Doug Cameron, on Jan. 14, at Brantford General Hospital. Cameron had a more than 50 year broadcasting career, retiring from Jewel 92 (CKPC-FM) and AM1380 (CKPC-AM) in July 2017. Well-respected and liked by his colleagues, Cameron worked in other markets including Sarnia, Simcoe and Hamilton. Retired to Caledonia, he died in hospital after falling ill just before Christmas.
Mark Elliot (aka Nils Johanson), 65, on Jan. 11 after a short battle with pneumonia. Best known for his long-running late night show People Helping People, Elliot got his feet wet in broadcasting in his teens, working in the control room at Graham Cable TV in West Toronto at the age of 16. His first announcing job came a few years later in 1973 at CHIC Radio 790 Brampton. He would soon move on to CFOM Quebec City, CFRW Winnipeg and then CFRA Ottawa in 1976. Arriving in Ottawa during the heyday of Top 40 AM radio, Elliot soon attained celebrity status. But while his star was rising, behind the popular on-air persona was a sexual-abuse survivor, alcoholic and addict. Elliott’s wake-up call came in 1987 when his boss at CFGO Ottawa fired him and found him a spot in a residential treatment program in Windsor. A sober Elliot quickly found his way back to radio at CKLW Windsor and started counselling other addicts. That led to the birth of his call-in show that combined the two, People Helping People, in 1994. He eventually brought the show to Toronto, first to AM 640 (CFMJ-AM) in 1999 and later CFRB in 2001 where it had a 15-year run. Elliot is also credited with keeping CFRB on-air during the Northeast blackout of 2003, which began to unfold while his show was live, cementing him as the station’s go-to guy to handle breaking news that developed on overnights and weekends. In addition to hosting Nightside five days a week and People Helping People on Sundays, for years Elliot did interventions during the day, tracking down other addicts and helping them to get sober. In 2016, People Helping People fell under budget cuts. Read more here.
Brian “Henny” Henderson, 73, on Jan. 11, of cancer. Henderson’s first job in radio was at CKMP Midland, followed by on-air stints at CKBB Barrie and CKCB Collingwood. He dabbled in television in the late 1960s at CKVR-TV Barrie, hosting kids cartoon show “The Marvelous SuperHeroes.” From there, he went to CHLO St. Thomas, returned to CKBB/CKVR where he tried television sports for the first time, and eventually found himself at CJCH Halifax. He arrived at CHUM Toronto in 1977 to read sports. “Henny” would spend the next 27 years with the station, taking over news and sports commentary from Dick Smyth as part of the 1050 CHUM Morning Crew in 1987. Henderson would follow the 7 a.m. news with a “pull no punches” editorial commentary, that sometimes would mean the station weathering Canadian Broadcast Standards Council complaints. By the end of 1998, Henderson’s health had deteriorated. Following recovery from kidney cancer, he suffered a series of heart attacks and underwent emergency bypass surgery. Following 1050 CHUM’s brief 15-month move to rebrand itself as all-sports format The Team, Henderson was diagnosed with stage four lymphoma. CHUM continued to re-air “The Best of Henny” commentaries while he underwent treatment. In Nov. 2004, as Henderson was preparing to return to work, his 27 years at CHUM famously ended when he was passed a brown paper envelope in a Tim Hortons adjacent to the hospital.
Steve Shannon (Castonguay), 71, on Dec. 26 of cancer. Shannon started his career in the early 1970s doing evenings at CKGM and CFOX Montréal, and from there made stops at 680 CFTR Toronto, CHAM Hamilton, CKTB, CJQR and CHTZ St. Catharines, CHVR Pembroke, CJMO Moncton, CKXL Calgary, CKNG Edmonton and CIMA (now CKST) Vancouver. He also ran a public speaking coaching business for executives in Vancouver. In 2013, he moved to the BC Interior and became the owner of The Bear (CHLW-FM) in Barriere, BC, north of Kamloops. He operated the station until 2017 when he was diagnosed with cancer. Listen to Shannon’s 1973 CFTR Toronto debut here.
Bob Gillies, 84, on Dec. 15 in Atlanta, of cancer. Gillies started his radio career at CJOR Vancouver in the early 1950s, going on to become the first overnight host at CKWX-AM with the program “Concert Under the Stars.” He then made the move to Montreal, hosting evenings at CKGM and later CFCF Montreal. He was one of the first on-air personalities on CFCF-TV Montreal when the station signed on in Jan. 1961 and co-hosted teen program “Like Young” in its early seasons. He went on to a career as a writer and singer of commercial jingles for radio and television and wrote and performed songs for feature films in Los Angeles, in addition to writing and acting for TV. His credits include Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In (1967), documentary Beautiful People (1974) and The Bill Tush Show (1980).
Not A Subscriber? Subscribe Now – Free!
Broadcast Dialogue has been required reading in the Canadian broadcast media for 25 years. When you subscribe, you join a community of connected professionals from media and broadcast related sectors from across the country.
The Weekly Briefing from Broadcast Dialogue is delivered exclusively to subscribers by email every Thursday. It’s your link to critical industry news, timely people moves, and excellent career advancement opportunities.
Let’s get started right now.