There was a time in this fair land, shocking as it may now seem, when married people were not allowed, or at least in a few rare situations, to both be employed in the same workplace by the same company.
It’s true. You can look it up. And that is how Diane R. came to be working at 216 First Avenue North in Saskatoon, a building in which she is situated to this very day.
Diane, who currently holds down a desk in what is now known as the CTV Sales Department, first came to what was then called CFQC because of an upcoming marriage.
We’ll let her pick up the story from here: “I was working in the Instructional Television Department at the University of Saskatchewan, but because I was about to marry a fellow employee and because, in the position I held, I could possibly possess “confidential information” about him, and others. One of us had to leave. He stayed. I went.”
Diane was born and raised in Saskatoon, finished high school at Bedford Road Collegiate, and from there went to the Saskatoon Business School where she learned such arcane skills as shorthand and learned how to operate machines such as a Dicta-phone. However, even before she had completed her course load, fate intervened in the form of a telephone call from a prospective employer.
As Diane puts it, “I was called to the Instructional Television Department in the Division of Audio-Visual Services at the University of Saskatchewan for a job interview. I had not applied for any jobs at yet because I was still finishing my business course. I took the job and my professional world began to revolve around television. I loved it. I was hooked! “
After learning she could no longer remain employed with the University of Saskatchewan, Diane says she started looking around for a new job, “but only in the television field.”
She says she first tried CBC Television in Saskatoon “before they even existed.”
Next on her list was CFQC Broadcasting, which was the local privately owned CBC-TV affiliate as well home to the powerhouse Saskatoon radio station known as CFQC-600.
Diane says she applied for a secretarial position in the management area, but after an initial interview with one of the higher-ups, she was scooted on over to the combined radio and television news room, where she was hired on the spot, without even a formal interview.
As Diane says, “I started working at CFQC Television and Radio in Saskatoon on September 13th, 1971 as the News Secretary and Research Assistant. We were a CBC affiliate on Channel 8 and also broadcast on 600AM as CFQC Radio. Our news room handled news casts on the hour for radio and three times daily on television. We were a staff of 14 -- me and 13 men.”
As if that wasn’t enough of a good thing, one of the news guys she worked with was Keith Morrison, now based in Los Angeles and still going strong at one of the major U.S. networks.
Diane says that while she was in the news room she did rewrites for the news people. “I’d take a story that aired on the noon cast and change it enough that it would sound fresh at 6 pm. I found out I enjoyed writing and was pretty good at it.”
Apparently so, for she quickly moved from the news room to a position with the promotion department of CFQC-TV as a writer/producer.
And, while her brush with the radio side of CFQC was brief, it was exciting. Diane recalls that “the local announcers were all stars, in my eyes, and I got to work with them. Wal and Den (Wally Stambuck and Denny Carr) were the local radio celebrities I had practically grown up with. Could it get any better?”
Employed to this day at CFQC (now simply CTV) Diane lives with her husband and two cats in Radisson, Saskatchewan, less than an hour by car from her workplace.
Although the television and radio businesses are now hardly similar to what they were back then, Diane has no regrets about her career choice. “I was raised at the end of an era where women only worked until they started a family. I believed in the white picket fence and 2.2 children. I had no intention of working for the rest of my life, let alone having to support myself. So, I sure am glad that I was working in broadcasting. Everything was exciting and glamorous.From singing radio jingles to making television, even if it was pointing a camera at a black and white studio card, was exciting.”
And even now, Diane is not far from her radio roots, because the office she currently occupies at CTV/CFQC was once a talk booth for the radio side, where the news people would read her copy and where radio hosts such as Wal and Den would interview everyone from Prime Minister John Diefenbaker to Rich Little to Artie Johnson, Dale Evans and Roy Rogers.
DIANE’S RADIO RECIPE.
Most everyone likes to dig into a heaping plate of barbecued spare ribs. Diane sure does, and she makes ‘em this way:
2 pounds of spare ribs.
1 medium onion.
2 tbs. oil.
¼ cup lemon juice.
2 tbs. vinegar.
1 tbs. Worchestershire Sauce.
2 tbs. brown sugar.
½ cup water.
1 cup prepared chilli sauce (or, make your own using 1 cup ketchup, salt, pepper, parsley, ½ tsp. sweet basil, ½ tsp. oregano, 2 to 3 tbs. chilli power.)
Cut spare ribs into individual rib portions. Place in baking pan and bake in moderate oven (350F) for 30 minutes. (Tip: remove the membrane or “film” from the back of the bones. This will make the ribs much more tender.)
Chop onions and brown in fat. Add juice, vinegar, Worchestershire Sauce, brown sugar, water, chilli sauce, salt and pepper. Cook slowly for 20 minutes.
Remove spare ribs from oven and drain any fat from the pan. Pour the mixture over the ribs and continue baking for 1 hour or more.
Goes great with rice.
(Diane’s note -- I usually double the batch, but if you do, then increase cooking time accordingly.)
Excerpted from “The Great Saskatchewan Radio ‘n Recipes Memory Book”, coming soon.