Harry Steele, 92, on Jan. 28. Born in Musgrave Harbour, NL in 1929, Steele served in the Royal Canadian Navy for 24 years before becoming Vice-President of Newfoundland-based airline, Eastern Provincial Airways. Steele eventually acquired the company, which was later sold to Canadian Pacific Airways. In 1981, he founded Newfoundland Capital which in addition to transportation and hotel interests, owned the Newcap Radio group and newspapers across the country. Steele served as company president, assuming the role of CEO and Chairman in 1993. He stepped down as CEO in 2002, continuing on as Chairman until 2018 when he retired at age 88. When Newfoundland Capital was acquired by Stingray Digital Group for $523 million that same year, the company’s broadcast assets had grown to 101 licences, encompassing 72 radio stations and 29 repeater signals. Steele subsequently bought $25 million in Stingray stock. Steele is a past governor of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council. He was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1992.
Greg Blackmore, 62 on Jan. 26. Born in Toronto and raised in Port Credit, ON, Blackmore started his working career in sales, before deciding to go back to school and build a career around his love of music. Enrolling as a mature student at Trebas Music School, an internship with Intrepid Records followed, which turned into a full-time position with EMI Music Canada. After relocating to Winnipeg in the late ‘90s and then Calgary, Blackmore joined Zomba Records in 2000 and two years later found a home with Universal Music Canada as a Promotions Manager and later Western Promotions Manager for two decades. “A staple of our radio promotion department for close to 20 years, Greg’s passion, commitment, and keen understanding of this country’s radio landscape, made him a vital member of our team,” said Jeffrey Remedios, Chairman & CEO, Universal Music Canada. “From his home base in Langdon, Alberta, where he managed radio promotion for Canada’s Western region, Greg was beloved by artists, managers, program directors, and colleagues around the world.” Among the artists and bands extending tributes to Blackmore are Arkells, The Beaches, Johnny Reid, and Chad Brownlee. Read more here.
Karl Sepkowski, 81 on Jan. 24 after a two-year battle with cancer. Sepkowski had a long career as a broadcast journalist serving his home community of Sault Ste. Marie. His career started in 1957 as a disc jockey on CKCY Radio while still in high school. He went on to become a staff announcer and news reader at the station, making the switch to television news in 1965. Three years later, he was named news director for CJIC-TV, following in the footsteps of veteran newsman Lionel McAuley. He retired from MCTV in 1992. Over the years, Sepkowski also taught journalism at Sault College in the 1970s and served as president of the Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) Canada.