Doug Barron, who entertained audiences from Toronto to Halifax over a 45-year broadcasting career, has passed away at age 71, his family has announced.
Originally from Kitchener-Waterloo, Barron started his radio career as an announcer and music director at CHNR-AM Simcoe in 1971, moving to CHIC-AM in Brampton in 1974 as morning show host. He made the move to Halifax in 1976, working first as a production director for CJCH-AM, before eventually becoming morning host and producer at C100 (CIOO-FM).
He was arguably best known in Halifax for his time at Q104 (CFRQ-FM), starting in 1983 as morning co-host and news director, where he used the on-air handle Hal Harbour.
From 1989 to 1994, Barron returned to Toronto where he was an announcer and director of Canadian talent development at CFNY-FM. After making his way back to the Maritimes, he worked as an associate producer and fill-in host on the CBC Radio One Weekend Mornings show for 16 years, up until his retirement as “Deputy Doug” in 2016.
In addition to acting in numerous CBC Radio dramas and film roles, Barron played a recurring character on Trailer Park Boys as Channel 10 news reporter “Steve Rogers.”
Among the dozens of former colleagues posting memories on Barron’s Facebook page was “Brother” Jake Edwards, who hired Barron ahead of the Q104 launch.
“I am absolutely devastated,” wrote Edwards. “Before I arrived in Halifax to open up Q104, the Rock of the Atlantic, I was looking for talent to join me in bringing classic rock n’ roll to Halifax. I opened up an envelope that contained an audition tape from Doug. Before I even heard it…I immediately burst out laughing because the photo was dramatically enhanced with his hair, sticking straight up in the air, as if he sat straight up from an electric chair…I listened to the tape and immediately called him up and hired him over the phone. What a talent! We started the morning show with a full arsenal of comedic bits that to this day stand alone at the top. We would come into the station and work on the weekends, creating songs and bits. It never seemed like work.”
Former Q104 Program Director JC Douglas said he had worked with few people “as talented and wildly creative as Doug.”
“Man, he had it. And could have taken it anywhere,” wrote Douglas. “Halifax was lucky to have him.”
In addition to his work in radio and TV, Barron was a huge booster of emerging Canadian musicians, executive producing the CASBY Awards for independent and alternative music, during his time with CFNY. Known for numerous musical collaborations of his own, Barron is credited with helping engineer Terry Pulliam build SoundMarket Studios where many Halifax bands recorded in the ’90s, including Sloan, Jale, Thrush Hermit and Eric’s Trip. Barron also recorded albums at his own Deep Nine Studios for Sandbox, among other artists.
Donations in his memory can be made to music or arts organizations in your community or to Hospice Halifax.
Subscribe Now – Free!
Broadcast Dialogue has been required reading in the Canadian broadcast media for 30 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.