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My First Boss – John Cochrane at CJOB

my first boss

Recently, a friend asked if I remembered my first boss. I sure do. John Cochrane, Program Director at CJOB in Winnipeg.

Fifty years later, I still have fond memories of my first job and my first boss. My first full time job was as an announcer at CJOB, starting in 1972. John Cochrane was Program Director and he hired me to do the evening show, weekdays from 7:00 p.m. to Midnight. Before that, I had worked overnights part time while attending university.

John had previous stints in broadcasting at CFOB Fort Frances and CKRC in Winnipeg. He joined CJOB as an announcer and promotions director, becoming Program Director around 1970.

So, what do I remember most about my first boss? Well, he encouraged me to work hard and work smart, to combine creativity with discipline. He gave me enough room to grow but stay within the limits of what a mostly adult audience expected. (You knew you had strayed when the direct phone line to the studio lit up. Only John had the number.)

As my first boss he provided fair treatment. He always had a good reason when giving directions. I never resented any of his decisions, even if I disagreed. I tried to practice this approach throughout my career, as well.

John loved Latin music – Serio Mendes, Antonio Carlos Jobim and so on. Something that has stuck with me as well, although I never made it to Brazil.

My First Boss – On John Cochrane’s Team

John put together a great on-air information and entertainment team, shown above right. A great mixture of old and fresh faces. During this era, CJOB had the highest adult market share of any radio station in North America. A great accomplishment for John and a great experience for me.

My funniest story about John? Well, he never made it to my wedding in 1976. I got the Saturday afternoon off for the wedding (obviously) but John forgot to backfill my shift. So, he ended up doing my 2-6 slot during the wedding.

By the way, John’s the same guy who hired folks like Bob Irving and Peter Warren as CJOB dove into sports and open-line programming during the 1970’s.

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