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Celebrating 50 years in Radio!

Bill Evanov

Bill Evanov was the Founder of Evanov Communications Inc., one of Canada’s fastest-growing independent broadcast companies. A true entrepreneur, Evanov went from owning 3 radio stations in Toronto to 11 across the country in a span of just six years and in an age where independent radio ownership has drastically declined due to the consolidation of large corporate multi-chain broadcasters, he has stood firm and bucked the trend. It is one thing to operate radio stations, it is another to be hugely successful in doing so, especially in major markets where competition from the large corporations is extreme…

BIOGRAPHY

Years ago, when a young Bill Evanov decided to get into radio, he knocked on the doors of CHUM, CFRB, CKEY, CKFH, CFGM, CHIC, and CHFI; but was rejected by all due to lack of experience. As fortune would have it, Johnny Lombardi gave him an opportunity at CHIN Radio, a relatively unknown station at the time, and within 18 months Evanov became Vice President Sales.

Johnny Lombardi and Mel Lastman hosted the First Annual “Spaghetti Dig in Contest” of which Evanov became the Chief Organizer. He subsequently morphed this event into the highly successful CHIN International Picnic, which has remained a staple event in Toronto over the last 30 years and known the world over by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest event of its kind.

Among his many accomplishments, Evanov created several unique, non-cookie-cutter formats including The Evanov CHR/Dance format which delivers a variety of different genres of rhythmic music – Pop, Rock, Hip-hop, R&B, and Dance; The Jewel’s “Lite Favourites” format blending soft, melodic music in a variety of genres from different eras; and in 2007 he launched CIRR-FM known as Proud FM, the world’s first of its kind, that programs to Toronto’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) population.

Full Bio

Evanov Radio Group is one of the only independent broadcasters left in the country’s largest markets. Bill Evanov was the founder of the famed Summer Rush Concert – the largest annual live concert produced by a radio broadcaster in Canada. For close to two decades Summer Rush acted as a platform for many local artists to perform to a sold-out crowd and has been produced in Halifax as well as Toronto.

Bill Evanov & Sarah McLaughlin

Bill Evanov “walked the walk” every day in support of Canadian music. He opened the door for independent Canadian musical artists at ALL Evanov stations across the country which oftentimes resulted in them being the first to recognize and play fresh new Canadian talent.

Among some of the more notable successes who received first radio airplay on Evanov stations are Michael Bublé, Shawn Desman (Juno ’06 winner), Danny Fernandes (MMVA winner & Juno nominee), DJ Danny D (half million CDs sold & Juno nominee), Massari (MMVA winner & Juno nominee), The Sound Bluntz (’03 & ’04 Juno winner), Joee (Juno nominee), Addictiv (Juno nominee), Love Inc. (Juno winner), BKS’s “Rock Em Sock Em Techno” (550,000 copies sold). The stations provided extensive airplay, far exceeding other stations to promote Richard Abel, Amy Sky, Mark Jordan, Jann Arden, Holly Cole, Jesse Cook, Molly Johnson, k.d. lang, Chantal Chamberland, and Serena Ryder.

Evanov Radio Group strongly supports education with over a million dollars distributed through a series of scholarships and endowments. Some of the partner university and college institutions include Waterloo, Acadia, King’s, Dalhousie, Carlton, Guelph, Sherbrooke, Humber, Western, and the University of Manitoba. The Company is also committed to the Aboriginal Media Fund that encourages, promotes, and makes possible the development of aboriginal talent.

ECI radio holdings are both responsive and proactive in the communities they serve. For example, ECI was, the original and still is, the media partner of the Student Crime Stoppers Program, a partnership between the public, the police, and the media.

With an enterprising spirit, he blazed trails and achieved a roster of firsts and milestones in independent radio. He defined dance music as a unique radio format when he re-launched CING FM as Energy 108 in 1990 and took it from 90,000 to over 800,000 weekly listeners (FALL 95 BBM) making it the most popular radio station among teens and young adults. He then recreated the format on CIDC FM and grew it into the #1 CHR station in the country with 853,000 listeners. (BBM S2’09)

ECI is the first broadcaster in Canadian history to elevate female employees to ownership status through new radio license acquisitions.

His “Move Like Lightning” and “Just Do It-Make it Happen” philosophy guided the company to stand strong in the stiffest competition and his extremely tenacious approach and street-fighter attitude have extended to the team he carefully assembled over the years.

Kristina, Bill & Paul

Evanov  Radio Station’s raise thousands of dollars every year for dozens of charity initiatives including “Boating for the Cure”, an event Bill personally spearheaded within the company to raise thousands of dollars every year for prostate and breast cancer.

Bill Evanov was an entrepreneur and a pioneer. His contributions to the Canadian broadcast industry were significant.

MEET THE TEAM

Paul Evanov - President and CEO

Paul Evanov is the President and CEO of Evanov Communications Inc., a role he assumed in early 2020 following the passing of William Vasil Evanov, Paul’s father, and the founder of Evanov Radio Group.  Paul has been active in the Company his entire career focussing much of his time on Flagship Station Z103.5. Now his focus shifts to the overall leadership of the Company working alongside his sister Kristina Evanov.

Kristina Evanov- Special Projects Director

Kristina Evanov is Special Projects Director at Evanov Radio Group.  Kristina’s current projects include the company’s Christian Radio Station, Arise Brantford 93.9 FM. Kristina has been involved in a wide range of projects with the Company throughout her career.  She will assume a Leadership role along with her brother, Company President, Paul Evanov.

Carmela Laurignano - VP Regulatory Affairs and Group Station Manager

Carmela Laurignano joined the company over 25 years ago during which time she also became a minority shareholder in some of its radio stations. In her current capacity, she oversees the legal and regulatory branches of the company as well as other areas of its operation. She is a past recipient of The Rosalie Trombley Radio Trailblazers Award as well as a Canadian Women in Communications Leadership Excellent Trailblazer Award. Throughout her tenure, Carmela has served on community and industry boards and councils. She is currently, among other appointments, a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters.

Gary Gamble - Director of Operations

Gary is Director of Operations for Evanov Radio Group and the Morning Show Host for Jewel 88.5 serving Newmarket and the GTA. Gary has been with ERG for over 20 years and in the broadcasting industry for 32 years. Gary has had stops at radio stations in Guelph and Cambridge, and in his current position, Gary oversees the operations for 19 ERG stations across Canada and including multiple formats such as Country, Rock, and AC; and was involved in the design of the original Jewel Radio “Lite Favourites” format developed by Evanov; a variety mix of Easy listening favorites from many decades.

Allison Worone - General Counsel

Allison Worone is the General Counsel for Evanov Radio Group and its various divisions. Prior to joining the company, Allison worked as an associate lawyer at two prominent law firms in Toronto. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Toronto, as well as a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Political Science from Carleton University. Allison is an active member of the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association, and has volunteered with various initiatives such as Pro Bono Ontario’s duty counsel program and Trial Advocacy workshops at Ryerson University’s Law Practice Program.

Lars Wunsche - Executive Vice President of Sales

Lars Wunsche is the newest member of the management team. In his role as Executive Vice President of Sales, Lars works with the company’s local sales managers and oversees all sales, national, local and digital for all ECI properties. His experience in sales leadership is extensive and includes being the Director of National Sales for Corus Radio, the Director of Sales for Corus Radio Toronto and most recently the Regional Director of Corus Radio taking on 8 major markets and 18 radio stations. The radio journey has come full circle for Lars.  Founder of ECI, Bill Evanov, who was the General Manager of CING-FM, hired Lars for his first job as a radio sales rep in 1992. The company is delighted to have him back in its radio family, today with the benefit of 28 years of radio experience.

Paul Bury - Director of IT & Engineering

Paul Bury is the Director of Engineering and IT for Evanov Radio Group. Guided by 20 years of broadcast and IT experience under his belt, Paul is responsible for navigating the ever-changing currents of technology, allowing the Evanov Radio Group to stay at the forefront of the latest trends.

Prior to joining the company, Paul’s education in Electrical Engineering, Radio Broadcasting and IT as well as his extensive knowledge of regulatory procedures, has taken him across Ontario where he was responsible for several stations in markets such as Renfrew, Ottawa and Toronto.

Grace Wu- Accounting Manager

Grace Wu holds CPA designation, Chartered Professional Accountant, she is a skilled finance professional with exceptional organizational skills and a keen eye for detail. As Accounting Manager, she leads the financial management of all divisions of the Company including broadcast and real estate assets.  With experience in a variety of industries including food manufacturing, IT and Not-for-Profits,  Grace applies her knowledge of financial reporting and analysis, budgeting and forecasting to guide the continued growth of the Company