Art Bell, 72, on Apr. 13, at his home in Pahrump, NV. Bell served in the U.S. Air Force as a medic during the Vietnam War, operating a pirate radio station at Amarillo Air Force Base in his free time. After leaving military service, he worked as a disc jockey at KSBK, the only non-military English-language station in Japan. While there, he set a Guinness World Record by staying on-air for 116 hours and 15 minutes, raising funds in the process to charter a plane to Vietnam and rescue 130 orphans stranded in Saigon at the war’s end. After returning to the U.S., Bell worked for KIDD-AM Monterey, KMST-TV, and KDWN Las Vegas where he was offered an overnight time slot in 1978. The show, which initially focused on politics, was renamed Coast to Coast AM and moved to Bell’s home studio in Pahrump in 1988. The five-hour marathon featuring all things conspiracy theory, paranormal and life beyond planet earth, peaked in the 1990s when the show reached as many as 15 million listeners a week, and was heard on more than 500 stations. Bell semi-retired in 2003, continuing to host Coast to Coast on weekends and as a guest host through 2010. He also hosted classic episodes of the program, heard on some stations under the name Somewhere in Time. While he briefly returned with a new online offering called Midnight in the Desert in 2015, he formally retired later that year citing security concerns at his home.
Ed Ylanen, 55, on Apr. 9 in Toronto after a brief illness. Born in Vancouver, Ylanen worked at radio stations across the country and was part of the senior management teams at multi-ethnic stations CJVB-AM Vancouver and CHIN Radio Toronto. He ended his career with Giant FM (CIXL-FM) and Country 89 (CKYY-FM) in Welland, ON.
Caroline Bakuska, 84, on Apr. 6. Bakuska spent most of her career in the accounting department with CKY Winnipeg, starting at CKY Radio in 1960 before moving over to the television side in 1962. In a senior accounting position, Bakuska generously shared her wealth of experience with management, staff and especially new accounting team members. After working with CKY for 49 years, she retired in 1999, regularly visiting the station until her health declined.