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David Marsden

From Academic Kids

David Marsden is a Canadian radio broadcaster. As the driving force behind Toronto radio station CFNY in the 1980s, he became one of the most influential figures in the Canadian music industry by giving many Canadian and international alternative rock artists their first major Canadian radio exposure.

Marsden was first hired as CFNY's program director in 1978. Although the station's mandate had always been to present significantly different programming than other radio stations in the Greater Toronto Area, in its first few years of operation the station didn't have any particular focus. Marsden, however, saw the commercial potential of punk and new wave, and quickly turned CFNY into Canada's first alternative music station.

Throughout the 1980s, CFNY was Canada's most influential radio promoter of new Canadian artists, and arguably one of the most influential stations in North America. In 1988, however, Marsden left CFNY to launch a similar station, Coast 800, in Vancouver. In a controversial move, CFNY's owners then tried to turn it into a more conventional Top 40-leaning station, although with the commercial rise of alternative rock in the 1990s, the station again became an important outlet for new Canadian music.

Marsden, who was also Canada's first openly gay radio broadcaster, has also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's radio wing, and created the Internet music portal Iceberg Radio (http://www.icebergradio.com).

Marsden now produces a show heard Thursday and Friday evenings Oshawa-based station The Rock 94.9, where he plays a freeform mix of classic rock and alternative rock music. Additionally, he produces a weekly show on the internet radio station PulverRadio.

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