Rosetown, Rod Parker, and more Saskatchewan Radio stories
January 28, 2015
Rod Parker was a radio fixture in Rosetown, Saskatchewan, from 1986 to 2009, and along the way he earned a reputation as a top-notch farm reporter, a maverick, a good golfer, a pot-stirrer, and a rainmaker.
Parker also put up with some lean times in the radio business. When we talked with him a while back, he recalls there was one August, in ‘89 or so, when the station went “for one entire month without any paid advertisements whatsoever.”
New ownership then came on board, and Parker recalls that was when he took over as Farm Director.
For a station in Rosetown, Saskatchewan, described by Parker as “the heart of farming in all of Canada,” this was an important position. And he made the best of it.
He was named the top farm broadcaster in all of Canada five years in a row, and was given a position in the radio station hierarchy which was “higher than the program director but lower than the general manager.”
Parker recalls that this unique situation “drove program directors crazy. I was my own boss. I was fired three times but was always hired back. I must have been called into management’s office at least once a day.”
Didn’t matter what he did, Parker brought in the money. His farm news broadcasts earned the station more cash than any other form of programming, and his reports from such events as The Farm Progress Show brought in “big dollars.”
But, his fondest memories are simply those of being a big part of a tight-knit community.
Parker’s 18 year old son was killed in a car crash, and Parker remembers that the outpouring of sympathy from his listeners made him “cry like a baby.”
Rod Parker is now fully retired, still lives in the Rosetown area, and if Saskatchewan had a Broadcast Hall of Fame, he would certainly be a part of it.
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