October 12, 2010
Rogers founder joins Wireless Hall of Fame
Ted Rogers honoured posthumously
Rogers Communications Inc. founder Edward S. "Ted" Rogers, has been inducted into the international Wireless History Foundation Hall of Fame.
Mr. Rogers , who passed away in December 2008 at age 75, founded what became Rogers Communications in 1960 when he borrowed $85,000 to purchase fledgling FM radio station CHFI in Toronto. Today, RCI is an investment grade, $12 billion a year company supplying millions of Canadians with wireless phone and data service, cable-TV, high-speed Internet, home phone service, and media content through magazines, radio and television programming.
Mr. Rogers ' posthumous induction took place at the gala dinner of the Wireless History Foundation at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco on October 5. Melinda M. Rogers, who is RCI's Senior Vice President Strategy and Development, accepted the award on behalf of the family and company.
"Until his death two years ago, dad was often dubbed a 'media mogul' and a 'cable czar'," Ms Rogers said. "But arguably his greatest success came in wireless telecommunications."
Today, Rogers is the largest wireless telecommunications company in Canada with 56 per cent of its revenue and 70 per cent of its profit coming from wireless. But in 1983 when Ted Rogers went to his board of directors asking for $500,000 to invest in the new technology, he was voted down because the company carried too much debt. Ted then invested his own money and was a founding partner in Cantel, Canada's first national cellular phone company that later became wholly-owned by Rogers.
"He was a driving force, a visionary, a pioneer and a titan across the wide spectrum of communications," said Melinda Rogers. "Honouring his legacy by the Wireless History Foundation is truly appreciated by the Rogers family and I know dad would be delighted, too."
The Wireless History Foundation was created in 2008 "…to educate and inspire future generations about the significance and growth of the wireless communications industry." Rogers was inducted along with wireless industry pioneers LeRoy T. "Roy" Carlson, founder of Telephone and Data Systems (TDS) Inc.; Stanley T. Sigman, former CEO of AT&T Mobility; and Raymond C. Trott, founder of Trott Communications Group.