House of Anansi Press Imprint Logo

Fearless as Possible (Under the Circumstances)

Written by Denise Donlon

  • 576 Pages
  • 9781487000035
  • 9" x 6"
  • BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs



Forthcoming November 05, 2016

In this smart, funny, and inspiring memoir, Donlon chronicles her impressive and storied career, which has put her on the frontlines of the massive changes in the music industry and media. She chronicles her early days at MuchMusic and the music journalism show The NewMusic, where she was a host and producer, and quickly moved up the ranks to become director of music programming, then VP and general manager. Her mandate was relevance, during a time when music videos became a medium that would change pop music and popular culture forever. She became the first female president of Sony Music Canada, where she navigated the crisis in the music industry with the rise of Napster and the new digital revolution. She then joined CBC English Radio as General Manager and Executive Director when the corporation absorbed funding cutbacks leading to mass layoffs, and a shadow over the future of Canada’s national public broadcaster.

Throughout her incredible journey, she shares colourful and entertaining stories of growing up tall, flat, and bullied in east Scarborough; interviewing musical icons such as Keith Richards, Run-DMC, Ice-T, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Annie Lennox, and Sting; working with talent agent Sam Feldman, media pioneer Moses Znaimer, executive vice-president of CBC Radio Richard Stursberg, and her co-host on the current affairs magazine show The Zoomer, Conrad Black. And finally, she details her life-changing experiences with War Child Canada and her work with other charitable organizations, including Live8 and the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership.

Told with humour and honesty, Fearless as Possible (Under the Circumstances) is a candid memoir of one woman’s journey, navigating corporate culture with integrity, responsibility, and an irrepressible passion to be a force for good.


Denise Donlon

DENISE DONLON is one of Canada’s most successful broadcasters and corporate leaders. She has been a co-host and producer of The NewMusic, Director of Programming and VP/General Manager of MuchMusic/CityTV, President of Sony Music Canada, General Manager and Executive Director of CBC English Radio, and co-producer and co-host of The Zoomer. She has also devoted herself to numerous charitable initiatives, working with organizations such as WarChild Canada, MusiCounts, and the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership. She sits on a number of boards and has been honoured with the Humanitarian Spirit Award and the Trailblazer Award at Canadian Music Week, Woman of the Year from Canadian Women in Communications, Woman of Vision from Wired Women, and was inducted in the Broadcast Hall of Fame. She is a Fellow of the Royal Conservatory of Music and a Member of the Order of Canada. She lives in Toronto with her husband, Murray McLauchlan, and their son, Duncan.


"A backstage view of the Canadian and international music scene over the last thirty years: MuchMusic glory days, Sony during the Napster collapse, CBC Radio. Readable, engaging, fascinating even for those who know spit about music, such as me. Lotsa gossip by one who was there (plus being female and about 6 feet tall)." Margaret Atwood on Reco and Twitter

"Denise Donlon is the First Lady of the Canadian music business. Fearless as Possible (Under the Circumstances) is a funny and fascinating journey of a woman who has smashed every glass ceiling to smithereens and somehow has done it in the loveliest way. She also toured with Whitesnake. That alone makes it a must read." Alan Doyle, Musician, Actor, and Author of Where I Belong