Born in Montreal, Quebec, Hal Botham was first introduced to broadcasting as a student announcer at CFCF and CJAD. It didn’t take him long to know that this was the career he wanted to pursue.
As is the case with most announcers of his age group, you received your training "On Air". There were no college courses to prepare you for broadcasting, and moving from station to station was how you "earned your degree". In 1957, Hal moved to CKSF in Cornwall, and then to CJET Smiths Falls, which would eventually become his hometown. In 1959, he moved to Ottawa, where he hosted the morning show on CFRA for two years.
While working at CFRA, with Gord Atkinson and Les Lye as his teachers, Hal discovered the art of being an emcee at live shows and, during his broadcast career, seldom said no to anyone who needed him to host an event. After another short stint at CJET, followed by two years in Montreal at CFOX, Hal returned to CJET in 1963, where he became station manager, disc jockey, sales manager, news editor and, if necessary, engineer and janitor. Known to one and all as "The Voice of the Valley", Hal was a mentor to many new announcers and a promoter of Ottawa Valley musicians.
Hal married Carol in 1960 while working in Ottawa. They had two children, Kathy and Barry. Nicholas, Taylor and Ryan came into his life and made him the proudest Grampa. Sadly, Hal died suddenly on April 1, 1997, one day before his 61st birthday.