萨姆·罗渣士(Edward S. Rogers, Sr.)被认为是公司的创始人,尽管他最初建立的电台现属另一加拿大竞争对手公司Astral Media, Inc.旗下(TSE:ACM.A)。
罗渣士在Upper Canada College接授教育后，1956年毕业于多伦多大学三一学院并获得文学士学位。研究生期间，他加入了Sigma Chi(ΣΧ)兄弟会。1979年他正式就任加拿大第21位Significant Sig。1960年，当他还是约克大学奥斯古法律学校的学生时，他购买的本地电台CHFI的所有股份。当时，多伦多家用调频收音机仅占全部收音机拥有量的5%，他成为调频广播的先驱。1965年时，他已经进入有线电视产业；罗渣士通讯创立于1967年，现今已成长为加拿大最大的媒体财团。
自2000年9月1日，罗渣士成为多伦多蓝鸟队与美国职业棒球联盟的所有者。当罗渣士通讯有限公司购买80%的棒球俱乐部的股份时，Labatt酿酒有限公司(Labatt Brewing Company Ltd.)坚守其20%的股权，加拿大帝国商业银行则放弃其10%的股份。他100%拥有该队自2003年赛季至今。除此之外，蓝鸟队的棒球场SkyDome在罗渣士的公司购买后被重命名为罗渣士中心(同时包括命名权)。
Canadian media pioneer Ted Rogers dies at 75
Toronto – Canadian media pioneer Ted Rogers has died at the age of 75, after weakening health from congestive heart failure. The founder of Rogers Communications Inc. passed away at his Toronto home just after midnight Tuesday surrounded by his friends and family.
Ontario Conservative Leader John Tory, a longtime friend of Rogers, told 680News he will miss the man who he said had such a profound influence on his life.
“I think he would want to be remembered most as someone who really made this community a better place. I think the generous, philanthropic deeds of Ted Rogers and Loretta Rogers are things that are underplayed…they’ve done so much for education…that was far more important than the thousands of jobs he’s created, or all the products he’s led into the marketplace,” Tory said.
Phil Lind, vice-chairman of Rogers, who worked alongside Rogers for almost 40 years, said he sends his sincerest condolences to Loretta, the children and the grandchildren.
Lind said Rogers will be missed by so many, and added that although Rogers was relentless in business and building his company over the years, he was also very much a family man, and his impact on family, community and country was as impressive as his business success.
Tony Viner, the president and CEO of Rogers Media, likened the loss of Rogers to losing a parent, and shared one of his fondest memories with the company’s sports station, the FAN590.
“I remember of course talking to Ted about whether or not we should buy the Blue Jays and I actually suggested that maybe it wasn’t the wisest investment we could ever make. He looked at me and said Tony, you have been my trusted media adviser for 25 years, and I very much appreciate your opinion. The next day of course, he bought the Blue Jays,” Viner recalled.
Research In Motion co-founder Jim Balsillie credited a lot of his success to Rogers.
“Ted was a giant of the business circle in Canada, and a remarkable man. What some may not know is he was very, very supportive of RIM, in the early days…RIM really got started because of Ted’s vision,” Balsillie said.
Rogers led Canada’s largest media and telecommunications empire, one that included 52 radio stations, such as 680News and FAN590, as well as OMNI, CityTV and 79 consumer and trade publications. He also owned the Toronto Blue Jays, the Rogers Centre and Rogers Cable. Moreover, he recently published his biography Relentless.
Funeral arrangements will be announced by the Rogers family.
This is the official statement from the Board of Directors of Rogers Communications:
It is with great sadness that the Board of Directors of Rogers Communications Inc. announces the death of our colleague, leader and friend, Edward Samuel “Ted” Rogers, the founder of the company, a visionary communications industry pioneer and an icon in Canadian business. He was 75. Mr. Rogers, known for his indefatigable drive, built Rogers Communications into a Canadian and North American leader in wireless telecommunications, cable television, broadcasting, publishing and more. Mr. Rogers’ name is synonymous with innovative, high-quality communications products across Canada, products that improved and simplified the everyday lives of Canadians.
“We wish to express our deepest sympathy to Loretta and all of the Rogers family for this loss,” said Alan Horn, Chairman of Rogers Communications and acting CEO. “Ted Rogers was one of a kind who built this company from one FM radio station into Canada’s largest wireless, cable and media company. A leader also in giving to the community through his and Loretta’s many philanthropic initiatives. He will be sadly missed.” Phil Lind, Rogers Vice-Chairman, worked alongside Mr. Rogers for almost 40 years. “Our sincerest condolences to Loretta, the children and the grandchildren. He will be missed by so many. Though Ted was relentless in business and building this company over the years, he was also very much a family man. His impact on family, community and country was as impressive as his business success,” Mr. Lind said.
Mr. Rogers, who suffered from congestive heart failure, saw his health weaken over the past few years. He was surrounded by loved ones when he died at his home in Toronto. Mr. Rogers’ successor as Chief Executive Officer will be addressed by the Rogers Communications Inc. Board of Directors which intends to form a special committee to lead a search considering internal and external candidates. In the meantime, Alan Horn, Chairman of Rogers Communications Inc., will continue to serve as acting Chief Executive Officer and lead the company’s office of the president.Funeral arrangements will be announced by the family.
Obituary: Ted Rogers
Ted Rogers: A titan and a visionary
| Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 11:09 am
It is with great sadness that Rogers Communications Inc. announces the death of company founder Edward Samuel “Ted” Rogers, a visionary communications industry pioneer and a titan in Canadian business. He was 75.
Mr. Rogers, known for his relentless drive, built Rogers Communications into a Canadian leader in wireless telecommunications, cable television, broadcasting, publishing and more. Mr. Rogers’ name is synonymous with innovative, high-quality communications products across Canada.
He leaves his wife, Loretta; four children: Lisa, Edward (Suzanne), Melinda (Eric) and Martha; and four grandchildren: Chloé, Edward, Jack and Zachary.
In October 2008, Mr. Rogers’ autobiography (written with Robert Brehl) entitled Relentless: The True Story of the Man Behind Rogers Communications was published by HarperCollins. It quickly became a best-seller. True to form, the book is candid and honest from a legendary entrepreneur who talks about his successes and his failures; and takes the reader beyond the brand and inside the man.
Ted Rogers belongs to a select group of sons and daughters whose achievements exceeded those of their famous fathers and mothers. His father, Edward Rogers Sr., was hailed in newspapers around the world in the early 20th century as a “boy genius” and he went on to invent the electrical plug-in radio and work on other communications devices that are now part of our daily lives, from television to radar.
Mr. Rogers Sr. died young in 1939 at age 38. “I was five years old when he died,” Ted Rogers said. “And from then on my mother, Velma Taylor Rogers Graham, instilled in me a great capacity to work and rebuild what had been lost and never, ever give up.”
That he did. Rogers Communications Inc. owns Canada’s largest wireless telecommunications company, the country’s largest cable company, the Toronto Blue Jays and Rogers Centre (formerly the SkyDome), 52 radio stations, several television properties including five CityTV outlets, five OMNI multicultural stations, Rogers Sportsnet, the Shopping Channel and more than 70 consumer and trade magazines.
Forbes magazine once called Mr. Rogers “Canada’s most obsessed-about media mogul” and a “Lion in Winter.” But for an eternal optimist like Mr. Rogers, there really was only Spring and Summer – and the next big deal he could do or the next great innovation he could bring to market; from FM radio and crystal clear cable TV reception in the 1960s to cellular phones in the 1980s to today’s high-speed Internet to the home and wireless email, video and web browsing to the handset.
In naming him Man of the Year in 2000, Toronto Life magazine dubbed him “Mr. Toronto”. In only a matter of months, Ted Rogers had stepped up to the plate and saved the city’s beleaguered major league baseball team, the Toronto Blue Jays, and, along with wife Loretta, donated $25 million to the University of Toronto (the school’s largest-ever personal donation) and $10 million to Ryerson University. In May 2007, he gave another $15 million to Ryerson.
“Education can remake a country, a city, can make it … a different place” in only one generation, Mr. Rogers told Toronto Life.
Over the years, he and Loretta also donated tens of millions of dollars to charities such as the Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Woodstock General Hospital, Sheena’s Place and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where he had had heart surgery.
In 1990, Mr. Rogers was made an Officer of The Order of Canada and in 1994 was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame. In 2002, Mr. Rogers was the first Canadian inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame in Denver. Also in 2002, he and Loretta were named Outstanding Philanthropists of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Over the years, Mr. Rogers was awarded eight honorary doctorates from North American universities.
A graduate of the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall Law School, he was a lawyer by training, but an entrepreneur by nature. (Even at the end, his business card read: “Ted Rogers, Senior Salesperson.”)
While in law school in 1960, he bought CHFI radio with an $85,000 loan and a market with fewer than 5 per cent of listeners owning FM receivers. Today, CHFI is Canada’s biggest radio station.
“I may have van Gogh’s ear for music, but I could see crystal clear that FM with its superior sound was the future for radio,” he once said. With so few FM radios in Torontonians’ homes, Mr. Rogers decided to buy FM receivers in bulk and then sell them at cost to increase CHFI’s audience. During these hectic times, he would often send his secretary to law class in his place to take notes. He was called to the bar in 1962, but never practiced law.
Through all the successes of his life, Mr. Rogers retained an enigmatic streak. He could be charming to a fault or unleash a legendary temper. He never wanted to see his family lose the company as it did after his father’s death, yet he almost lost it several times in his own lifetime by taking big gambles. He feared dying young like his father, but was consumed by work and put strain on his health, even working from the hospital bed more than once. He had no time for sports, yet became one of the most influential men in Canadian sports through the Blue Jays and his company’s involvement in professional and amateur tennis.
Former Ontario Lieutenant-Governor Hal Jackman was a long-time friend and former school classmate of Mr. Rogers. In one interview, Mr. Jackman offered the most succinct, and perhaps apt, description of his personality: “Ted is not laid back.”
Mr. Rogers’ ancestors were Quakers from New England who immigrated to Canada in 1801 and settled north of Toronto in Newmarket.
Entrepreneurship ran through the family. His great-grandfather, Samuel Rogers, started a fuel oil distribution company that he later sold to Imperial Oil. Samuel’s brother, Elias, built a large coal company that bore the Rogers name. (Foreshadowing Ted Rogers’ philanthropic streak, Samuel Rogers co-founded the Hospital for Sick Children on College St. in 1892.)
Ted Rogers’ father, Edward S. Rogers Sr., was born in 1900 on the cusp of a great communication revolution. “Though he died when I was only five years old, he is obviously the force behind my life-long interest in broadcasting and telecommunications,” Ted Rogers said. Besides bringing the world the alternating current radio tube, the senior Mr. Rogers founded CFRB (Canada’s First Rogers Batteryless) radio station in 1927.
Ted Rogers was born on May 27, 1933. He was sickly and his parents were told he may not survive. (Ironically, over the course of his business life, a similar prognosis would be touted more than once about his company, and each time it would be incorrect, too.)
After Mr. Rogers Sr. died with little capital built up or life insurance, all the companies bearing his name were either sold or shuttered. At age 7, Ted’s widowed mother sent him to boarding school, first to Quebec then to Upper Canada College in Toronto. He stayed in boarding school until age 17 and these years helped define his life. He was often lonely and became a loner in many ways. But he also used these years to hatch entrepreneurial schemes to separate the other boys from their money; often landing him in hot water, including oft-repeated canings.
(During these years, his mother re-married and John Graham became more than a step father to Ted. Until his death in 1998, Mr. Graham was a calming force in Mr. Rogers’ life who was relied upon for sound business counsel.)
In the 1950s, Mr. Rogers moved into his first real commercial endeavours, starting with a music business: supplying orchestras (including Peter Appleyard); renting sound systems; and then taking Polaroid pictures of couples. He would cap off the evening by offering to do a tap dance routine for an extra $10.
In 1957, Mr. Rogers met Loretta Anne Robinson at a party in Nassau. She was the daughter of Maysie and Jack Robinson, a British Member of Parliament for 33 years who would later become the Right Honourable Lord Martonmere, governor of Bermuda. The first time he met his future father-in-law they talked politics on the doorstep for half an hour before Mr. Rogers even got into the house. (Mr. Rogers was a life-long Conservative and one who was devoted to the populist John Diefenbaker throughout The Chief’s often tumultuous years in politics.)
Mr. Rogers’ entrepreneurial streak sometimes worried Jack Robinson. Upon the couple’s engagement, he offered this toast: “What’s Loretta’s is Loretta’s; and what’s yours is negotiable.”
After the wedding, Robinson released funds from his daughter’s trust for the couple to buy their home in Forest Hill in 1963. Upon doing so, he exacted a pledge from Mr. Rogers that the house would not be mortgaged to support his entrepreneurial endeavours.
After Lord Martonmere’s passing in 1989, Mr. Rogers regaled audiences with stories about how “we’ve had triple mortgages on our home to meet payrolls and we dared not tell her parents!”
Though Mr. Rogers has left a strong and powerful company, it was not always easy. “Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart,” he would say.
To underline that point, Mr. Rogers would tell audiences one of his favorite stories:
“One year, we just didn’t have sufficient cash to pay all the suppliers for a period of time. So, after meeting payroll, I would put all the bills in a hat and keep drawing invoices until we ran out of money.
“Can you believe that some creditors didn’t appreciate such innovation? Some would shout at me over the telephone. I often got a headache and asked them to stop yelling.
“With anger in their voices, they’d ask me what I would do if they kept yelling. ‘Very simple,’ I’d say, ‘I won’t put your bill in the hat next week!’
“Nobody sued – they all got paid with interest. No one in my lifetime has ever lost one cent in receivables or interest on a Rogers’ account.” No matter how many times he told the story, it seemed to delight both he and the audience.
In addition to CHFI in those early years, Mr. Rogers, along with the Eaton and Bassett families, had a piece of CFTO-TV, Canada’s first privately-owned television station.
As his broadcasting business grew, a new technology caught his eye. In 1967, he entered the cable television business and the rest, as they say, is history.
Rogers pioneered cable television in the 1960s and 1970s with superior picture quality, more channels through converters and community and multicultural programming. (Innovation continues today with Rogers cable a North American leader in the development and deployment of high-speed Internet service as well as digital television, video-on-demand and cable telephony.)
In 1979, Rogers became Canada’s largest cable company by taking over the much larger Canadian Cablesystems Ltd. and in 1980 purchased Premier Cablesystems in Vancouver to consolidate its cable presence. In the early 1980s, Rogers moved into the U.S. cable market and proved to be a leader among U.S. cable company peers. Rogers recorded a $1-billion profit when the company sold its U.S. assets in 1989.
By the mid-1980s, Ted Rogers was well into his 50s but he was not slowing down as so many men at that age do. Instead, he was speeding up.
To fund his expansion and innovation strategy, Rogers met in Beverly Hills with Michael Milken at Drexel, Burnham Lambert Inc. in 1983 and pioneered the high-interest corporate bond market in Canada.
Colloquially known as “junk bonds”, this financing tool was bitter-sweet for Mr. Rogers. He despised the “junk” connotation and its implications on his company. In his later years, Mr. Rogers strived for an “investment grade” rating for his company, which he achieved. But there is little doubt many of the company’s achievements would not have been possible without the high-interest corporate bonds.
Besides growing cable assets on both sides of the border, Rogers entered the wireless phone market in 1985 with partners Marc Belzberg and Philippe de Gaspé Beaubien to launch Cantel.
Unlike television, where the trend was from over-the-air to wired reception, Mr. Rogers envisioned that telephones were the exact opposite because of changing lifestyles.
Today that company, now called Rogers Wireless, is the largest – and fastest growing – wireless service provider in Canada, available to 93% of Canadians, with more than 7 million subscribers from coast-to-coast.
In 1989, Rogers jumped into the long distance business by purchasing 40 per cent of CN/CP Telecommunications (later Unitel). Things started out favourably with the 1992 Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission decision to open up the market that for a century had been a monopoly held by incumbent phone companies like Bell Canada.
But in the end, it was the most expensive mistake of Ted Rogers’ life. When Rogers Communications exited Unitel in 1995, it had taken a $500-million loss. Fortunately, the company was big enough to absorb the loss without Mr. Rogers losing his company.
In typical, Ted Rogers style, he rolled up his sleeves.
“Ted will say things are brighter than they are sometimes and I’ll know that’s not true. They’re not bright at all, but he thinks they are. That’s his force,” his long-time chief lieutenant and Rogers vice-chairman Phil Lind once said.
Within five years, Rogers got all the lost Unitel money back and $1 billion more by building up a new venture – Rogers Network Services – and selling it to AT&T Canada, which had taken over Unitel.
At age 60, Ted Rogers attempted his boldest move to date: a hostile takeover of Maclean-Hunter Ltd. In 1994, it was the largest takeover in Canadian communications industry history to that point. In the end, Rogers won the battle for the former “widows and orphan” conglomerate of cable, broadcast and publishing assets for $3.1 billion.
“Ted doesn’t have a business life and a personal life – it’s all one – he works 18 hours a day every day,” Phil Lind said. “When we did the takeover of Maclean Hunter in 1994, we couldn’t sit and enjoy it for a day. Ted doesn’t rejoice in any conquest because he’s always thinking – where will it lead? What’s next? He knows events will overtake him if he doesn’t overtake events.”
This work ethic was legendary. He expected his management team to work just like he did. His personality and work ethic instilled tremendous loyalty.
Mr. Rogers could take a joke, and there are many cases where he could give as good as he got. One example involved fellow cable operator Jim Shaw in Calgary. The companies had a friendly competition on who could sign up the most Internet customers with the loser buying the winner a steak dinner. Upon losing, Mr. Rogers sent Mr. Shaw a live 1200 pound steer to his home with a sign on its back “As requested, a big STEAK”.
By the mid-1990s, potentially the greatest threat to Rogers’ cable assets arrived on the scene – the so-called “Death Stars” or direct-to-home satellite receivers that were small enough to fit almost anywhere and offered digital picture quality. Amazingly, instead of hunkering down into a bunker mentality, Mr. Rogers continued his “damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead” business approach.
During these turbulent times, the company made a misstep with the “negative option”. This sales process required customers to alert the cable company if they did not want new services, instead of putting the onus on the provider to “sell” the new services. The practice was commonly used in many industries, but this time it created a major consumer backlash.
Rogers quickly reversed course within days of the outcry, but the public relations damage was done.
The late 90s were difficult years for Mr. Rogers and his company with the stock hitting an all-time low of $4.80 in 1998 and a debt that was worrying Bay St.
But, ever the optimist, Ted Rogers persevered; promising customers and investors new and exciting services. (Mr. Rogers ended every public speech with “The Best is Yet to Come.”)
But, he didn’t disappoint: High-speed Internet connections to the home; digital television; text-messaging, email and ring tones for mobile phones; and more all quickly arrived on the scene for Rogers customers.
Immediately into the new century, Mr. Rogers was back in acquisition mode. In 2000, he bought the Toronto Blue Jays, ostensibly with the break-up fee paid to Rogers Communications for the failed friendly takeover bid of Quebec’s cable giant Videotron.
Then in 2004, Mr. Rogers really rolled up his sleeves and sharpened his pencil. Telus Corp. attempted a hostile bid for Microcell Communications and its Fido brand of wireless phones. This was a company long in the sights of Rogers. He believed Fido a perfect fit for Rogers Wireless because of similar corporate cultures and they were the only two wireless companies in Canada using the international-standard GSM technology.
The problem was that Rogers Wireless partner AT&T Corp. was blocking Rogers from riding in as Fido’s White Knight. So, Rogers bought out AT&T for $1.8 billion and then paid $1.6 billion for Microcell Communications. It sounds a lot more simple than it was. Much like everything Ted Rogers did in business.
Today, Rogers Communications has annual revenue of $11-billion and it employs 29,000 Canadians.
Of his children, both Edward and Melinda have followed their father in the family business with each holding senior roles at Rogers. Edward is President of Rogers Cable Communications Inc. and Melinda is Senior Vice President, Strategy and Development at Rogers Communications.
Media giant Ted Rogers dies
Dec 02, 2008 06:37 AM
THE CANADIAN PRESS
Ted Rogers, the founder of the communications empire that bears his name, has died at his Toronto home at the age of 75.
The founder of Rogers Communications Inc. was admitted to hospital on Oct. 30 for treatment of an existing heart condition.
A statement from the company’s board of directors says Rogers was surrounded by loved ones when he died at his home.
Rogers, who has long been listed as one of Canada’s wealthiest people, earlier handed over his corporate duties to Rogers chairman Alan Horn.
The company owns the Toronto Blue Jays and their home the Rogers Centre, five Citytv television stations across the country, as well as the Rogers cable, wireless, radio and television businesses.
LUCAS OLENIUK/TORONTO STAR
Ted Rogers, seen here during an interview with the Star on May 13, 2008, had been in hospital with a heart condition since Oct. 30.
Tributes to Ted Rogers
His legacy will be one of connecting family, to friends and to information through his telecommunications and publishing empire, and also through his philanthropic work, like his recent $15 million contribution to Ryerson University.
– Toronto Mayor David Miller
He did a lot of good for us and he will be missed.
– Premier Dalton McGuinty
Ted Rogers was one of the greatest entrepreneurs and builders our country has ever seen. For us at CTVglobemedia, he was both a wonderful partner and very tough competitor. But at all times, he was a gentleman and his word was his bond.
– Ivan Fecan, CEO of CTVglobemedia.
He was a visionary, an entrepreneur and a nationalist. People are often described as great Canadians. Ted Rogers represented the gold standard when it comes to great Canadians.
– Ontario PC Leader and former Rogers executive John Tory.
Though Ted was relentless in business and building this company over the years, he was also very much a family man. His impact on family, community and country was as impressive as his business success.
– Phil Lind, Rogers vice-chairman.
Media mogul Ted Rogers dies
Dec 02, 2008 07:14 AM
His business card read, “Ted Rogers, Senior Salesperson.”
It could have easily said, Electronic Visionary, Sleepless CEO or Relentless Entrepreneur, for Rogers, with his trademark determination, became Canada’s most successful businessmen, transforming his name into a nation-wide brand that signified high-speed Internet, cellular telephones and major league baseball.
Rogers, who was being treated for an ongoing heart condition, died at his home in Toronto, according to a statement released by his company this morning. He was 75.
His hunger for success, combined with an ability to envision technological change years before his competitors (and a tolerance for debt) lifted his business from one fledgling radio station into a $25 billion Canadian institution.
Turning Rogers Communications Inc. into a blue chip empire was his greatest ambition. The fact that he lived through a heart condition, aneurysms and melanoma to see it happen must have made the accomplishment particularly sweet.
He accomplished this against the enduring backdrop of a ticking clock: An ambition hastened by his father’s early death, a lifetime of precarious health and an inability to slow his impatient intellect for the pace of others.
He was as happy to talk with his truck drivers as with his executives, but there is one point that every one held true: if you worked for Ted Rogers, you had better be on your game.
John Tory is the Ontario Progressive Conservative party leader. He once ran RCI’s cable division and was well acquainted with Rogers’ mental dexterity.
“He could sit at one meeting and he could have a learned, intelligent discussion about a legal issue, then he could move on and have a learned discussion about a tax issue, and then if it happened to go around the table and there was an engineering issues with the company, he could discuss and debate it intelligently and then move on to a financial issue,” said Tory.
Like all Rogers executives, Tory was often awakened at 3 a.m. by a ringing telephone. It was a common practice, calling his executives with grand ideas, or with a reminder of a task not accomplished, taken from the memos kept on each executive that Rogers called his “tickle files.”
“In later years, I think he realized that the phone call at two o’clock in the morning were not always widely appreciated,” Tory recalled. “He would say, ‘Did I wake you up?’ And I’d say, ‘No, the phone did.’ ”
Tory said when he started working for Rogers as a young man, he would arrive at what was then a tiny office at 4 a.m. and see his boss walking out, having just finished his workday. Rogers, he said, felt that if he was working, so were his managers, no matter what the hour. In later years, that changed.
“The great mellowing of Ted wasn’t that he didn’t sit at his desk at quarter to four in the morning, it was that he would leave a voicemail instead of contacting you directly.
“We laugh about it but at the end of the day we ask what has this man accomplished? We sort of say, ‘Wow it is pretty incredible.’ It proves a lot of things; it proves if you are relentless and work hard, you can do anything.”
Rogers was born on May 27, 1933, a small sickly son for Velma and Edward Rogers. In his autobiography, Relentless, written with business consultant Robert Brehl, Rogers said in his first year of life he lost partial sight in his right eye due to infant celiac disorder, which also played havoc with his digestive system.
“I was a skinny little fellow, but I was a fighter,” he wrote.
Rogers described his father as a brilliant, pioneering man, who, at the age of 24, invented the alternating current radio tube. It allowed people to plug their radios into the wall socket instead of bulk batteries, the book said.
Edward Sr. manufactured new small radios that revolutionized the industry. Then he started the radio station CFRB (Canada’s First Rogers Batteryless) which, Rogers wrote, “was another brilliant stroke” because he could use the station’s programming to increase the demand for more radio sets. It was an early form of the business convergence that Rogers later embraced.
On May 4, 1939, as his father’s business was beginning to prosper, Edward Sr. suffered an aneurysm and a haemorrhaged ulcer. He died two days later at the age of 38. Rogers was a few days shy of his sixth birthday.
The family received some money from the sale of his father’s business, but Rogers always believed “my father’s estate got screwed.” It burned him, and fuelled his drive.
He attended boarding school where was bullied by students because of his size and later boarded at Upper Canada College in Toronto. It was here, in 1949 and 1950, where he recognized there was truth to the adage, “like father, like son.”
He installed a cable in his room, attached to a hidden rooftop antenna, and connected it to a television set. “Viewers were invited to gather around, for a small fee, to watch the marvels of television.”
He wrote, “It dawned on me that I shared my father’s two gifts, his passion for electronics and business acumen.”
It didn’t take long before Rogers put both to good use.
Time, he wrote, is “one commodity I think about a lot.” His father’s death and his own ill health were constant reminders that for some, life is very short, so the goal became clear: use your time wisely.
Rogers made daily lists of things to do, prioritizing his time, keeping his notes in a pocket Daytimer. He attended University of Toronto, and graduated with a law degree from Osgoode Law School at York University.
Rogers joined the Toronto Young Conservatives and became a strong supporter of John Diefenbaker, future Prime Minister. He found time to woo and marry a young woman named Loretta Robinson, and together they would have four children, Lisa, Edward, Melinda and Martha. People were always captivated by the family’s unpretentious ways.
Rogers said in his book that his mother wanted him to re-establish the Rogers name in broadcasting. In 1960, while articling at Bay St. law firm Torys, (founded by John Tory’s grandfather) he bought radio station CHFI for $85,000, pioneering FM radio.
By 1967, he envisioned a new future – cable television. He started Rogers Cable T.V. Ltd., ignoring the naysayers who predicted its imminent demise. He once said, “They laughed at me when I said cable TV would be a big thing in Toronto. They said, ‘Who needs it in Toronto?’ ”
Tory met Rogers when he was a teenager. He recalls watching the older man give a speech describing his business’s future, talking of ideas that made some think he was a visionary and others, just wonder.
“When I was maybe 20 I invited him to come and address a political convention. It was maybe 30 years ago. He came and gave a speech that talked about how we would all, in future years, be carrying around little pocket-sized phones that would be able to receive video programming.
“The people in the room sort of thought, maybe this guy was reading too may Dick Tracy books and was sort of a mad scientist of some kind. But, sure enough, here we are, 30 years later and what do we have? Little pocket cell phones that you can carry around and get video programming, and much more.”
As Rogers’s business expanded, so did his debt. Many times, he came close to bankruptcy, re-mortgaging his Toronto home to make ends meet. Rogers often admitted that he didn’t always succeed.
In the mid 1990s, the company’s minority ownership of Unitel ultimately cost it $500 million. As Rogers wrote in Relentless, “Unitel will always stick in my craw as the worst business disaster of my life. Having said that, every entrepreneur has to learn new tricks. At 60, I certainly did – proving you can teach an old dog new tricks.”
He called the $3.1-billion acquisition of Maclean Hunter Ltd. in the mid-1990s one of “the three most difficult business deals of my life.” (The others involved obtaining the 680 AM radio frequency and taking over Canadian Cable systems.)
The glory of Rogers’s takeover of the MacLean Hunter media giant turned sour when, as he wrote, Bay St. types started referring to his company with the debt-word. “It really started to tick me off, but what could I do? As always, during tough times, I simply worked harder. And these were tough times, but not the toughest.”
By 2000, Rogers moved into the sports business, buying the Toronto Blue Jays and the SkyDome, which he renamed the Rogers Centre. That move, he said, branded the company in Toronto as a “good corporate citizen.”
In the last few years, Rogers spent more time working on a company succession plan, recognizing that his biggest challenge has been his heart. For years he had been in and out of hospitals for his heart condition, as well as aneurysms, melanoma and glaucoma.
Near the end of his book, Rogers said his daughter, Lisa, once told him, “The best way to describe you is in racetrack terms. You’re not the horse people would bet on, yet you find ways to win, over and over again.”
He wasn’t the strongest kid, or the student with the highest grades but Rogers’s combined electronics acumen inherited from Edward Sr. with an unwavering belief in good old-fashioned gumption.
“If my life has a lesson for others,” he wrote, “I think it is that everyone has a shot. Don’t follow your dream; live it. No matter what it is you want, take your best shot. Be passionate, work hard, maybe harder than you’ve ever dreamt, but the opportunity is there.”
Uncertain future for Ted Rogers’ company
Analysts expect next CEO to be promoted from within
Dec 02, 2008 12:21 PM
Despite a long history of health issues, many of them serious, it has always been difficult for employees and investors of Rogers Communications Inc. to imagine a day when “Ted” was no longer at the helm of the cable and wireless giant.
But that day finally arrived Tuesday when the cable company revealed that Rogers had passed away at the age of 75 after suffering from congestive heart failure. He had stepped down as CEO in late October because of health issues, with board chair Alan Horn being named as interim chief executive.
The company said today that its board of directors intends to form a special committee to lead a search for Rogers’ replacement that will consider internal and external candidates.
However, analysts believe the next CEO will come from the company’s office of the president, which was created by Rogers and consists of Horn, CFO Bill Linton and Nadir Mohamed, the chief operating officer of the company’s communications group.
“Given the experiences and track records, we would be surprised if the new permanent CEO is not selected from this group,” said Jeffrey Fan, an analyst at UBS Securities, in a note to clients today.
As well, Rogers told the Star earlier this year that the position would likely go to an insider.
“Now probably an insider would get it, but if you have invited outsiders then the person inside who gets it feels that he got it fairly.”
Rogers has recommended the new CEO’s contract will be for five years, renewed annually.
While Rogers has made it clear that he would like to see one of his four children become CEO one day – most likely son Edward Rogers, who is now the head of the cable division – he had stressed that nobody would be a shoe-in for the position immediately following his death.
While the younger Rogers has, according to his father, “worked like a dog” as the head of the company’s cable division, there is still a feeling that he may be too conservative to run the company at this time.
Meanwhile, daughter Melinda Rogers is more like her father when it comes to risk-taking and big picture thinking, but it’s not clear if she’s interested in the job or is a well-suited to being a manager. She is currently the company’s senior vice-president of strategy and development.
Many believe the top contender in the near-term is Mohamed, already considered by many to be the No. 2 at the company. He has played a major role in turning the key wireless business into the profitable enterprise it is today.
The second, and perhaps more important, element of the succession plan will be for Rogers’ to hand over his 90 per cent control of the firm’s voting shares to a trust that will be chaired by a family member. Under the current arrangement, the shares will go to his son Edward for at least two years.
“My interest for Edward is of the control trust,” Rogers told the Star in May. “That’s the important thing over the years. That’s where the input is for the long-term direction.”
However, Rogers has also said there will be a system of checks and balances on the person who holds the voting shares. “If they don’t do those things they’ll be kicked out and someone else will be brought in. That’s different than someone just giving the shares to their son or daughter.”
Analysts say the succession process crafted by Rogers strikes a balance between his strong desire to keep the company within the family and the need of shareholders to be confident that a suitable manager will be in control of day-to-day operations.
“Though son Edward and daughter Melinda are becoming more qualified for the top job, we believe this formal process should add comfort to the market that family bias will not rule,” wrote Greg MacDonald, an analyst at National Bank Financial, in a note to clients shortly after Rogers was first admitted to hospital in late October.
Shares of Rogers were trading down 77 cents at $33.75 on the Toronto Stock Exchange this morning.
Canadians pay tribute to Ted Rogers
Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 11:27 am
The following are some tributes to Ted Rogers, after his death at age 75:
“Ted Rogers was one of the greatest entrepreneurs and builders our country has ever seen. I admired him enormously. For us at CTVglobemedia, he was both a wonderful partner and very tough competitor. But at all times, he was a gentleman and his word was his bond. — Ivan Fecan, CEO of CTVglobemedia.
“No Canadian of his generation achieved more and gave more back than Ted Rogers. He was a visionary, an entrepreneur and a nationalist. People are often described as great Canadians. Ted Rogers represented the gold standard when it comes to great Canadians.” — Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader and former Rogers Communications Inc. executive John Tory.
“Ted Rogers was one of a kind who built this company from one FM radio station into Canada’s largest wireless, cable and media company.” — Rogers Communications chairman and interim CEO Alan Horn.
“Though Ted was relentless in business and building this company over the years, he was also very much a family man. His impact on family, community and country was as impressive as his business success.” — Phil Lind, Rogers Communications vice-chairman.
“I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Ted Rogers this morning. Ted Rogers was a great Torontonian through and through. He was born here, raised here, built an incredibly successful business here and passed away here. His legacy will forever be one of connecting people.connecting them to family, friends and information through his telecommunications and publishing empire and also to opportunity through his philanthropic work like his recent $15-million contribution to Ryerson University. I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Mr. Rogers on a number of occasions and came to respect him as a true city builder and a true Torontonian. Ted Rogers’ roots run deep in this city and his influence and will forever remain here and I thank him for all he gave to our city and all his legacy will bring in the future. On behalf of all Torontonians I extend deepest condolence to his family, friends and colleagues. He will be very much missed.” — Toronto Mayor David Miller
I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Ted Rogers, founder and CEO of Rogers Communications Inc. Mr. Rogers was a remarkable businessman who owned one of Canada’s predominant cable television companies, including radio and television stations, magazine publishing, telephone service providers and the largest wireless network. Mr. Rogers’ passion and dedication for the communications industry transformed him from entrepreneur to founder of one of the largest and most successful companies in the country. With his passing, Canada has lost a media giant. On behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada and our parliamentary caucus, we send our deepest condolences to Mr. Rogers’ wife Loretta, his children Edward, Lisa, Melinda and Martha. — Stéphane Dion, Leader of the Official Opposition
“I always said to him, you know, I wish you could slow down so I could call you a workaholic, because he was way beyond that. He was out on his beautiful yacht and he’d spend the whole time on a satellite phone making deals.” — Author and business writer Peter C. Newman
“I remember of course talking to Ted about whether or not we should buy the Blue Jays and I actually suggested that maybe it wasn’t the wisest investment we could ever make. He looked at me and said Tony, you have been my trusted media adviser for 25 years, and I very much appreciate your opinion. The next day of course, he bought the Blue Jays.” — Tony Viner, the president and CEO of Rogers Media “Ted was a giant of the business circle in Canada, and a remarkable man. What some may not know is he was very, very supportive of RIM, in the early days…RIM really got started because of Ted’s vision.” — Research In Motion co-founder Jim Balsillie
“I was very sorry to hear of Ted’s passing and my thoughts are with his family. He was a wonderful champion on a couple fronts. First of all, he was a strong business champion. He built a strong business. He employed so many people and thereby supported so many families and helped support this famous quality of life that we enjoy here in Ontario and in Canada. He also became a very powerful champion of philanthropy, particularly in post-secondary education. I can think of projects he supported at the University of Toronto and I think at Ryerson as well. He did a lot of good for us and he will be missed.” — Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty