CFRB’s Legendary Wally Crouter Dies in Sleep at 92

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wally crouter

courtesy BroadcasterMagazine.com

2016-03-28


Veteran NEWSTALK 1010 (CFRB Radio) morning host Wally Crouter has passed away peacefully, in his sleep, at the age of 92.

Walter “Wally” Crouter was born on August 5th, 1923 in Lindsay, Ontario, and was best known for his, over fifty year, career at CFRB, Toronto, as the station’s top-rated morning man.

In 1946 Crouter had returned home to Peterborough, Ontario following service with the Canadian army in World War II and after having spent a year in hospital recovering from shrapnel wounds. A chance meeting with CHEX, Peterborough announcer Rod Dewar led to an audition at CHEX Radio and his immediate hiring.

On November 1st, 1946 Crouter joined CFRB Radio and remained with the station until he retired on November 1st, 1996. Following his retirement, Crouter was inducted into the Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame, and is still recognized as Canada’s longest serving radio morning man.

Crouter’s broadcasting career stands as very unique—only one radio station prior to hitting the top – the longevity of his half century of service with CFRB, in the most competitive market in Canada—his undisputed command of market listenership – all combined with his popularity both on-and-off the air.

The “Crout” rubbed shoulders, played golf, entertained and interviewed celebrities, at home and abroad — celebrities from the world of sports, entertainment, royalty and politics. An avid golfer he played golf with Arnold Palmer, Sam Snead, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Perry Como.

In an interview with The Globe and Mail upon his retirement in 1996, Crouter summed up his personal approach to radio broadcasting:

“I always tried to put myself in the place of the listener…it’s the most personal time of the day. The radio is on while you’re doing your morning ablutions, getting dressed, having breakfast with the kids coming to the table…I’ve had a surgeon write me to tell me that, when he had three serious operations to do in a day, he started off by listening to my show so he could achieve the right relaxation and focus he needed.”

During his time with CFRB, Crouter ended his show with a thought for the day. Fittingly, his last show ended with:

“Forget yesterday, think about tomorrow, but live today. Thank you. Thank you.”

Crouter is credited with helping to raise millions of dollars for charity through many different endeavours including his fundraising golf tournaments. Prime Minster Pierre Trudeau presented Crouter with a Canadian flag which had flown over Parliament Hill.

Crouter’s everlasting success was attributed to his relaxed charm, wit, knowledge, personality and concern for the health and happiness of his listeners.

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