Bruce Pearson, 86, on Feb. 23 in Orillia. The former chairman of the Blackburn Group in London, On, Pearson oversaw the family-owned media group through the divestiture of its extensive assets in the 1990s, following the unexpected death in 1992 of chairperson Martha Blackburn. The London Free Press was sold in 1997, while the company’s three London radio stations were purchased by Corus Entertainment in 1999. Pearson is remembered as a leader with integrity who ran the media group with the transparency of a publicly-traded company.
Arthur Black, 74, on Feb. 21 of pancreatic cancer. The humorist and media personality got his start with the CBC in Thunder Bay in 1972 as a farm market reporter, eventually coming to host Basic Black, the long-running Saturday morning show that aired on CBC Radio One for 19 years. The show was one of the network’s most popular variety programs and was heard by 600,000 listeners every week. Black signed off from the program when he retired in June 2002, but was still heard on CBC Victoria’s All Points West program with a segment called Planet Salt Spring. Black’s other projects included 19 books, as well as a weekly humour column that at its peak was syndicated to more than 50 newspapers. Black also took a turn as television host in the 1990s, writing and hosting Weird Homes and Weird Wheels on the Life Network.
Laurie Artiss, 86, on Jan. 23 at Nanaimo Hospital. Artiss began his media career in his hometown of Winnipeg in 1948 in the Winnipeg Tribune sports department. He moved on to the Brandon Sun and then the Regina Leader-Post as sports editor, which led to a weekly show with CKCK-TV. In the early 70s, he left broadcasting to start Artiss Ltd., a curling equipment distribution company. Artiss was an inductee of the Manitoba Sportswriters and Sportscasters Media Roll of Honor, the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, and the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame.
Don Seel, 76, on Jan. 26. Seel was a 50-year veteran of TV and radio news, reporting in both Saskatchewan and Alberta. He began his broadcasting career at CJGX-AM Yorkton and then CHAB-AM Moose Jaw. In 1972, Don joined CFCN-AM and CFCN-TV Calgary, as assignment editor, later going to the CFAC-AM and its sister television station. In 1984, Seel joined 66 CFR (CFFR-AM) as a sportscaster where he went on to cover the Calgary Flames for the next two decades. Another of Seel’s career highlights was the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary.