RTDNA Canada recognizes Dave Budge with a National Lifetime Achievement Award

“Over his career, Dave inspired, guided, and mentored countless young journalists in newsrooms across the country. He shaped their careers by teaching them what it means to be a good journalist.”
Lis Travers

About Dave

It’s a hard to imagine that the first television newscast in Canada happened just 70 years ago – and for 50 of those years, Dave Budge played an instrumental role in how Canadians received their news.

His career, like all veteran broadcasters, began in a small market station.  For Dave it was Thunder Bay.   Unlike most veteran broadcasters, however, his first job resulted in termination — over a dispute centred around the music of Santana.  Not the most auspicious start, but like the legendary musician, Dave went on to rewrite the history books.

His fingerprints can be found in every major market in Canada.  He held leadership roles in no less than 13 stations/networks across the country and helped hundreds of journalists realize their full potential.  His vision was simple: that news be interesting, authentic, and convenient. That, in turn, required the preservation of some aspects of journalism, while completely dismantling others.  The trick was knowing when and where to do it.  For Dave, however, it wasn’t a trick: his keen news sense resulted in some of the greatest ratings success stories in Canadian broadcast news.  The halls of every station under his leadership are lined with the local, national, and international awards his teams captured – and continue to do so following his vision.

Career and Highlights

Dave led newsrooms that won countless RTDNA Best Newscast awards in every major market in Canada.  In Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto, the accolades included best newscast, special event and breaking news coverage, investigative journalism, and the first two Adrienne Clarkson “Diversity” awards.

Dave was adamant that “steak” was better than “sizzle” for growing an audience, and his steadfast dedication proved that quality, original journalism could do just that. 

Outside of creating award-winning newsrooms, Dave played a major role in helping promote Canadian journalism’s diversity in both hiring and content.

Highlight reel