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Meet The 2020 Jury

2020 Broadcast Dialogue – Canadian Radio Awards

Howard Christensen

The man after whom “The Howards” are named, founded Broadcast Dialogue in 1992 after recognizing a need for more timely broadcast industry news. Before long, Canadian broadcasters couldn’t live without their Thursday morning ‘fix.’ Howard has been honoured with Friend of the Industry awards from the Atlantic Association of Broadcasters, Central Canada Broadcasters Association (now the OAB), Western Association of Broadcasters and B.C. Association of Broadcasters, among other accolades. His background includes reporter/anchor/editor stints at CFRB Toronto, CJAD Montreal, CHUM Toronto, CKVR-TV Barrie, CHYM Kitchener, CKJD Sarnia and CHAM Hamilton. Now retired, he lives with his wife, Ingrid, near the shore of Lake Simcoe at Lagoon City, ON.

Lorie Russell

Lorie has had a more than 35-year radio sales and management career that’s included stops as VP, National Sales at Standard Radio, and later General Sales Manager in Toronto through the company’s sale to Astral and then Bell Media. After serving as General Manager for Newcap Radio’s stations in Toronto, she made the move in 2019 to join not-for-profit community station JAZZ.FM91 (CJRT-FM) as VP and Managing Director, a position she announced her retirement from earlier this fall.

Neil Morrison

Neil, aka Brother Bill, is an on-air personality with 30 years major market experience working at both CFNY-FM (102.1 The Edge) Toronto and CFOX (99.3 The Fox) Vancouver. A graduate of the Humber College Radio Program, part of his strength is mentoring younger broadcasters and developing new talent. Neil is a proponent of new media and hopes to be heard broadcasting/podcasting in the near future.

Sheila Walsh

A veteran of Canadian radio and television, Sheila’s voice-over work has been heard around the globe. She was the first female public service announcer in MLB history for the Toronto Blue Jays. Her broadcast career includes roles at Toronto powerhouses CHUM FM, CHFI and Newstalk 1010, in addition to her work in television. Holding an MA in Creative Media Practice, she teaches journalism, podcasting and radio at the Faculty of Media and Creative Arts, Humber College, where she became the first female Program Coordinator of the Radio Broadcasting course. She continues to freelance, and is co-owner of ELM podcasting where she produces and hosts programming, including current project “Moms Sipping Sangria.” Sheila resides in the GTA with her husband and three children.

Don Shafer

Inducted into the Canadian Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame in 2014 and named the recipient of the Allan Waters Broadcast Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015, Don has been behind the development of some of Canada’s most legendary rock radio brands including CHOM Montreal, CFOX and Rock 101 Vancouver, and CHUM-FM and Q107 Toronto. After serving as President and CEO of experimental Vancouver station Roundhouse Radio (CIRH-FM), Shafer has most recently been pursuing his PhD at the Social Justice Institute at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

Connie Thiessen

The editor of Broadcast Dialogue since 2016 and the host of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast since 2018, Connie has worked coast-to-coast as an anchor, editor and host, including 980 CKNW and News 1130 (CKWX-AM) in Vancouver, CFCW Edmonton, CBC Radio in Halifax, News 95.7 (CJNI-FM) Halifax, and Golden West’s Radio Southern Manitoba network. Connie is currently based in Vancouver.