Canadian Radio Legend Roger Ashby Announces Retirement

Courtesy Photo
Roger Ashby

Roger Ashby, who Bell Media president Randy Lennox believes is "probably the only radio morning man that’s lasted 50 years, and all of them at CHUM," announced his retirement on-air this morning on the Toronto radio station. His final broadcast will be aired live from Sheraton Centre Toronto Grand Ballroom on Dec. 5.

“Roger Ashby is quite simply a radio legend, and a luminary of Canada’s music industry,” said Lennox in a press statement issued by Bell Media which owns CHUM “He is a model of excellence and consistency in radio broadcasting, and upholds that gold standard every time he sits behind the mic. We wish him the very best in his retirement, and thank him for 50 incredible years at CHUM.”

Over the years, up for an early morning chat  have been such famous guests as Mick Jagger, Janet Jackson, Rihanna, Coldplay, Cher, Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, and hundreds more.  The four-hour show starts at 5 a.m.

Ashby has co-hosted with Marilyn Denis for the past 32 years, under the simple title Roger & Marilyn, but a few months back, aware of Ashby’s pending retirement, Bell brought in her new co-host Jamar McNeil. The show was renamed Roger & Marilyn with Jamar. No word on what the new name will be after Ashby’s departure.

Ashby’s final show will include "a multitude of celebrity guests" (none named yet) and recount his “most amazing memories” from his half-century on air.

"It's easy to get up early every morning when you love your job and the people you work with. Of course, I couldn’t have done it without the amazing Marilyn Denis," he said in a statement. "From the first moment we met, I knew she was the right person to spend my mornings with. And our success over the decades would not have happened without the dedication of our long-time listeners.

"Marilyn and Jamar will keep entertaining Torontonians every morning on CHUM 104.5, and I look forward to listening," he continued. "I'd also like to thank my wife, Moira, and my family and friends – with whom I will be spending a lot more time, whether they like it or not!"

Outside of the studio, Ashby dedicates his time to many charities, including Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Toronto, the CNIB, the Toronto Humane Society, and the Toronto Wildlife Centre.

In 2010, he was inducted into Canadian Music Week’s Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame, receiving the Waters Family Broadcast Lifetime Achievement Award.  

Over the next six weeks, until the final show, CHUM 104.5 will periodically air special segments looking back on memories from Ashby’s storied career. The channel is available across Canada via live stream on the iHeartRadio Canada app.  

“On behalf of the entire team at CHUM 104.5, I’d like to thank Roger for his 50 years of dedication to this station and to our listeners in Toronto and beyond,” said CHUM 2014.5 Program Director Sarah Cummings. “It’s incredible to think that Roger has stepped into the studio for nearly 10,000 days, long before the sun comes up, turned on his mic, and entertained millions of listeners over multiple generations. He is without question in a league of his own, and we will miss him dearly. Thank you, Roger, and congratulations.”


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