Mike Benny, 58, on Feb. 12, of lung cancer. Benny grew up in Thompson, MB, getting his start in radio there without any formal training. He went on to work at CKCK Regina and in Kitimat before landing in Prince George and 550 CKPG Radio in 1986. Starting as the afternoon announcer, Benny went on to a nearly 35-year career with the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, including many years as the host of mornings on 101.3 Hits FM, later rebranded as 101.3 The River (CKKN-FM). Benny also did several turns on television as the host of CKPG-TV kids’ game show “Quiz Me” and “Spruce Capital Rocks”, a half-hour music video show in the 1990s. Benny was diagnosed with lung cancer in the summer of 2019 and went on disability leave from the station. Watch CKPG-TV’s tribute to Benny, here.
Derek Mazur, 73, on Feb. 11, following a battle with lung cancer. Mazur was a founder of the Credo Group in the mid-1970s, a Winnipeg-based production company credited with helping launch Manitoba’s commercial film industry. Among Credo’s credits were films like Lost in the Barrens (1990) and The Diviners (1993), where many Manitoba crew members got their first introduction to feature film. After Credo folded in 2001, Mazur went on to produce for the National Film Board (NFB), and later became CEO of the Nunavut Film Development Corporation (NFDC) in 2011. He retired in 2017. In addition to his work with Credo, Mazur was active in the Manitoba Motion Picture Industry Association (now OnScreen Manitoba) and helped lobby for industry tax incentives. He also sat on the board of the National Screen Institute (NSI).
Warren D. (Skip) Snair, 77, on Feb. 10. Snair’s first foray into media was as a dancer on CFCF-TV Montreal’s answer to American Bandstand, Like Young, in the 1960s. Best known for his time in promotions and marketing with CHOM 97.7 from 1996 – 2009, the Montreal legend had previously spent time as part of the Rolling Stones tour entourage from 1972-86, landing the gig after lining up replacement speaker cones and saving their 1972 Montreal Forum show following a bomb blast. He also worked as a concert promoter for Donald K. Donald, among other roles. Snair often used his celebrity connections to help prop up the annual CHOM Rock Auction for the Montreal Children’s Hospital. The Montreal Gazette’s Bill Brownstein and CHOM morning host Terry DiMonte reflected on Snair’s passing.
Tony D’Archi, 50, on Feb. 8, of a sudden heart attack. D’Archi graduated from the Ryerson University Radio and Television Arts program and started his career interning with TSN. A passionate sports fan, he started as an associate producer on shows like Molson That’s Hockey and Sportscentre. He went on to produce In This Corner with Russ Abner, and served as the studio producer for the World Jr. Hockey Championships and the CFL on TSN for 12 years. He also worked on several Olympic Games, including Sydney in 2000, London in 2012, and Sochi in 2014. Caught up in cutbacks in 2015, D’Archi reinvented himself in his 40s, heading back to Ryerson to study public relations. In addition to independent consulting, he’d most recently been working with The iPR Group, among other communications roles.
Ted Randal, 95, on Feb. 5. Born in southern California, Randal served as a flagman on a troop carrier in the U.S. Navy during WWII, before enrolling in Radio Broadcasting and Drama in 1947 at the University of Oregon where he started working at KASH-AM as a student DJ. He went on to work at numerous stations, even making a foray into TV as a dance show host at KPIX-TV San Francisco in 1958. From there, he moved to Hollywood and launched radio consultancy, Ted Randal Enterprises, also publishing the “Tip Sheet” DJ guide which he would mail every week to over 350 radio stations. At his peak, he was programming 33 Top 40 radio stations in four countries, including consulting for 1050 CHUM. In 1970, he partnered with Dick Clark to offer stations a “hits library” service. He left Hollywood for Toronto in the mid-1970s, taking the position of program director at CHFI Toronto in 1977 and later becoming general manager. He left the station in 1982 and after retiring from teaching at Humber College, embarked on a second career as an artist. Randal and his wife Anne retired to Victoria, BC in 2012.