Carmela Laurignano is Vice-President and Radio Group Manager at Evanov Radio Group (ERG). She is also part owner of four of the company’s radio properties and serves on the company’s board.
Carmela began her decades-long career in the broadcasting industry at CHIN Radio, where she worked part-time and in the summer while pursuing her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) at the University of Toronto. After graduating from U of T, Carmela returned to CHIN as a Sales Assistant before being promoted to Sales Manager. She was later promoted to Vice-President of Sales, Marketing and Promotions at CHIN, becoming the first woman to hold a Vice-President position with a Canadian ethnic broadcaster (and among the first, if not the first, women to do so at any radio broadcasting organization in Canada) and one of the youngest Vice-Presidents in the Canadian radio industry at the time.
In 1993, she made the move to “mainstream” radio, joining Bill Evanov at ERG as Vice-President & Radio Group Manager where she has been instrumental in helping to grow ERG, constantly looking for and fostering opportunities for the company to acquire and launch new stations. When she first joined, ERG only had one ethnic station (CIAO-AM Brampton) and an equity interest in CING-FM Burlington. ERG now has 19 stations across four provinces, serving major, medium and small markets in a wide variety of formats (including Specialty, Ethnic, Christian, Top 40, and Adult Contemporary, Country and even Gay Friendly).
She has worked to foster talent in the Canadian music and broadcasting industry. She has helped to administer ERG’s over $10 million in direct contributions to Canadian artists and talent, and has worked to provide them with indirect contributions such as airplay, on-air mentions, and performance opportunities. Carmela is also dedicated to mentoring the next generation of professionals in the broadcasting industry – she introduced an internship program at ERG, and has helped to set up four separate ERG broadcasting endowments across the country at major universities and broadcasting schools.
Outside of ERG, Carmela is currently serving as Secretary of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Board of Directors, and has been involved in a wide range of broadcasting policy and regulatory work over the years. She is also involved in the broader community, serving as a board member for a number of not-for-profit organizations, supporting community programs and partnership initiatives between business and organizations.
Carmela is a past recipient of the 2011 Trailblazer Canadian Women in Communications Leadership Excellence Awards.