Sign Offs

Jack Ruttle

Jack Ruttle, 84, on April 29. Ruttle had a nearly 50-year broadcasting career that began in 1956 as a staff announcer at CKBB-AM Barrie, ON. He had moved up to the position of program manager and was also doing on-air work for CKVR-TV when he was offered the chance to join CFTO-TV ahead of its launch in 1960. He became the station’s promotion manager and later program manager, before Baton Broadcasting appointed Ruttle Vice-President of Programming in 1970 for both Baton and CBC affiliate CKLW-TV Windsor. He moved with the company to Ottawa in 1973 as president of CFGO Radio, joining Standard Broadcasting two years later to take the position of VP and General Manager of CJOH-TV Ottawa. In 1977, he joined Maclean Hunter as VP of Calgary’s CFCN-TV and by 1979, was EVP of the CTV network. After eight years there, his final executive move was with Power Corporation of Canada as president of Kawartha Broadcasting’s CFMP-FM, CHEX-AM radio and CHEX-TV in Peterborough. Ruttle returned to Toronto in the early ‘90s to establish a consulting business. He also spent four years in the early 2000s teaching media management to students at his alma mater, Ryerson University.

Gord Atkinson

Gord Atkinson, 94, on April 26, following a recent stroke. Atkinson began his career as a publicist at Decca Records in the 1940s. He transitioned into radio in 1948 with stints at CHUM and CFRB Toronto. He was hired at CFRA Ottawa in 1954 where he served as Entertainment Editor and hosted variety programs, “Gord Atkinson’s Showbill” and “Campus Corner.” Among other highlights, he introduced Elvis Presley to Ottawa in 1957 at the Ottawa Auditorium. In 1967, he was appointed Station Manager of CFMO – a position he held for 22 years – in addition to continuing to host his weekly Showbill entertainment program. Atkinson was also an avid writer, publishing his column “The Platter Poll” in the Ottawa Citizen for 12 years and writing several books, including 2016’s “The Golden Years of Entertainment” which consisted of profiles based on 40 years of radio interviews he’d conducted. An avid pop culture fan, among other projects, Atkinson narrated, wrote and produced the award-winning “The Crosby Years” – a 14-hour musical anthology on Bing Crosby that won him a U.S. National Radio Award. Atkinson counted many celebrities among his friends and in 1981 organized a benefit with Rich Little and Frank Sinatra that raised millions for the Ottawa Hospital. In 1998, Mayor Jim Watson proclaimed May 23rd Gord Atkinson Day in Ottawa, with Little roasting Atkinson at a gala for the Ottawa Boys and Girls Club.

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