Alan Thicke, 69, Dec. 14, in Burbank, CA. Born in Kirkland Lake, ON, the actor, writer, producer and composer began his broadcasting career as a copywriter and all-night DJ at CFPL-AM in London, ON while attending the University of Western Ontario. He wrote for CBC television in the 1960s and by 1969 had his first regular role on television as part of the variety show It’s Our Stuff. By 1977, Thicke was working as a producer in American television, earning his first Emmy nomination for The Barry Manilow Special. In the late 70s, he returned to Canada hosting his first Canadian game show on CFCF-TV in Montreal called First Impressions and was a frequent guest host of daytime talk show The Alan Hamel Show. That led to his own talk show The Alan Thicke Show, which ran on CTV from 1980 to ‘83. His attempt to move to late night American television wasn’t as successful with Thicke of the Night cancelled in 1984 after 18 episodes. Thicke became best known for his role as TV dad Jason Seaver on the popular ABC sitcom Growing Pains. He was also an accomplished composer for television, writing the themes for Diff’rent Strokes, The Facts of Life and the original theme for Wheel of Fortune, among other television series.
Robert (Bob) Washington, 82, on Dec. 10 after battling cancer. Born in Wadena, SK, Washington’s broadcast career took him to Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Montreal, then back to Winnipeg. He was a familiar voice on CKRC-AM in the 1960s and by 1975 was program director. “The Wash” as he was dubbed by colleagues, became known worldwide in the 1970s after being drafted as the “Voice of K-Tel” for its television commercials. Starting in 1979, Bob hosted CKND-TV show Bowling for Dollars. He was also heard on 680 CJOB-AM, before retiring. Bob’s accolades include a “Golden Award” from the Manitoba Association of Country Artists in 1983 and he was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2003. More than anything, Bob was known for taking time to talk to people and make a difference by just being himself. He leaves a long legacy of volunteer work and community service including Variety Telethons, the Red River Exhibition, Meals on Wheels and the BC SPCA, after he and wife Linda relocated to Vancouver in 2005.
Norris Nathanson, 84, Dec. 9 in Toronto. Nathanson was general manager and co-owner of CJCB-AM and CKPE-FM Sydney, along with his brother Marvin, until the stations were sold to Fundy Broadcasting in 1990. The brothers took over the stations from their father, Cape Breton broadcasting pioneer Nate Nathanson, who started CJCB in 1929 in an effort to sell more radios at his Sydney book and music store. The Nathanson family also owned CJCB-TV, the first television station to broadcast in Nova Scotia when it signed on in Oct. 1954. A community-focused businessman behind the scenes, Norris was also the longtime on-air host of the call-in program TalkBack and was known for often going live to air from his car, handing out prizes to listeners.
John Badham, 79, of liver cancer on Dec. 8. With a broadcasting career that spanned 60 years, Badham’s first broadcasting job, at age 20, was in his hometown of Weyburn, SK. covering the Weyburn Beavers senior hockey team. That led to 10 years of calling Saskatchewan Roughriders games, starting in 1959. He went on to do play-by-play for the Toronto Argonauts, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, BC Lions and Ottawa Rough Riders. Badham interviewed all the big names including Pelé and Muhammad Ali and was present when Bobby Hull signed his famous $1 million dollar World Hockey Association contract in 1972. He covered Olympic Games in Montreal and Sarajevo, Commonwealth Games, a Super Bowl and world curling championships, among other major sporting events. Badham landed in Peterborough, ON in 1988 to work for Corus stations The Kruz (CKRU-FM) and the Wolf (CKWF-FM). He retired from full-time broadcasting in 2011, but returned part-time to host the EXTRA 90.5 FM (CJMB-FM) morning show The Regulars. Badham received the Career Achievement Award from Sports Media Canada just last month.
Tim Morris, 45, suddenly on Nov. 25. Morris was morning show producer and a personality on The Gerry Forbes Show on CJAY 92 (CJAY-FM) Calgary in the mid-nineties before moving to Power 107 (CKIK-FM) in 1997 to produce for host Roger Rhodes. Morris was known for his passion for music and his depth of knowledge. He went on to become director of marketing for Western Canada for Universal Music and VP of business development for Getty Images. He was also co-founder of Mega Music Canada Inc., a dedicated digital platform creating music download stores for radio stations to promote Canadian content.