Music Reporter / Sound Editor
Rudy Blair lives and breathes music. From Lionel Richie, Dolly Parton, Gordon Lightfoot and Anne Murray to the latest music sensations like Michael Buble, Lady Gaga and the Black Eyed Peas, Rudy has an ear for the best in music and a talent for revealing their true personalities outside of the recording studio.
His conversational and engaging interview style has garnered praise from the artists he talks to and from listeners alike. Some of the artists he has chatted with include Phil Collins, Janet Jackson, Sting, Lionel Richie, Michael Buble, Leona Lewis, Norah Jones, Dolly Parton, Nelly Furtado, Mary J. Blige, Lady Gaga, the Black Eyed Peas, Gordon Lightfoot, Shania Twain, Anne Murray and Andrea Bocelli, to name a few.
Rudy’s love for music started an early age, when he first listened to the Jackson 5 albums, then followed by The Jacksons and Michael Jackson. He also saw MJ perform alongside his brother four times, and owns every single Jackson 5 and The Jacksons album known to music collectors.
After graduating from Vaughan Road Collegiate (now Academy), Rudy majored in radio broadcasting at Humber College. Soon after, he was employed by several major market radio stations in Toronto, eventually landing at the number one AM music station All Hits Radio-CFTR, which changed format to 680News in 1993.
In 2012, Rudy was inducted into the “Humber Radio Hall of Fame” for their 40th anniversary.
Almost 10 years before that he was inducted into the “Vaughan Road Academy Hall of Fame”
In 2008, he was the Canadian Media Idol regional champion and was in close second place for the national title. He has also done several interviews about the Harry Jerome Awards.
Rudy has also appeared in the acclaimed documentary, “Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing”, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2006. At a press conference in the city, he asked the Dixie Chicks how they felt about the criticism they received after one of the band members said at a concert in March 2003 she was embarrassed U.S. President Bush was from Texas.
His numerous awards and recognitions include:
RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award for ‘regional feature reporting’ for the “Mister Smoothy, The Ice Cream Man”
RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award for ‘regional feature reporting’ for the “Basketball Lifeline”
RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award for ‘regional feature reporting’ for the “Canadian Boy Bands Where are They Now”
RTNDA “Dave Rogers Central Regional Award” short feature for “Canadian BoyBands Where are They Now”
RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award for ‘best use of sound’ for the “Rudy Blair – Media Idol” feature
RTNDA Central Regional Award and the National Award for ‘best use of sound’ for “Rudy Blair – Media Idol.”
He was also the 2007 and 2008 Canadian Association of Broadcasting gold ribbon finalist for “Rudy Blair Reports: Diversity in News and Information Programming.”
RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award for ‘regional feature reporting’ for his piece, “Violence in Music”
RTNDA International Award for ‘best use of sound’ for the feature, “A Tribute to the September 11th Victims and Heroes”
Played a major role in 680News winning the ‘Station of the Year’ for ‘News/Talk/Sports’ eight out of nine times at Canadian Music Week
Inducted into the Vaughan Road Academy (former high school) Hall of Fame
RTNDA ‘Dave Rogers Central Regional Award’ for “Political Makeover,” and along with the 680News morning show team, won the Edward R. Murrow Award for ‘best newscast in the world” for the piece, “U.S. Elections: History on Hold.”
Honoured with the ‘HRRC Excellence in Race Relations Gold Medal.’
He also reported live on the death of Michael Jackson on June 25, 2009. His poignant memories and gripping reports touched not only fellow media colleagues, but also listeners who were shocked by the tragic turn of events.
He also covered the death of Whitney Houston while he was in Los Angeles reporting on the Grammy Awards.
He’s been one of the judges for the TTC subway musicians’ auditions since 1999, the Toronto Argonaut cheerleaders’ selection since 2002 and TTC Idol since 2006. Since 2003, Rudy has been the host of the Scotiabank Rat Race, which helps to raise money for United Way. From 2000 to 2003 Rudy was the in-house MC/host at Rogers Centre for the Toronto Blue Jays. He also was the five-time host of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration.
His television appearances include:
Co-hosted City News Channel’s coverage of Whitney Houston’s funeral
Bravo’s “Arts and Minds”
Citytv’s “City Online”
“ExploreMusic with Alan Cross”
Hosted the OMNI Television special edition of the “Harry Jerome Awards” in 2007
Co-hosted the OMNI Television special, “29th Annual CEMA Awards” in 2007 and the 34th Annual CEMA Awards in 2012
Co-hosted the OMNI Television special, “We Jump Higher” in 2006
Rogers Television’s “DayTime Toronto” – where every other week Rudy reported on the latest album releases and music news
Host of “Toronto Sessions” in 2002 – featured local groups and solo musicians from across Toronto and the business side of the music industry
Appeared several times on the nationally syndicated show TSN’s “Off The Record” with Michael Landsberg
In 2003, was one of three hosts for the CBC national broadcast of “Urban Exposure 5 – The Canadian Urban Music Awards”