Radio veteran John Harada, who had been helming the morning show at The New SRQ (WSRQ-AM) in Sarasota, Florida for the last eight months, passed away suddenly Monday night. He was 65.
Harada worked at numerous stations over the span of a 35-year career, starting out in radio at his high school station – Raider Radio – at Erindale Secondary School in Mississauga. That led to on-air stints at CKWR Waterloo, CFGO Ottawa, Mix 99.9 (CKFM-FM) Toronto, KOOL FM (CFCA-FM) and KFUN FM (CKKW-FM) Waterloo, SUN FM (CKUL-FM) Halifax, 104.7 Heart FM (CIHR-FM) Woodstock, and The Fox 99.9 (CFGX-FM) Sarnia. For the past three years, up until hosting stateside, Harada was helming afternoon drive at community station 88.7 The River (CIWN-FM) Mount Forest, ON.
88.7 The River announced Harada’s passing in a post to its Facebook page saying “Johnny H, as we referred to him as, was a consummate professional and no doubt helped this small market station get off the ground. He was with us from day 1 to about 8 months ago and brought our sound up a notch (or 5) with his wit, overall general knowledge of music and he was a prep master! A true gentleman on the air and in the halls.”
Harada joined The New SRQ in December writing on the station’s site that he was “living the dream.”
“Most Canadian radio personalities dream of working on a US radio station and now that dream’s a reality for me…better still in the land of paradise in Sarasota-Manatee,” Harada wrote.
In addition to radio, Harada also did freelance voiceover work and produced several television shows for Rogers TV, including John Harada and Friends. He counted former CHUM announcers Mike Cleaver, who passed away in February, and Brian Thomas, among his mentors.
Off the air, Harada trained in Kenpo Karate and Wing Chun, taught black belt karate, and played and coached hockey over the years.
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