Joanne Sutton, on March 7, after a battle with cancer. After graduating from the BCIT Broadcast program, Sutton’s first foray into radio was in Whitehorse, before joining Vancouver’s CJJR-FM in 1990. In 1991, she joined Fred and Cathy Latremouille’s morning show on 97 KiSS FM (CKKS-FM) Vancouver as the morning traffic reporter. That ended in 2000 and she went on to read morning news and traffic part-time with Newcap’s Vancouver stations, Zed 95.3 (CKZZ-FM), 650 CISL, and LG 104.3 (CHLG-FM). Sutton made a brief move into marketing and communications in the late 2000s, before starting The Little Fruit Pie Company, supplying fresh-baked and frozen pies for commercial sale and distribution.
Dick Smyth, 86, on March 6. Growing up in Montreal, Smyth’s first foray into radio started in his youth as part of a children’s theatre group that performed plays on-air. Landing his first radio job in Cornwall, ON, that led to work with CKLW-AM Windsor, known at the time as “the Big 8.” Smyth would go on to join 1050 CHUM as news director in 1969 and later 680 NEWS when the station launched in 1993. He also provided commentary for and contributed to Citytv newscasts in the station’s early days. Among Smyth’s notable achievements, he was the first Canadian to receive an International RTNDA Award for his coverage of the 1967 Detroit Riots. He retired from broadcasting in 1997.
Chris Schultz, 61, on March 4, following a heart attack. Following an NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys as a sixth round 1983 draft pick, in addition to nine seasons with the Toronto Argonauts, Schultz joined TSN in 1998 as a CFL ON TSN panelist and TSN Football Expert. Among his regular segments was sports betting feature “Risky Business” on SPORTSCENTRE, in addition to serving as TSN’s spokesperson throughout the season for the Purolator Tackle Hunger food drive program, encouraging fans to donate non-perishable food items on game days. Schultz was named to the All-Time Argos team in 2007. A native of Burlington, ON, he was inducted into the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame in 2016 and the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.
Jahmil French, 29, on March 1. An alumnus of Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts in Scarborough, French was a stage and screen actor as well as a dancer. He landed his first recurring role in 2009 as part of the cast of the Degrassi: Minis series. He went on to reprise his role as Dave Turner in 149 episodes of Degrassi: The Next Generation from 2009-13. He went on to work on WE tv series, The Divide; Global TV medical drama Remedy; and Pop TV sitcom Let’s Get Physical, among other shows and feature films. Most recently, he’d been part of the cast of Netflix series Soundtrack. French was twice nominated for a Canadian Screen Award, once for Best Performance in a Children’s or Youth Program or Series for his work on Degrassi and again in 2018 as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Darren Curtis film, “Boost.”
Michael O’Brien, 71, on Feb. 17, after a lengthy battle with cancer. A broadcaster, media critic, entrepreneur, and author, O’Brien’s media career began in 1970 at CFOM Québec City. From there, he did mornings at CFUN Newcastle (now Miramachi), NB; afternoons at CKWW Windsor; and then mornings at CJFM Montreal while also working in promotions at Reader’s Digest. In 1978, he joined the morning show at CFPL London, before briefly returning to Montreal and CJAD in 1981. He joined CJSB Ottawa later that year as program director and eventually joined the morning show. O’Brien moved over to CFRA Ottawa in 1985, handling CHUM Network news out of CFRA from 1993 until 2004. In 2007, he joined Lake 88 (CHLK-FM) Perth, ON as the voice of morning news and the station’s first news director.
Margaret Jones, 83, on Feb. 16, following a lengthy illness. Jones was the longtime news director at CKAP AM 580 in Kapuskasing, ON. Alongside her 28-year career with the station, Jones was an avid volunteer, working with the Red Cross for over 25 years and the Kapuskasing Food Bank for more than a decade.