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Sign Offs

George Sumyie

George Sumyie, 84, on Dec. 9. Born in Vancouver, Sumyie’s broadcasting career started out of vocational school when he was hired by Stan Davis at Broadcast Technical Services, which offered construction support for radio station studios and transmitter sites, technical advice and maintenance of studio and transmitter properties. Contracted by stations in B.C. and the Prairies, Sumyie became well known as an expert in AM broadcast transmitter maintenance and repair. He was also part of a group, alongside Ed Prefontaine and Harvey Davidson, who successfully applied to the CRTC for a broadcast licence in Brandon, MB. CKLQ went on the air in 1977, with the station’s success leading to the purchase of the Big R Radio Network, headquartered in Salmon Arm, BC in the early 1980s. Sumyie worked with Broadcast Technical Services until 2000 when he retired due to heart issues.

Dr. Robert Fournier

Dr. Robert (Bob) Fournier, 84, on Dec. 10. Fournier contributed to CBC Nova Scotia’s Information Morning for four decades as a science columnist. The former Chair of Dalhousie University’s Department of Oceanography, he also served as the university’s Associate Vice-President (Research and International Relations) and Executive Director of the Dalhousie Ocean Studies Program. Passionate about outreach and communicating science to the public, Fournier had made an estimated 2,500 appearances on CBC radio and television since 1974. In 2018, he was awarded an honourary degree from Acadia University for his dedication to communicating science. Listen to CBC Nova Scotia’s tribute to Fournier here

Ken “The General” Grant

Ken “The General” Grant, 88, on Dec. 13. The voice of morning radio in Ottawa for decades, Grant first joined CFRA in 1961, going on to spend more than 30 years with the station. He earned the nickname “The General” shortly after joining the station when newscaster Campbell McDonald signed off a story about former Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant with “Now, here’s our own General, Ken Grant.” The slogan “I woke up with the General” was known throughout the Ottawa region, later serving as the inspiration for the title of Grant’s 2015 radio memoir “I Woke Up with The General, Too.” Grant’s charitable endeavours included helping Ottawa raise $1 million for the Jerry Lewis Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy, serving as an ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Association of Ottawa and Renfrew County, and supporting events for members of the Canadian military. Following his run at CFRA, Grant signed on at Oldies 1310, before retiring from broadcasting in 2001. 

Jean-Paul Chartrand

Jean-Paul Chartrand, 92, on Dec. 23. Chartrand worked in Quebec sports media for more than 60 years as a host, journalist and columnist across newspapers, radio and television. He began his career in sports at the Journal de Montréal in 1964, joining CKAC In the early 1970s where he produced Montreal Expos games and began commentating, moving beyond baseball to boxing and hosting Montreal Canadiens broadcasts. He went on to TVA Network in 1979, then CJMS, CKVL, and Radio-Canada television where he hosted NFL games on Sunday afternoons. He joined RDS when the station opened in 1989, covering a multitude of sports from football to hunting and fishing shows with sidekick Jean Pagé. According to the network, he had been at the helm of more than 1,600 shows on RDS. Chartrand was inducted into the Panthéon des sports du Québec in November as a builder.

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