Ian Greenberg, 79, on Jan. 10. Along with his three brothers Sidney, Harvey and Harold, Greenberg co-founded Astral Media in 1961, playing an integral role in the company’s 50-year history by transforming it from a photographic specialty business into a multimedia empire encompassing pay and specialty TV, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital media. As President and Chief Executive Officer of Astral from 1995 until its acquisition by BCE in July 2013, under Greenberg the company achieved 16 years of consecutive growth employing 2,800 people across eight provinces and 84 radio stations, 24 pay and specialty television channels and 9,500 out-of-home advertising faces. Following the acquisition, he went on to serve as a director of the BCE board, serving on the Audit and Management Resources & Compensation committees. A member of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame, Canadian Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame and the Canadian Business Hall of Fame, Greenberg received the Ted Rogers and Velma Rogers Graham Award in 2007 for his significant contributions to Canadian broadcasting. Read more here.
Jeff Guy, 80, on Jan. 7. Guy’s career started in radio started in 1957 when he was hired as a studio operator at CFCO Radio in Chatham, ON. In Dec. 1960, he made the move to London, ON, embarking on a career at CKSL Radio. He worked his way up the broadcast ladder, first in the programming department, and then transitioning to his speciality, Broadcast Engineering. In Nov. 1967, he joined the McManus Family at the newly-launched CJOE 1290 London. Over the next five decades, Guy saw tremendous success, ascending to Vice-President of Engineering for CJBK-AM, BX-93, CHOK-AM, 97.5 EZ Rock, CKSL-AM and OJ95. In addition to helping launch new radio stations in London, Sarnia, and Belleville, and designing and building broadcasting facilities, Guy also served as President of the CCBE (Central Canada Broadcast Engineers). He retired from Telemedia London in 2001 after 33 years with CJOE and CJBK.
Severino Gobbato, 67, on Jan. 4. Born in Volpago, Italy, Gobbato arrived in Canada in 1957 and grew up in East Vancouver. After a stint as produce manager at the Safeway on Victoria Drive, he attended broadcasting school and got his first job as a DJ at CKAY-AM Duncan, BC. From there, he held roles at CKNW and CFMI Vancouver as a Media Consultant, working his way up to Senior Marketing Consultant & General Sales Manager. He later worked in sales for Praise 106.5 FM (KWPZ-FM) in Lynden, Washington. Gobbato retired to the Okanagan in 2016.
Judith LaRocque, 65, unexpectedly on Dec. 29. LaRocque’s distinguished career in the public service started with the Public Service Commission of Canada in 1979 as an administrative assistant. She went on to hold successive roles with the Prime Minister’s Office, the Office of the Leader of the Opposition, the House of Commons, Legislative Assistant to the Government House Leader, and then Office of the President of the Queen’s Privy Council. After serving as the Executive Assistant to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, her first Chief of Staff role came along in 1989 and then a decade-long appointment as Secretary to the Governor General, working with Ray Hnatyshyn and later Roméo LeBlanc. Upon completion of her term in 2000, LaRocque was appointed Associate Deputy Minister at the Department of Canadian Heritage and promoted to Deputy Minister in 2002. She held the post until 2010 when she was appointed as Canada’s Ambassador to the OECD in Paris. LaRocque also served as Vice Chair of the CRTC and was named interim chair in June 2017, maintaining the role until current chair Ian Scott was appointed. At the time of her death, she was serving a three-year term as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Canadian Museum of Nature, and was on the boards of the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and the Hawkesbury General Hospital.