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Mark Byington

Mark Byington, 93, on April 8. Byington began his 23-year broadcasting career in 1951 when, on a dare, he auditioned at CJAT Trail, BC. He was hired and from there went on to CKOV Kelowna, CJIB Vernon, CFCN and CFAC Calgary, CHAT, radio and TV in Medicine Hat, and CFRN radio and TV in Edmonton. Over the years, Byington held positions from chief announcer to assistant sports director, radio and television newscaster, and provincial affairs reporter. Among his career highlights was covering the first-ever televised Premiers Conference in Ottawa in 1971. He moved on from broadcasting in 1974 to work briefly as the Public Relations Director for the Alberta Social Credit Party, followed by a 14-year run with the Alberta government.

Dennis Gerein, 77, on March 8. Gerein started his radio career as a duty announcer in CKXR Salmon Arm, BC in 1968. Within two years, he was hosting the morning show and pursuing his dual passions for play-by-play sports and sales, soon becoming the station’s top biller. From there, he went to CKGY Red Deer in sales in 1972 and then CKIQ in Kelowna in 1974 to do sales and play-by-play. In 1976, Gerein was off to CKLQ in Brandon for a new station launch in the role of General Sales Manager. 1981 was the year Gerein’s many talents and passion for radio truly shone when Bob Hall and Walter Gray (Four Seasons Radio) asked him to return to BC to manage CJAT Trail, a station added to the Salmon Arm/Kelowna group. Then, in 1985, Four Seasons purchased CKKC Nelson and CFKC Creston where Gerein and his team of young broadcasters created the Kootenay Broadcasting System (KBS) and became an early pioneer in network radio and split cart commercials. For many, KBS was a first job after BCIT and at one point, in the ’90s, seven news directors in B.C. were KBS alumni. In 1995, Four Seasons turned to Gerein to lead CKIQ Kelowna and launch Kelowna’s first country radio station, The Bullet, before completing his career back in the Kootenays leading CKGF/CKQR and Boundary Kootenay Radio (BKR). He retired in 2005. Gerein was an industry builder, serving 10 years as a BCAB director, including six of those years as convention chair. Read more here.

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