Marilyn Denis will become the first female broadcaster to receive the Allan Waters Broadcast Lifetime Achievement Award during the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards next April. Held in Toronto on April 20 and coinciding with Canadian Music Week, the award recognizes a person’s extraordinary contribution to the country's broadcast industry. It is named after the late Allan Waters, one of the co-founders of CHUM Ltd. In 1954, a legendary radio and TV conglomerate whose assets were sold in 2007.
Denis, who has worked in broadcasting for more than four decades, presently co-hosts the weekday morning radio show Roger & Marilyn on 104.5 CHUM FM and hosts an eponymously-titled daytime lifestyle talk show on CTV.
"I had the pleasure of working with the Waters family, so to receive an award in their father's name is truly an honour," Denis said in a press statement. “This is a Lifetime Achievement Award, but I'm not done just yet!"
"I'm not sure that I have met a broadcaster who works as hard at her craft as Marilyn Denis,” said former CHUM Chairman Jim Waters. “Radio in the early morning, a television show after that and she is always willing to do more! She is a pro and a pleasure to be around! I'm thrilled she is this year's winner of the Allan Waters Lifetime Achievement Award!"
Neill Dixon, president of CMW and producer of the awards, added: "We are very pleased to announce the induction for Marilyn, who is the first woman to receive this prestigious award, which is presented in recognition of her extraordinary contribution to the broadcast industry."
Past inductees include her CHUM FM co-host Roger Ashby; Chuck McCoy; Bill Evanov; David Marsden; John Derringer; Paul Ski; Don Shafer and J. Robert Wood.
Denis, who was born in Edmonton, Alberta, graduated from the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, with a bachelors in radio and television. She got her start as the first female DJ at the local station KRPL, before moving back to Alberta, Calgary this time where held various radio and television positions including programmer, music director, and traffic reporter. In 1986, she became Ashby’s co-host at CHUM-FM where she has become an iconic voice for the Toronto morning show listeners.
She has also had a tandem television career, beginning by reporting on sports, weather, and entertainment at CFCN-TV (CTV Calgary) and working as a freelance reporter for TSN. She also shared hosting duties on Bravo!'s Gemini Award-winning concert series Live At The Rehearsal Hall and was host of the popular daily show Cityline for nearly 20 years.
Recently awarded Best Talk Program at the 2016 Canadian Screen Awards (CSAs), The Marilyn Denis Show, now in its seventh season, is Canada's most-watched daytime lifestyle series.