Sign Offs

Bill Lawrence, 91, on July 14, following a heart attack. After graduating from Ryerson University in 1954, Lawrence started his broadcasting career at CHCH-TV Hamilton as a technician. His talent was quickly recognized and he went to work as a director, producer, writer and announcer, most notably as a weatherman and host of the long-running “Tiny Talent Time” for 35 years, starting in 1957 – a children’s version of station owner Ken Soble’s radio and TV series “Ken Soble’s Amateur Hour.” Lawrence also created other children’s programming, including puppet show “Albert J. Steed.” He went on to spend 28 years at the CBC, presenting news and weather, in addition to programs like “It’s Your Choice,” “Juliette and Friends,” and “Such Is Life.” At Global TV, he hosted “Million Dollar Sweeps” and “Travel Analysis.” Lawrence joined the RTA School of Media from 1980-96 as a professor.

Gord Leighton

Gord Leighton, 78, on July 18 after a brief battle with cancer. After graduating from UBC, Leighton began his broadcast career at CFTK Radio & TV in Terrace, BC, starting in 1964. He held various positions with the station until 1973 when he joined CKPG Prince George where he rose to the position of General Manager. He concurrently served two terms as a Prince George city councillor from 1999-2002. Leighton joined Astral Media in 2003 as GM and GSM of its Vernon stations, through their ownership transition to Bell Media. He also served two terms as president of the BC Association of Broadcasters (BCAB). In retirement, Leighton was one of the key drivers behind establishing a community radio station in Vernon, 97.9 Valley FM (CFAV-FM), which is currently streaming as it fundraises to build a broadcast tower. Leighton stepped down as president of the Vernon Community Radio Society last November after his wife received a Stage 4 brain cancer diagnosis. He had received his own cancer diagnosis more recently.

Bob Segarini

Bob Segarini, 77, on July 10. Segarini had a music career, starting in the late 1960s, playing with Family Tree, Roxy, and The Whackers, before embarking on a successful solo career after moving to Toronto. In the 1980s,  he was enlisted by CHUM-FM Toronto Program Director Warren Cosford to helm the 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. timeslot as “Iceman.” Segarini was fired after just six months after airing a three-hour Motorhead interview, but was soon hired by Gary Slaight at Q107 (CILQ-FM), who went on to give Segarini a show on SiriusXM. He also hosted “Late Great Movies” on Citytv in the mid-1980s. He went on to launch early podcast, the “Bobcast,” alongside co-host Roxanne Tellier. Segarini contributed to numerous television soundtracks over the years, including writing the theme song for “The Edison Twins” and more recently contributed to the soundtrack for “Frances Ha” in 2012.

Tim Lorimer

Tim Lorimer, 65, on July 5 after drowning on Rice Lake. Lorimer was a Media Operations & Technology Supervising Technician at CBC, based in Toronto. A leading studio technician for CBC Radio, Lorimer worked on numerous programs over the years, but is most closely associated with the long-running “Quirks and Quarks” and “As It Happens.” He had recently retired from the public broadcaster to spend more time with his young family.

Peter Starr

Peter Starr, 80, on July 3 of cancer. Starr worked for Triumph racing motorcycles before his English accent caught the ear of a radio producer while living in the U.S., leading to his foray as a host on CKLG Vancouver from 1966-68 and then CFUN from 1968-70, prior to his move to Los Angeles to launch Peter Starr Entertainment. Starr dabbled in producing records before going on to produce more than 50 motorcycle racing films from 1973-93, with his work airing on USA Network, TNN, ESPN, Turner Broadcasting, The BBC, Channel Five UK, ABC Sports, The History Channel, and PBS, among other channels. Starr was among the first to host a national television series on motorcycling – The Peter Starr Motorcycle Show – on The Nashville Network, beginning in 1984. From 1991-99, he also worked as a stunt performer riding motorcycles in major films, including Batman and Robin, Apollo 13, Lethal Weapon 3, and over 50 commercials. He additionally designed and built motorcycles equipped to carry large motion picture side-car cameras and was part of the first live broadcast from a motorcycle in competition. Starr was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Museum Hall of Fame in 2017.

Sue Johanson

Sue Johanson, 93, on June 28. Johanson, a registered nurse, established and ran a first-of-its-kind birth control clinic at a Don Mills high school in the 1970s, before rising to popularity with her call-in show, the Sunday Night Sex Show, on Q107 (CILQ-FM) Toronto in the 1980s. The show eventually made the transition to television, airing on Rogers TV, starting in 1985, before being picked up by the Women’s Television Network (WTN) in 1996 where it had a 10-year run. The U.S. version of the show, Talk Sex with Sue Johanson, debuted on Oxygen in 2002 where it aired until 2008. Johanson was the subject of filmmaker Lisa Rideout’s 2022 documentary, Sex with Sue, chronicling the educator’s life story. Among other accolades, she was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2001. Read more here.

Justin Newsom

Justin Newsom, 37, on June 26, after being struck by lightning at Loch March Golf and Country Club. A 2009 graduate of Algonquin College’s Television Broadcasting program, Newsom worked with the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club as a camera operator before moving on to roles as an ENG Technician and camera operator with Sun News Network, Gusto TV, TSN, CTV Ottawa, and CBC Ottawa. Since 2021, he had moved into a career in IT with Shared Services Canada.

Murray Parker, 86, on June 9. Parker started his broadcasting career while still a teenager, first with CJOB Winnipeg and then CKRC, before joining CBC Winnipeg in the mid-1960s. He was best known as the weather forecaster on nightly TV newscast “24Hours,” before moving into covering sports in the mid-1970s, including hosting CBC’s national coverage of the Montreal Olympic Games in 1976. He eventually moved back into weather, until his retirement in 1991, returning for another stint as a weatherman for one season in 2007. Outside the CBC, Parker hosted high school quiz show “Reach for the Top” on Videon and co-hosted several Children’s Miracle Network telethons. He is survived by his partner, Arvel Gray, also a former CBC television personality.

Wayne Vallevand

Wayne Vallevand, 59, on June 7, after a battle with cancer. A longtime videographer at CBC Yukon, Vallevand had worked with the public broadcaster since 1994. Originally from Whitehorse, he started as a camera operator in 1988, working his way up from the library at Northern Native Broadcasting in Yukon where he began his career in 1986. He covered stories across the North and beyond, including several stints with CBC Sports. His final outing with CBC was his work on the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games.

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